Give 'Gavin & Stacey' a Go Tonight


I’m following the N.Y. Times’s lead and recommending Gavin & Stacey tonight on BBC America. With reruns on Syfy Friday and elsewhere for the holiday weekend it’s a great time to give them a go.

If you haven’t watched the previous 2 short, Brit-style seasons or the Christmas special, not to worry: either you’ll catch up or be so intrigued with the characters here you’ll patiently wait for clues as to how this delightful couple got together and are currently living in Barry Island, Wales. Most of the best lines and bits belong to supporting characters Nessa (Ruth Jones) and Smithy (James Corden). That’s only right and just as those well-known British comic actors (you might remember Ruth as Magz, the owner of the naughty t-shirt shop in the mall in Steve Coogan’s Saxondale) are also the series writers and creators.

Gavin (Matthew Horne, whom you might know from The Catherine Tate Show) and Stacey (the delightful Joanna Pope, who played Candy Vivaldi in one of my all-time faves, Russell T Davies’s Swansea comedy Mine all Mine), more than hold their own in the center of the whirl.

If you have watched the show before, you might already be watching this season and are wondering why I am bothering to recommend a short series that already started on May 14 and will be showing its third episode tonight. Well, there are always reruns and BBC America on Demand.

If you’re a fan, you’ll probably agree with me that the acting and, most important, the writing have peaked with this series. Highlights being:

– The phone calls to Gavin from Stacey, Smithy, mom and dad on Gav’s first day in the new job, most coming while the boss is trying to help him get oriented.

– The hilarious rap duo Smithy and his sister, Rudi (Sheridan Smith), treat Gavin to, over the phone of course.

– The mock job interview Stacey gets from her “helpful” (in this case) mum, Gwen (Melanie Waters), and uncle Bryn (Rob Brydon). Video here: sorry about the Jaguar ad that comes before.

– The beer-and-curry night of binge proportions in episode 2. I still can’t figure out if half of what they are ordering even exists.

Find BBC America, preferably in HD, tonight from 9-9:40 and have more than a few laughs.