40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Worth the wait- it shone like a Christmassy star!,
This review is from: Gavin & Stacey - Christmas Special [DVD] (DVD)Christmas specials must be hard to live up to after the runaway success of two brilliant series. However, James Corden and Ruth Jones have pulled it off. Every character gets great lines, with the writers showing a complete lack of vanity and letting everyone shine.
Highlights include Nessa as Santa ("Oh Oh Oh!"), Dave Coaches stopping at an arcade to play a driving game to "have a break from all the driving", Uncle Bryn's astonishment and delight at Mint Baileys, Gavin's Dad asking when Eastenders was on (Larry Lamb is of course, Archie Mitchell in Eastenders at the moment), the whole room breaking into Frank Butcher impressions, Nessa giving everybody a single Cadburys celebration for Christmas, Stacey and Ness asking if Russell Brand gives them a mention in "Booky Wook" (Gavin's face is a picture), Mick's comedy ears whilst in bed with Pamela...the list is endless.
With a total lack of sentimental music or canned laughter, the comedy is actually stronger for its subtlety and we have already watched it four times and found new stuff to laugh at.
However, with all good comedies, there is a heart at the centre of it, and with just a few awkward silences and uncharacteristic speechlessness from Smithy, the pain of watching another man raise his child is all too poignant. Ruth Jones plays Nessa with integrity too, despite her hard edges, and can do more with those expressive black rimmed eyes than pages of a script could in lesser hands. You get the feeling Nessa can see right into Smithy.
All in, every Christmas ingredient is here: the drunkenness, the rows, the turkey recipe, the banter, the silly hats, the family announcements, and damn it, they even end with a song, in a way that makes it heartwarming rather than forced.
A lot of loose ends are thrown up and there's plenty here for a new series. I believe Ruth and James have finally been persuaded and as a fan, I am happy it's in such reliable hands.