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This cheeky crime drama (comedy?) import has its moments, but never quite gels....
Acorn Media / 175 Minutes / 2010-2011 / Unrated / Street Date: October 2, 2012
There are viewers who simply give British import comedy shows a pass simply because their simple makeup is so much different - and, for the most part, refreshing - than their domestic counterparts, but Vexed (at least on this Series 1 DVD box set) will likely frustrate even the most forgiving TV-crazed Anglophiles. It's sassy and often biting in its overall comic tone, but Vexed maxes out after its debut episode and spends nearly this entire compilation spinning its wheels.
What Vexed wants to be is a smart-talking Love Actually/Bridget Jones' Diary show that CSI fans can consume, as well. At our center is detective is Jack Armstrong (Toby Stephens), a man's man of sorts who has trouble juggling issues of what his partner, Kate Bishop (Lucy Punch), would refer to as sexist and buffoonish. As these two solve crimes, they banter about a kind of battle-of-the-sexes repartee, an act that lends Hexed a more irreverent and bouncy tone than other crime dramas possess.
The kicker, though, is that the thorn falls off the rose disappointingly early in Vexed: Series 1. Its pilot episode is cheeky and fun, but the show's creators really replicate their patterns too closely in subsequent installments. Sure, sure - TV programming rests upon one's ability to keep delivering similar story arcs and narrative paradigms every week, but Vexed proves itself to be a one-trick pony early on and never recovers.