Monday, 17 March 2008

Gavin and Stacey

Last night saw the welcome return of Gavin and Stacey to BBC3 (although how many awards do you have to win to get put on one of the two main channels these days?). There are several reasons why this programme is brilliant. Firstly and most importantly it is funny. Genuinely laugh-out-loud funny (So that having got a baby off to sleep just before it started I had to try and limit my volume resulting in a kind of Muttley-style wheeze). It sits somewhere between your standard sitcom (minus the canned laughter) and the cringing comedy of recent years (minus Ricky Gervais). None of the characters feel caricatured and even Rob Brydon and Alison Steadman who can grate a little at times are both brilliant. But it also has heart, not simply between Gavin and Stacey themselves but in the development between Nessa and Smithy we have an affecting relationship to rival those you might expect to find in any drama. Ruth Jones and James Corden have not only written the funniest programme on TV at the moment, they're stealing some of the best lines. But the real strength of the show is that there aren't any weak links, it's real ensemble stuff. I just worry what might happen if the Americans get their hands on it.


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