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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hysterically Funny
I had no idea what to expect when I started watching this series (the title does nothing for the show, in my opinion), but from the opening apartment-hunting scene through each of the three well-scripted episodes, I found myself laughing outloud.

The murders are just an excuse for the "bada-bing, bada-boom" back and forth here. But there is enough there to...
Published on August 20, 2012 by G. Mesick

versus
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tries too hard
Wanted to like this. Both lead characters are good actors. The story line, not so special.
Then we get to the distracted, irreverant and obscene behavior at the crime scenes. It's one thing to pop wise and mark off-hand comments that border on bad taste, but these two ignore the fact that a life has ended violently, that the body is barely cold on the floor, and they...
Published 17 months ago by Terrell L. Bowers


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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hysterically Funny, August 20, 2012
By 
G. Mesick (Federal Way, WA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vexed: Series 1 (DVD)
I had no idea what to expect when I started watching this series (the title does nothing for the show, in my opinion), but from the opening apartment-hunting scene through each of the three well-scripted episodes, I found myself laughing outloud.

The murders are just an excuse for the "bada-bing, bada-boom" back and forth here. But there is enough there to make it work. And the supporting cast is all quite good.

I know, I know. You are suspicious when other people tell you that something is funny. Trust me on this one.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Crude, vulgar, beyond politically incorrect... and hilarious, August 23, 2012
This review is from: Vexed: Series 1 (DVD)
Two self-obsessed cops who can't seem to edit what they say, a supporting cast ranging from cerebral to insensitive, and a lot of slide-off-the-sofa-laughing humor make these three episodes from "Vexed" fun and worth seeing.

This is one of those shows that takes banter and wit to a politically incorrect extreme, and I'm embarrassed by how often I laughed, out loud, watching the first three episodes. Then, I recommended the show to my husband and I laughed even harder, watching these episodes with him.

I saw this show (in the US) during a short run on Acorn TV, but the lack of captions required several rewinds to understand the fast-paced dialogue and slang. Mostly, what these detectives say and do can be so appalling, I had to pause and replay sections to be sure that, yes, they really were that insensitive.

So, I came to Amazon looking for this show on DVD so I can have a version with closed captions.

I was already impressed with Lucy Punch (Doc Martin, Midsomer Murders) because she can play insensitive women with depth that's light years beyond the usual stereotypes. In "Vexed," her acting skills were pushed to an extreme. Few actors could deliver the role of DI Kate Bishop as seamlessly, humorously and convincingly as Punch.

Toby Stephens plays opposite her with a roguish twinkle in his eye and all the tact of a sledgehammer. (It's no surprise that Stephens won both the Sir John Gielgud Prize for Best Actor, and the Ian Charleson Award, for his title role in the Royal Shakespeare Company's 1994 "Coriolanus," and he has a long list of other impressive acting credentials.)

If you're easily offended by humor that walks that fine line just barely on this side of acceptable, you might not like this series. However, if you recognize this as something bordering on parody, and remember that it's entertainment, not real life, you may -- like me -- watch this over and over again, impressed by the writing and the acting skills that make it work.

With less adept actors, this show could be merely tasteless and two-dimensional. The wit and audacity make it work.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pair of LOL BBC London DIs, August 5, 2012
By 
Harold Wolf "Doc" (Wells, IN United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Vexed: Series 1 (DVD)
FUNNY! London's crime stopping copper couple relate like chalk `n cheese as they turn homicide into humor. Sarcasm constantly erupts--even around corpses. Cop incompetence & underachieving public servants. You'll LOVE them. Witty, this klutzy blonde and arrogant stud will keep the laughs going like a pair of stand-ups. Like no, ha-ha.... other, tee-hee.... investigative series.

Toby Stephens plays DI Jack Armstrong (Jane Eyre), a single, crass, laid-back but successful sleuth cop who commonly borders on `jerk.' His newly arrived partner is DI Kate Bishop (Lucy Punch- Doc Martin's receptionist) is married, eager to prove her worth. Their irreverent manner toward each other makes the show's humor.

SDH SUBTITLES for all three 58 minute episodes
~~~~1 A blond blue-eyed man is suspect in multiple murders. The Honeybee loyalty card data base seems a link. Hot beautiful Naomi Bentley (Mutual Friends) as Loren Roberts gets hit on by Jack. Kate goes undercover. Brutal humor.

~~~~2 Banker Andrew Bridgley (Kevin Doyle- Downton Abbey Seasons 1 & 2 Limited Edition Set - Original UK Version) is depressed over his car bombing--found with a body. More attempts at Bridgley complicate the case. Meanwhile, Kate and husband Dan (Rory Kinnear) have personal sex issues. It's all funny.

~~~~3 Gemma G, a rock group member is abducted, a case for the goofy cop duo. While trying to find the girl and the kidnapper, Kate decides about her marriage, Jack faces a groin surgeon. Coarse content comedy.

This BBC series was good enough to continue for six new episodes, planned for TV airing in late 2012. MI-5 Miranda Raison joins the new season. My funny bone is ready for those new episodes.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tries too hard, April 3, 2013
This review is from: Vexed: Series 1 (DVD)
Wanted to like this. Both lead characters are good actors. The story line, not so special.
Then we get to the distracted, irreverant and obscene behavior at the crime scenes. It's one thing to pop wise and mark off-hand comments that border on bad taste, but these two ignore the fact that a life has ended violently, that the body is barely cold on the floor, and they spend the time like two teenage girls/boys chatting at the back of the school bus on the way home after class.
How can anyone support, endorse or even like characters who are so cold and uncaring about some lonely young woman's death? Being objective is one thing but they are completely indifferent.
Sorry, but I find no humor about arranging furniture to cover a blood stain while the body is still on the floor. Perhaps I have too much sensitivity for the victim. Perhaps they should instill a little of that in the main characters.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A whole season (well, it was only 3 episodes) of this unique non-PC BBC detective show on one disc., October 6, 2012
This review is from: Vexed: Series 1 (DVD)
I love the police and crime dramas from the UK much better than those on US commercial television and, over the last few years I've found myself "hooked" on the ones from the BBC, whether released on DVD by PBS Home Video, BBC Home Video or, in this case, from Acorn Media Group. It was Acorn who introduced me to the wonderful series "New Tricks" which is now airing Season Nine in the UK and for which Acorn released Season Eight last month.

"Vexed" is another "detective show" and produced in 2009 in an all-too-brief season of just three episodes. But it's been renewed for a second season to air later this year (though I don't know how many episodes are being produced this time).

"Vexed" centers around two newly-partnered Crime Inspectors played by Toby Stephens (as Jack) and Lucy Punch (as Kate), both new to me. But that's the fun. While Kate takes things seriously, Jack is a total "screw-up". You wonder how he still remains on the force! (And, like the detectives in New Tricks, I wonder why these detectives drive around in small Mercedez Benz cars.) Here too, the crimes committed are not the full focus of the 59-minute episodes (in the UK there are no commercials on the BBC). It's about the characters and their personal lives. I won't reveal too much, so as to not spoil the fun, but let me say that Jack is definitely not "politically correct" in his actions and words - and you will hear expletives in the shows. These are the original UK episodes with no editing for the US audience. (BTW, there is an "English subtitles" option if the accents get too strong for you; they weren't for me.). Somehow, I found Stephens' accent and manner to be not unlike that of Ricky Gervais. And I like Gervais.

The cases are a bit "over the top" and certainly not to be taken seriously and I did find it a bit confusing when certain incidents in Kate's life take a serious turn and then I was expected to laugh at some "slapstick" action by Jack. At one point in Episode Three, Kate even comments that "we've never even been to the office!". Ever heard of a detective who hasn't?

The Standard DVD comes with minimal bonuses. There is the series promo and a promo for each of the three episodes. These total just four-minutes. There's also a photo gallery, that doesn't add much.

Based on this initial season, I'm looking to see where the series goes and am definitely waiting for Acorn's DVD release of it - probably next year.

Unlike US series which run for many hours in a season, this one comes complete in just under three hours. Give it a shot.

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "We're a good team. This friction thing works.", September 3, 2012
By 
H. Bala "Me Too Can Read" (Recently moved back to Carson, California, or as I call it... the center of the universe) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vexed: Series 1 (DVD)
- "Give us one good reason why we shouldn't suspect you."
- "I'm a Buddhist."
- "Give us two good reasons why we shouldn't suspect you."
- "I'm gay."
- "You're a gay Buddhist?!"

So when I brew my tea and butter my scones and wander over into the drawing room to watch telly, VEXED isn't what I expect when I tune in to what BBC 2's got to offer. VEXED, as the back of the DVD packaging informs us, is a "darkly comic detective series." But the backs of DVD packagings are notorious for not only unprovoked name-dropping (the back of this one quotes the Guardian) but for wild exaggerations and a proclivity for tiny inset images. I suspect the backs of DVD packagings are terribly jealous of the fronts of DVD packagings and so overcompensate with trivia and blurbs. My point being... okay, I forgot my point. But VEXED isn't what I was expecting. Somewhere, Inspectors Frost and Morse and Maigret are spinning in their graves. But did I like VEXED? Yes, very much, indeed.

I can't make up my mind whether Toby Stephens' face reminds me more of Hugh Jackman or Greg Kinnear, but that's neither here nor there. Stephens does a rather remarkable thing by making his character lazy, incompetent, and massively offensive... yet likable. He plays Detective Inspector Jack Armstrong, a copper so lacking in diligence and discipline it's amazing he thrives on the force. In steps his new partner DI Kate Bishop (Lucy Punch), the opposite of Jack in all things. Kate crosses her t's and dots her i's. She is organized and meticulous and respects the law and the investigative process. The new partners right away get on like a hobo and a pigeon wrestling in the parking lot over a french fry. Dempsey and Makepeace had nothing on these two.

In between the constant squabbling and despite Jack's blasé behavior, Jack and Kate do end up solving a murder case or three. VEXED Series 1 features three hour-long episodes and, lest you assume that this show is solely dedicated to crass black comedy, the cases actually do tend to take interesting twists. Especially when one factors in how Jack's innate complacency and Kate's distraction over her deteriorating marriage tend to complicate the investigations. Some folks and critics have proclaimed VEXED as lowbrow and vulgar and unseemly, and one wonders if the show's title was designed with the naysayers in mind? Not that the grumpies are so off the mark. Toby Stephens does spew a ton of insensitive stuff, and occasionally a touch of silly panto does sneak in. But VEXED retains a healthy awareness of its own absurdity. I like that it's a fresh and cheeky take on them stodgy British police procedurals. I like that it pokes fun at political correctness. And enough people appreciated what the show was going for that it was renewed for a second season (or series, as it's called in the UK). In my opinion, Toby Stephens is fantastic; it's a fine line to toe, playing the lovable but dodgy copper. Lucy Punch provides the perfect foil and readily assumes a repertoire of sour expressions. I do think her primary function is to be appalled by her partner. VEXED has its flaws. Yes, Jack is likable but it's sometimes hard to connect with him (when he develops a medical condition, I hardly blinked). So it doesn't always work, the show's tone and structure, especially when things become too balmy (such as when, during a crime scene, the DIs are busy working out how they would decorate a flat even as a murdered corpse rots in the corner; Kate later moves in anyway). But VEXED has got, whatchoocallit, potential. And I'm sometimes in the mood for sick, baseline humor. If you're like me and are into absurd, unorthodox detective shows like MOONLIGHTING and DIRK GENTLY - and you're not easily offended and you've a dismount stool for your high horse - then VEXED may be your cup of tea. The Guardian, on the back of the DVD packaging, actually has got it right.

So what I actually have is the Region 2 DVD. Its meager bonus stuff:

- Promotional Trailer
- Picture Gallery
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sophmoric program older than its release date would suggest., February 6, 2013
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This review is from: Vexed: Series 1 (DVD)
I was famfoozled by all the positive reviews and my own natural prediliction for British mysteries. This was a real disappointment -- so childish and stupid in its "jokes" and I don't find either main character likeable OR dislikeable in a way that amuses, so thumbs down on this one for me. (And I really like Toby Stephens in most everything else that he does).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic and very funny, August 30, 2012
This review is from: Vexed: Series 1 (DVD)
Loved every minute of this series. The second series is just as good as his female side kick is better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Copper Comedy, April 28, 2013
This review is from: Vexed: Series 1 (DVD)
If Columbo partnered with Joe (Josie) Friday, the arrangement might look something like this: a very button-down cop thrown into the mix with a washout who has lost sight of the job. Two contrasting personalities, who nonetheless need each other to do their jobs, creates lightning-fast character comedy. And the clean, technically savvy look makes this the most intriguing British comedy I've seen since the first season of "Coupling."

DI Jack Armstrong (Toby Stephens) stopped caring about his job a long time ago. By his own admission, he hasn't been inside the station since 1992. Forcibly partnered with DI Kate Bishop (Lucy Punch), he finds himself pushed into actual detective work when he'd rather drink. But he also finds himself serving as unofficial therapist as Kate's marriage proves less manageable than her job. It's enough to drive a burned-out cop to drink, sex, and more drink.

The personality tension drives the comedy, as investigations fall behind personal dramas. In the first episode, both detectives use a source in a murder case to get info they hope will advance their sex lives. Elsewhere, Jack pauses an interviewee so he can question Kate about his... erm... naughty bits. It's easy to imagine that real-life cops want to say and do such outrageous antics; because these two have no filter between their mouths and their brains, they really do it.

American network TV has had many one-hour mystery sitcoms (Castle, Psych), but I don't recall seeing something like this on British TV until now. By infusing an established hybrid genre, familiar to audiences on one side of the pond, with the kind of off-kilter humor that has been such an export commodity on the other side, this show infuses the field with a new style. Three episodes seems much too short. I could watch this show for days.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Pleasant Passtime, April 21, 2013
By 
Linda One "Lol925" (Burleson, Texas United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Vexed: Series 1 (DVD)
My husband and I are not big lovers of comedy, and even though the crime story is sometimes silly, we laughed out loud several times through each episode. We enjoyed the crime story even though it was never meant to be deadly serious, but enjoyed the jokes more. The actors don't act like they are trying to be funny. That ruins it when actors try to be cute. Their performances are genuine which is what makes it funny. The man is a mysoginistic hedonist, and while the woman is more responsible, she has her own problems. They have good chemistry and together they make a humorous team. There are only 3 episodes, which is disappointing, but if you're ever feeling low, which I was (after the Boston Marathon and the explosion in West, Texas), it was a blessed relief.
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Vexed: Series 1
Vexed: Series 1 by Lucy Punch (DVD - 2012)
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