Thursday, 26 November 2009

What's Occuring?


I love Gav'n'Stace. I love the menagerie of characters as if they were my own eccentric kin, I love the witty script, the spot-on regional stereotyping and most of all I love the fact that underneath the bizarre comedy there is real, unmistakable heart.

I got into series one quite late, only this year, and it took me a couple of episodes to get into it. I read an interview with Alison Steadman the other day where she described reading the script for the pilot and being won over by a moment where Pam has been upset by badgers crying on the TV. When Gavin questions whether they were really crying, she simply says 'I know what I saw.' I think we all know that woman.

If you've ever lived in Wales or even popped over for a rugby match, you'll also know a Nessa. And a Stacey. And definitely, definitely a Bryn. Bryn is possibly the purest amount of Welshness you could vacuum-pack into one character. I love his slightly-behind-the-zeitgeist jokes that quickly back up into seriousness (today, the Apprentice: 'Gav - you're fired! I'm only joking I am, I don't have that kind of power.') James Corden as the kind of bloke I'd hate in real life still manages to make Smithy loveable, an unbelievable feat.

Having spent three years in Cardiff, their shift of location from Essex to Wales actually made me long for that easy Welsh charm; London with all its buzz and glitz is still a very isolated place at times. Nothing is more important than a commuter getting that train on time, no time for pleasantries. I loved the un-PC endearment 'lovely', although it took some getting used to. Working in a bar with brassy, loud Welsh girls who gave as good as they got with the rowdier customers made me feel like the most uptight Surrey specimen in the world, but I really enjoyed it.

I adored the nightlife and the lack of posing - cheesy music and body con dresses are as important a part of a Cardiff night out as chips on the way home. There is no underdone, relaxed boho chic; Welsh girls go all out with big hair, big heels and fake lashes. Absolutely fine by me, why should we agonise over whether our look is too much? If you want to wear a sparkly dress, wear it.

If you haven't got into Gavin and Stacey yet, beg borrow or steal series one to get a feel for it. It seems like small snapshots of unremarkable lives in some ways, but it's the real things in life - relationships, arguments, humour, human eccentricity - that make this golden, heartwarming, must-see TV.

1 comment: