gavinGavin & Stacey: Season One (2009, BBC Video)
purchase from Amazon: DVD

For those of you who a enjoy a great romantic comedy, you can’t do any better than the BBC’s irresistible TV series, Gavin & Stacey. The six-episode first season of this gem from overseas is now available on a single DVD through BBC Video. Created by James Corden and Ruth Jones, the first season, which aired in the U.S. on BBC America, explores the bliss and hijinks of a whirlwind romance between Gavin (Mathew Horne), a good-natured, 26-year-old only child living in Essex, England and Stacey (the adorable Joanna Page), a 26-year-old woman living in Barry, Wales. They meet through work, via the telephone. After months of flirting yet never having met, they arrange a date. Each brings along their best friend. Gavin’s is the lovable, sometimes overbearing, often crude “Smithy” (Corden); Stacey’s is the worldly, goth “Nessa” (played with biting sarcasm by Jones). It’s love at first sight for Gavin and Stacey and before you know it, Gavin has asked Stacey to marry him and wedding plans are being made.

While it may seem implausible to some of you that two strangers can fall in love at first sight and get married nine weeks later, the premise is actually based on what happened to Corden’s real-life childhood friend. Corden and Jones sought to capture how two people in love become the glue that brings together a new group of people, an extending their families. Together, these gifted writers have created a real, funny, charming show about family and falling in love.

Gavin lives at home with his parents, Mick (Larry Lamb) and Pam (Alison Steadman). Mick is just good all around guy: devoted husband and loving dad. Pam (played hilariously by Steadman) is as doting and protective as we all hope our own moms would be. Stacey’s home life consists of her harried mother, Gwen (Melanie Waters) and her closeted uncle Bryn (Rob Brydon), a simple man who gets excited about trivial things. Popping up in the fifth episode is Stacey’s brother, Jason (Robert Wilfort).

Horne and Page play each scene with such conviction and sweetness that you can’t help but root for them. But don’t worry; even though Gavin and Stacey are sweet and lovable, Smithy and Nessa counterbalance everything with their brashness. As the behind-the-scenes footage on the DVD indicates, all of the actors became closer as the series progressed. Their comfort with, and affection for, each other truly comes through on camera and makes each episode sparkle.

Every episode was written by Corden and Jones and directed with lightness by Christine Gernon, giving the entire first season consistency and steadiness. At just six episodes, you’ll be left wanting for more after the hilarious and poignant wedding episode finale. I’m sure that season two is right around the corner and I can’t wait. Bonus features on this collection include a fun featurette on how the show came together, including lively interviews with the entire main cast. There are also outtakes and commentaries by Jones, Corden and Gernon.

About the Author

Scott Malchus

Scott Malchus is a writer, filmmaker and die hard Cleveland Indians fan. His memoir, “Basement Songs,” is available in paperback and Kindle. He wrote and directed the film “King's Highway." His family is heavily involved in fund raising to find a cure for cystic fibrosis. Scott Malchus is an employee of Cartoon Network and Turner Broadcasting. The opinions expressed on Popdose are his own and do not reflect those of his employer. Email: Malchus@popdose.com. Follow him @MrMalchus

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