Frances de la Tour
Wickedly funny 'Vicious' revives British geriatric comedy
Wickedly funny 'Vicious' revives British geriatric comedy

"Vicious," which premieres Sunday on PBS for a six-episode run, is something of a throwback to an earlier age. It is to begin, a sitcom, which, though once a fund-raising-friendly staple of American public broadcasting, has retreated somewhat in favor of mysteries, literary adaptations and nature documentaries. And it belongs to another tradition, that of the British geriatric comedy, as represented by "One Foot in the Grave," "The Last of the Summer Wine," "As Time Goes By" and "Waiting for God." Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi, two men who have played both Hamlet and Lear, are the stars. In terms of history and prestige, this would be...