TV review: Gavin and Stacey

I don’t think I would have ever gotten around to watching this show if it weren’t for this blog post.  Netflix kept suggesting it to me, because Netflix knows all about my love of British TV, but the cover of the DVDs

makes it look a lot like a weird version of Friends, and I was flashing back to that horrible American version of Coupling for some reason. I just wasn’t into it.

I’m so glad I gave it a try though, because I really enjoyed the entire series.  There are three seasons and a Christmas special, though strangely the special comes before the third season.

The story is about the eponymous Gavin and Stacey, initially, but it expands to include the lives of their entire extended families and close friends, particularly Gavin’s bff Smithy and Stacey’s bff Nessa.  Gavin and Stacey meet online and start to fall in love, and the show begins with them finally meeting in person.  Gavin brings Smithy and Stacey brings Nessa. The four of them get very drunk and the two couples sort of go their separate ways and hook up.  Smithy and Nessa are played by James Corden and Ruth Jones, who created the series.  Gavin is played by the adorable Matthew Horne (who has been in a lot of stuff I’ve never seen), and Stacey is played by Joanna Page, who was Judy (the naked girl with Martin Freeman) in Love Actually.

Things with Gavin and Stacey progress quickly, and they are engaged in a few episodes’ time. Nessa and Smithy have an off-again on-again thing for the rest of the series. We meet Gavin’s family, his mom Pamela and his dad Mick. These two are awesome, especially Mick.  We also meet Stacey’s family, her mom Gwen (who cooks omelets in every episode) and her uncle Bryn (played by the adorable Rob Brydon, who I now love despite finding him annoying in The Trip), who spends the rest of the series making you wonder about his sexuality.

I think if I met a lot of these characters in real life, or if they were presented differently on the show, I wouldn’t like them very much.  Almost all of them smoke (which I hate) and they litter their cigarette butts (which I hate even more). Smithy parks in handicap spots and Nessa is incredibly selfish. Pamela is vapid and occasionally horribly racist.  Or xenophobic, I guess.  Bryn is…hopelessly out of touch.

But the way the show presents them, and the way they interact with each other is so lovely and makes you care and appreciate and enjoy each one of the characters and their relationships.  I really enjoyed this show and it gave me a warm fuzzy feeling a lot of the time. It was also very funny. There were tons of weird colloquial slang words that I have already started to use, and the Welsh accents are fun.

Favorite moments include Gavin’s bachelor party (with annoying appearances by Russell Tovey), Bryn explaining how to use the internet to Gavin, and Pam pretending to be a vegetarian for most of the show.

Unfortunately this show isn’t on Netflix instant, so I can’t re-watch like I did with The IT Crowd. I may have to buy the DVDs for this one.  I highly recommend this show, and plan on watching anything else James Corden or Ruth Jones (Smithy and Nessa) work on in the future.

2 responses to “TV review: Gavin and Stacey

  1. I was wondering where you saw it, ’cause I hadn’t seen this on Netflix instant and now you’ve gone and made me want to actually watch the damn thing and I can’t!!!

    ROB BRYDONNNN! Annoying in The Trip? Of what speaketh thou? The impersonations, obviously, were meant to be trying (on both of their parts), but the little asides where it showed his interplay with his wife and his happiness at home were extremely charming.
    I haven’t watched all of Tristram Shandy, but at the very beginning there is this great bit with him (and Coogan) discussing his teeth and how they aren’t really WHITE but he wouldn’t call them yellow…how they are just a nice color, the sort of color you would paint a baby’s nursery. HAHAHA!

    Also, have you seen Mirrormask? Love him as the dad with a dream and a circus!

  2. It’s on Netflix, but not on Instant, the bastards. I had to wait for all the DVDs to come in the mail.

    Okay, well the Trip is the only thing I had ever seen him in and he struck me as one of those guys who always tries to get other people to laugh at him, and needs constant attention. I hate those guys. The parts with his wife were less annoying, but on the other hand it seemed like those moments were more or less used to rub it in Steve’s nose that he didn’t have a family & etc. But I really loved him in G&S because he wasn’t all ‘Look at me, I’m hilarious and talking very loudly’, but was actually playing a character. So I’m hesitant to see Tristam Shandy because it will probably be more of him being a loud version of himself. Never heard of Mirrormask! Is it a movie?

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