He’s played everything from a wise and powerful wizard to a metal-controlling mutant, but now fans will get to see a very different side of Sir Ian McKellen as he stars alongside fellow actor Sir Derek Jacobi in the hysterical British sitcom Vicious . The series — which will make its official U.S. debut starting at 10:30 p.m. June 29 on PBS — follows the lives of elderly gay couple Freddie (McKellen) and Stuart (Jacobi) who have been living together for roughly 50 years… for better and for worse. So as you can probably imagine, a massive amount of hilarity ensues. In fact, Vicious is already renewed for a second season, which bodes well for the quality of the show.
But that’s to be expected when you’ve got the likes of McKellen in your casting line-up. (The guy’s pretty much a blockbuster goldmine, after all.) And though the general premise of the show seems interesting enough, we’d be lying if we said McKellen wasn’t the biggest draw.
For starters, it’s always exciting to see movie stars trade in their box office lifestyle for a bit of small screen action — just look at the cast of FX’s Fargo — which makes McKellen’s involvement all the more interesting. Of course, the actor’s reputation pretty much speaks for itself, but just in case you need a few more reasons to tune in for some of that McKellen magic, here are a few things to keep in mind.
His Words Are Pure Gold
Sure, he’s got a magical staff in Lord of the Rings, but, let’s be honest, Gandalf’s greatest strength has always been his power of persuasion. In other words, that wizard is one smooth talker. So if McKellen can make battling Orcs and trekking into dangerous forests sound like good ideas, just imagine what he can do in a sitcom setting. Plus, let’s face it, we’d pretty much follow this guy anywhere.
He Knows How To Command A Room
McKellen has proven he is more than capable of taking charge of a situation… no matter how dire things may seem. Granted, he probably won’t be slaying any monsters in this British sitcom, but odds are he’ll still have us glued to our TV screens right up until the closing credits.
He Asks The Deep Questions
Whether you realize it or not, dude knows how to make you seriously ponder your life choices. If he wasn’t such an amazing actor, we bet he’d make a great therapist.
His Flattery Knows No Bounds
Oh Magneto, we bet you say that to all the mutant girls.
Let’s be real — Americans love the Brits. We can’t get enough of them. The accents… the charm… it’s all so spot on. Just look at how well British shows do in the ratings department. So why should we expect Vicious to be any different? Also, is it too soon to ask for a Downton Abbey-Vicious crossover?
He Can Bring The Funny
As proven by McKellen’s spot-on Maggie Smith impression during a 2002 SNL skit, this actor knows how to pull off comedic timing with the best of them. Just try not to laugh at this. We dare you.
But Most Importantly, He Excels In The Bromance Department
McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart have been making us fall in love with their friendship for years. So even though Jacobi has some mighty big shoes to fill, we know we're going to have no problem shipping these two lovebirds. Nothing beats a good British bromance.
And to see McKellen in action, check out the Vicious trailer below: