We are nearing a year since the long-awaited Christmas special that graced everyone’s screens last festive season. For me, many Christmas specials are off my radar with the once treasured Doctor Who and Eastenders now taking a firm back seat.
But, when the Gavin and Stacey Christmas special arrived last year, I thought this was finally it – finally we will find out about the infamous fishing trip. After a disappointing 63 minutes of forced comedy, the special fell flat – don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed it, but I was happy for it to be over. The end. Fin.
However, when Larry Lamb (Mick) made a statement back in May that this was not the end, I completely lost the plot. He said, “I think it would be pretty cruel to leave us on that cliffhanger,” referring to *spoiler alert* Ruth Jones’ (Nessa) proposal to James Cordon (Smithy). Really? After a promise of hope for the star-crossed lovers, I am telling you now – Gavin and Stacey needs to put to bed.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Gavin and Stacey
Gavin and Stacey is probably my most watched and loved program. I have watched every episodes at least 15 times, with the good old 2008 Christmas special hitting a whopping 30 re-watches (the best episode, in my humble opinion).
I love the series for the humour, of course. Its subtlety still makes me laugh. The quick whips from Mick and the ‘in your face’ nature of Bryn and Pam. What does “WWW.” stand for? Whiskey with water, obviously.
This series is littered with questions and that’s what makes it genius. How we never meet Smithy’s girlfriend, how we never really know what happened on that fishing trip. How Nessa has managed to live an insanely crazy life at only the age of… how old is she? Honestly, why did she have an affair with Richard from Richard and Judy? What’s occurring? Who knows.
But it’s these questions and the sporadic nature of the show that makes me love it; how in 9 months (which is about the time frame for season one) a group of people can form albeit disjointed but charming relationships. In 9 episodes I am pushed to crying with laughter and I can’t help but ask myself – what’s going on in between? Because really, is that it?
It is the lack of questions and ambiguity that made last years Christmas special so disappointing. A repetition of old jokes and a few dry new ones, the episode fell short of the previously loved seasons, and this is why Jones and Cordon should quit while they’re ahead and hold off on a new season.
Season 4? I am just not sure
It must be hard to refrain; to say goodbye to the characters that not only writers Cordon and Jones cherish but an entire nation. It is a difficult decision, but should one be considered? Joy Division only have two albums, Fawlty Towers capped it at two seasons and thankfully, there has never been a sequel to Love Actually. Consider the confusion and lacking popularity of the Fantastic Beasts films have in comparison to Harry Potter – not a trend you want to find yourself following.
So, a season 4? A new era with bright shiny cameras and actors with now hefty, multimillion-dollar careers and maybe even different personalities. Can these people actually be the same person 10 years later? I tell you this, it’s not that they don’t age well, it’s that they don’t age at all.
At points, there’s redeemability
The Christmas special was a flurry of the same jokes. Jokes that were once subtle nods are now slap bang hitting you in the face. Even now I can say, with confidence, what a rolled steel joist is. Despite this predictability, the show is now a place to show that they’re no longer laughing at each other, they’re laughing with each other. And this, I liked.
No more Gavin cringing in his seat whilst he’s talking to Bryn and no dodgy looks from anyone when Nessa says something untoward. A family that has been forged from two very different parts of the country, it was humbling to see a once unconventional group of people now reside in their unconventional harmony. Polar opposites, existing in peace.
Low and behold we also saw the same kind of questions. Apparently, they’re not getting a KFC but then they arrive back with a KFC. If that was a metaphor for the entire programme it is spot on. How do the dots connect? I don’t know and I don’t bloody care.
Yet, a few Cinzano’s and a bottle of mint baileys later, after the 63 minutes of nostalgia and the long-awaited meeting of Smithy’s girlfriend, I was happy for it to end there and a year later, I haven’t watched it since. Truth is, it has run its course and just like Basil Fawlty, Gavin and Stacey can hang up their hats with dignity.