Gavin is an ordinary boy from England, Stacey is an ordinary girl from Wales. They speak every day on the phone at work, and yet they’ve never met… until now. But when Gavin and Stacey finally meet and their ordinary worlds come together, we see, through their families, their friends and their differences, that there’s no such thing as ‘ordinary’ after all.
Read my review of the DVD after the jump.
Gavin & Stacey: Season One
Available To Own On (click to purchase): DVD
Also Available For Download (click to purchase): iTunes in Standard Definition and High Definition
Official Site Link: www.bbcamericashop.com
Release Date: May 5, 2009
The plot of the first season of Gavin and Stacey is simple enough, the two leads, Gavin and Stacey, have spoken on the phone for the last six months through their respective jobs before deciding to meet. It’s love at first sight and over the course of the six-episode season the two — and their families — grow closer together.
Most British-based television I’ve seen is very different from what we’re used to seeing here in the states, especially comedies, and on that front Gavin & Stacey is no different. First off, you’d be hard-pressed to see “comedy” of this sort on American television (it’s more drama, than comedy and flat-out LOL moments are few and far between) but as a show, it’s solid. Funny, but not hilarious is how I’d put it. But regardless of that, there’s a nice charm to the show that becomes more apparent as you make your way through the season.
In the end I can safely say that the key to the show is its characters, helped along with terrific writing by James Corden and Ruth Jones — who also happen to star in the show as Smithy and Nessa — best friends to the show’s lead characters Gavin (Mathew Horne) and Stacey (Alison Steadman). The actors couldn’t have been more well cast. Horne and Steadman play their characters perfectly, while they’re on-screen friends provide an interesting counter.
In addition to those main characters, others include Stacey’s Uncle Bryn, her mother Gwen and brother Jason and on Gavin’s side, his mother and father Mick and Pam. All the characters are serviced well and get plenty of time to shine.
The six, roughly 30-minute, episodes move by briskly and there are a few plot elements that are set up to be explored in season two, specifically [Spoilers–highlight to view] Nessa pregnant with Smithy’s baby and the yet-to-be revealed situation behind the rift between Uncle Bryn and Stacey’s brother Jason.
Featurette: How It Happened (25-minutes)
This is a fairly straight-forward featurette about the creation of the show featuring interviews with the cast and crew, mostly the lead stars Mathew Horne and Alison Steadman and stars/writers James Corden and Ruth Jones.
Corden and Jones are very interesting to watch and you get a great sense at the obvious chemistry between the show’s two main stars Horne and Steadman. If you only watch one of the set’s special features, make it this one. It gives you a great overview of the how/what/why of the show.
Just your run-of-the-mill outtakes blurb. The miscues presented aren’t as funny as most outtakes I’ve seen.
Behind the Scenes In Leicester Square (3-minutes)
According to the special feature, this short segment was posted on YouTube during the filming of the series. The title is pretty much self-exclamatory, as it features the cast and crew being filmed while shooting their scenes for the series (they’re on episode two at this point). There are a few anecdotes in terms of some of the cast being recognized by the crowd and some acting tips and what-not, but nothing major.
There are three audio commentaries on the set. All three commentaries feature stars/writers Ruth Jones and James Corden, along with director Christine Gernon. The tracks are not too informative and are mostly dominated by the two writers/stars, with very little input from director Christine Gernon, but nonetheless they’re a solid addition to the sets supplemental package. The commentaries are attached to “Episode 1″, “Episode 3″ and “Episode 6″.
It took me a few episodes to really get into the show, but the strong characters drew me in. The casting is spot-on, the character development strong and the pace and story telling engaging. It’s not perfect, but it grows on you and is well worth the six-episode viewing. I give this series and DVD a score of 4/5,