TV REVIEW: Gavin & Stacey – Season 1

The O household has felt a bit plaguey of late. All three O’s have been struck down with varying levels of flu, which has left us a bit flat. It’s also meant that concentration levels have been low and we’ve been looking for some comforting, low energy viewing for the brief hour or so we’ve managed to stay awake past dinner. This lead us to revisiting one of our favourite late noughties sitcoms, Gavin & Stacey.

After speaking on the phone for six months for work, Essex boy Gavin (Mathew Horne) and Barry Island native, Stacey (Joanna Page) decide to meet and see if the spark is there in person. While Gavin’s devoted best mate, Smithy (James Corden) and Stacey’s larger than life pal, Nessa (Ruth Corden) who are in tow for the ride are repulsed by each other at first sight, the same cannot be said for the two lovers. An immediate bond is formed that will change their lives and the lives of their families forever.

There is a lot to love about Gavin & Stacey. The relationship between the two main characters themselves is charming and easy to get swept up in. What elevates it from being a fairly straight love story is the supporting characters.

Nessa has got to be one of my favourite characters of all time. The constant nods to her crazy past as well her her relentless body positivity and her refusal to take any shit from anybody are glorious. I generally cannot bear James Corden but he’s perfect playing the needy, man-child that is Smithy. Branching out further, I have fears that living in Essex is going to turn me into, Gavin’s overprotective mum, Pam (Alison Steadman) and I cannot help seeing my own dad in Stacey’s Uncle Bryn’s (Rob Brydon) fascination with the absolutely mundane. And I haven’t even gotten started yet on Stacey’s horny elderly neighbour, Doris (Margaret John) or Gavin’s parents’ best friends Dawn (Julia Davis) and Pete (Adrian Scarborough).

The show is written by Jones and Corden, which probably adds to its all around cheekiness and willingness to get a bit smutty. I also love the nod to how utterly polite British people are on the surface but how willing they are to throw down just below the veneer of decency.

If you like your comedy a little bit edgy, I would highly recommend Gavin & Stacey, especially if you like the kind of in-jokes like every character having the last name of a British serial killer.




  1. One of my favourites too. Like you, I thought Ruth Jones was first-class as Nessa, and enjoyed Brydon as the boring uncle, with those gay tendencies! 🙂
    I have loved Alison Steadman’s work for as long as I can remember, and she got the voice and persona of that Essex housewife so right.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. Never heard of it. Looks like fun to me.

    1. It’s an absolute riot.

  3. Rewatched it recently and knew you’d reviewed it. I love the way it starts. First epeisode is them actually meeting. And I knew you’d love Nessa. A total kick ass and sooo funny.

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