Did we like it?
We won’t lie to you – truth be told, the return of this Essex/Wales sitcom is as welcome as a Grand Slam to a Welsh rugby fan. And fair play, at the end of the day, the writers and cast have managed to keep the quality of this second series as high as the first. We loves it. Tidy.
What was good about it?
• A great cast, without a weak link in it, does full justice to Ruth Jones and James Corden’s wry, touching and sweetly romantic script. Special mentions to Corden and Jones as Smithy and Nessa, and especially Alison Steadman as Gav’s mum Pamela, and Rob Brydon as Stacey’s uncle Bryn.
• Keeping in touch by CB radio on their journey to Essex, we loved Nessa’s CB handle – Robert Mugabe; and Bryn’s – Dame Judi Dench.
• As scriptwriters, it’s only fair that Nessa and Smithy get the best lines. After Nessa reveals she spent time roadie-ing for The Who, “Great days. Until I found out something about Pete Townshend that I didn’t like. And all I’ll say is – and I said it to his face – Where’s the book?”
• Ruth Jones has absolutely nailed the Barry accent. “Orrigh? Since when has a great rack and an open mind not been a man’s type?”
• Smithy’s behaviour towards Gavin and Stacey is like a small child who has seen a newborn baby steal his mother’s attention: “Can we all stop calling it a honeymoon? It’s just a holiday!”
• Nessa’s main gripes with Smithy – “He’s vile. And he’s English!” When Stacey accuses her of racism, Nessa replies, “It’s not racism – it’s xenophobia!”
• Pam’s friend Dawn, having seen an internet-found candidate for a threesome walk out on her and Pete, is distraught. “He said he couldn’t go through with it, as our photograph was not representative of us. Ok, it was an old photo, but have I really changed that much in 15 years?”
What was bad about it?
• Nothing. This is a wonderfully observed, sweet comedy populated by great characters with a lot of depth and more than it’s fair share of laugh out loud lines.
Aired: Sunday 16 March 2008