On Christmas Day, nearly a whole decade of anticipation came to an end as one of the most beloved British comedies of all time returned to our television screens for a one-hour festive special. Suffice to say that the bar was set incredibly high this time around, after 3 previous seasons of iconic scenes viewers were understandably yearning to see what Gavin, Stacey and the rest of the gang were up to all these years later.

The episode picks up several years after we last saw the loved-up titular couple on the cusp of starting a new family. Gavin and Stacey have 3 children of their own and are going through a rough patch in their marriage, having moved to Barry Island. It’s no secret that these two have blended into the background throughout the years, yet if anything, this episode served to remind viewers as to why the worlds of Barry Island and Essex collided in the first place; the loving relationship of Gavin and Stacey, pulled wonderfully back into the spotlight just in time for Christmas.

It’s no exaggeration to say that the cast are all on fine form in this Christmas special, specifically fan favourites Nessa and Smithy (played by comedy stalwarts Ruth Jones and James Corden, also the writing duo behind this show). The uproarious comedic timing of the duo has always been a pleasure to watch, but it is especially impressive after such a long hiatus. Fan service was clearly high on the priorities of Jones and Corden, as lesser characters Dawn and Pete make their own memorable cameo followed by a short but sweet on-screen tribute to arguably the greatest neighbour in Wales: Doris (the actress, Margret John, passed away in 2011).

Although dripping with nostalgia, the first half of the episode lacked the priceless moments that made this show so enjoyable to watch. Then again, the decade-long hiatus left many gaps to be filled in such a short amount of time, therefore the intricate detailing of each characters’ lives displayed here is a testament to the talents of Jones and Corden.

However sweet and sentimental catching-up with the cast may have been, it’s not unfair to assert that many people tuned in to finally get some closure on some unanswered questions, namely that dreaded fishing trip. After all, this is the show which gave viewers some of the most nerve inducing cliffhangers of the 2000s, and this episode does not disappoint when it comes to big shockers. 

There are some who argue that the episode was rushed and frustrating, but for long-time fans, not only is this a satisfying addition to the canon of this heartwarming show but it’s also the greatest hint so far that Gavin & Stacey is not fading from our memories any time soon…

And with THAT ending, we can only hope we’ll be seeing a season 4 of Gavin & Stacey soon.

4 stars

Image: Movie DB

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