Acorn Media // 2012 // 365 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge James A. Stewart // May 22nd, 2013
"You two are like Luis Bunuel's perfect martini."
Sometimes the recipe changes. In Vexed: Series 2, Lucy Punch is out as the female partner for difficult DI Jack Armstrong (Toby Stephens, Die Another Day), and in is Miranda Raison (MI-5) as DI Georgina Dixon. But the British dramedy still is about two cops who bicker while solving murder mysteries.
Six episodes on two discs.
* Episode 2.1 -- "You couldn't catch me dead in a car like this." Jack greets partner George and gets seduced by a car saleswoman as the pair investigates the body found in the boot of a car.
* Episode 2.2 -- "We're in the library. Maybe it was Professor Plum." After they find a university student dead in the library, we're in the gender studies class, where George is playing teacher and Jack is her problem pupil.
* Episode 2.3 -- "The more crime he prevents, the less we have to solve. Everyone's a winner." George isn't so fond of her father, an ex-cop who runs a security company. She isn't so fond of Jack either, since he's gotten the duo stuck on missing persons detail.
* Episode 2.4 -- "How did you know it was murder before you answered the phone?" George's lonely nights are going to be filled with cookery when she goes undercover as a Kitchen Maestro contestant.
* Episode 2.5 -- "You should have known we arrested the wrong person." Murder goes to primary school, so Jack and George descend on the elite institution, where Jack finds a girlfriend among the suspects.
* Episode 2.6 -- "You are the best undercover cop I've ever seen. You look like a real scumbag." A bungled bust is just one of the duo's misadventures as they pursue a diamond thief. Meanwhile, Jack is asked to be best man at his brother's wedding.
The dialogue on Vexed is often nasty -- there's crude sexual banter (especially when dealing with gender studies), not to mention the occasional f-bomb -- but other times it's witty and clever. Series 2 is an improvement over the first, with the writing and characterizations toned down somewhat.
Jack's still the dinosaur, with an unreliable old car, cheap tricks (such as using George's cookery) to win dates, an attitude toward authority, and a knack for saying the wrong thing. George is by-the-book (a lot of them), but somehow has a shoplifting rap in her past. Both of them have a habit of betting on cases, and both spend a lot of time alone. Despite their faults, Jack and George grow on you. Somewhere in there, there's a murder mystery.
Presented in standard def 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen with Dolby 2.0 Stereo audio, the English and Irish location shoots offer fantastic outdoor vistas. The lone bonus feature is a behind-the-scenes photo gallery showing the cast and crew at work.
If you're looking for a cozy mystery or procedural, Vexed isn't it. It's loud and rude, even when developing a bit of personality at the center.
Sometimes, I find it entertaining. Other times, it's just plain obnoxious. Which makes rendering a verdict rather...well, vexing. Fortunately, Vexed is on Hulu, so if you're interested, you can sample before you buy.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Acorn Media
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 365 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Image Gallery