Benidorm - Series 5 
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Benidorm’s favourite holiday-makers are back on their sun-loungers for another fun-packed season at the all-inclusive Solana Hotel. This year, new manageress Joyce Temple-Savage (Sherrie Hewson) is determined to bring a touch of class to the resort – but she hasn’t quite anticipated the staff, or the guests!
Kenneth has set up a new salon, Blow ‘n’ Go; Madge has a near-miss with some body-snatchers; Donald and Jacqueline are trying ever-more adventurous ways of making new friends; Mateo enters a dance competition and Liam gets out of his depth with an all-female Olympic swimming team.
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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!
Also, gay Kenneth seems more fun this time round, but sadly Gavin, once king of the one-liners, is still off his top form. The Garveys are the same as ever, but I felt the world's most unabashed swingers, Donald and Jacqueline, really shone through this time. That pair are inspired casting and make us laugh just looking at them, and when they open their mouths it just gets better.
Only seven episodes, but well worth the money.
One noticable difference though is that the show seems to have undergone a deliberate change of gear. Focusing more on keeping the viewer smiling throughout the 45-50 min episodes rather than going for the big belly laugh all the time. Not that we're short of a few of those! Check out our favourite swingers Donald and Jacqueline being electrocuted in the swimming pool!!
All in all, a real return to form and long may Benidorm continue. Viva Espania!!
I think that the script writers have a job on thinking up new story lines when most of the action is centralised around the hotel and the normal cost.
Five Stars ***** because it is "Still good for a laugh!".