GAVIN AND STACEY always lures me back to TV!* I hadn’t watched TV (well, Netflix or ABC iView) for ages. Yes, I know it’s the “golden age” of TV, blah, blah, blah...but part of that golden-ness is what makes a lot of TV so boring these days. Whenever there’s a new show that people are binge-watching, I know that it’s probably a) full of lingering shots of teens crying while there’s bokeh lighting in the background, b) ridiculously violent and scary, c) continuous elf/minotaur/robot sex scenes, or d) all of the above. TV has just been too bland and same-y in its drama and supernatural weirdness.
The GAVIN & STACEY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL (2019) was ironically refreshing in that it’s an old-fashioned sitcom. Watching it felt like catching up with old mates at a favourite pub.
GAVIN & STACEY first aired in 2007, and was about an Essex boy falling in love with a Welsh girl, and the hilarity that ensues when their worlds collide. The new Christmas special is the first glimpse we’ve had of Gavin, Stacey and the gang for a decade. And it was worth the wait.
The magic of GAVIN & STACEY was its affectionate and down-to-earth writing, and the casting. Who could resist Alison Steadman (Mrs Bennet from the BBC’s PRIDE AND PREJUDICE - yes, the Colin Firth version) as a chatty Essex mum, or Rob Brydon as the hapless Uncle Bryn, or my favourite iteration of James Corden as the gross and chummy Smithy? Everyone in the show is warm and brilliant. Nessa (Ruth Jones) steals the show as always, with her bizarre allure. Tidy.
There’s jokes both old and new in the latest Christmas special, which you can watch on ABC iView in Australia. There’s touching moments and silliness. But best of all, when I sat down to watch GAVIN AND STACEY again, I felt like maybe I would be okay. Which is quite an amazing feat, considering the disastrous summer us Aussies have experienced. This show is a balm for the soul, and I suggest you apply it generously. *GAVIN AND STACEY was the show that led me down the dark path of TV streaming. I couldn’t find the DVD of the final season anywhere, and knew it was on a streaming platform, so I signed up. And now I can’t imagine life without Netflix! 😱