After a big shake-up in series 4, thankfully life at the Solana has settled down somewhat for the fifth series of episodes.
Most of the usual faces are back for the standard fun in the sun antics we've come to expect in previous years. The Garvey family continue to lead the cast with their on going dilemas and squabbles. Actor Steve Pemberton is absent in episode one & most of episode two (owing to his filming commitments in Whitechapel) and this is nicely blemished into the story to present the family with a 'cliffhanger' at the end of the series.
Donald and Jacqueline continue their sexual antics with the usual charm. Sadly the characters of Gavin and Doreen appear to be what I would describe as 'loose end redundant' characters who don't have anything to do and it's as if the writers have run out of mileage for their characters particularly as their holiday 'partners' are absent. Its a shame as the actors are still making the most of their parts with little to use.
Father and son team, Les & Liam seem more at home this series than the year before and Mateo continues to get some brilliant scenes (not least the dance off in episode two with guest star Matthew Kelly). The over-weight Sam who arrived in series four has a new holiday companion this time round in the form of firey red haired Liverpool lass Trudy - a 30/40 year old something who spends most of the series snarling (and headbutting!) at the men and pretending she is a teenager in the sun!
Probably the two strongest characters this year are Tony Maudsley's Kenneth - who really comes into his own after spending the previous year as Gavin's new holiday companion and the other new star character is played by actress Sherrie Hewson who shakes up the Solana as the hotel's new no-nonsence manager Joyce Temple-Savage (who may as well be a reprisal of the receptionist Hewson played in the revamped Crossroads ten years ago!).
The show seems to plod along at a steady pace with the usual enjoyable scripts.
Whether a sixth series will grace us is yet to be seen, but having watched this series recently I cannot see why the Solana should close it's doors just yet!