A perfect Hollywood ending for Gavin & Stacey? I’d rather have ambiguity on the small screen

A move from Barry to the big-screen should be off the table, says Helen Daly

Gavin & Stacey

It’s recently been suggested by Mick Shipman himself, Larry Lamb, that a Gavin & Stacey movie could be the way to go in order to continue the series.

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He pitched that creators James Corden and Ruth Jones are “big enough stars” to carry the weight of Hollywood on their shoulders – but is a leap to the big screen really the right thing for the hit sitcom?

Over Christmas, Gavin & Stacey broke ratings records by scoring over 17 million viewers for their highly anticipated special.

It was an infuriatingly brilliant affair which saw us return to Billericay and Barry for the festive period to see what our favourite families were up to, then all collectively scream in outrage when Nessa (Jones) proposed to Smithy (Corden) and we didn’t get the all-important yes or no.

We all fully expecting there to be more Gavin & Stacey, it’s just a case of when – but I certainly didn’t expect to be discussing how.

We’re all aware of that old cliché that romantic comedies should have a happy, unambiguous ending, but the EastEnders’ style duff-duffs at the end of Gavin & Stacey are there for a reason – they make you tune in next time.

Even the theme tune that plays directly at the end of each instalment insists: “Tell me tomorrow, I’ll wait by the window for you.” Since Christmas, we’ve all quite literally been waiting for a glimmer of hope there will be more, even if it’s not quite tomorrow.

We shouldn’t ever expect Jones and Corden to tie Gavin & Stacey up in a neat Hollywood-style bow, because that’s just not the point of it. The popularity of the sitcom came about when people could identify members of their family in the Wests and Shipmans. They might not be as extreme, but we all know our own version of Nessa, who has so many outrgaeous stories we can’t actually keep up with them (let alone believe them).

Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special 2019

The Christmas Day special was event television because we were catching up on old pals of the family we haven’t seen in years. There have been new additions to the family, new relationships but moreover, a return to essentially the same people we’ve always known.

Picking up where we left off is a particular skill of Gavin & Stacey’s that just couldn’t really be captured on film. If they left the movie with a cliffhanger, we’d have to have a franchise, when really, we could just keep it simple with TV specials or the Holy Grail: an entire new season.

Of course, it’s tempting to want more from our cross-country bunch, but not at the expense of what makes it so special in the first place.

Introduce Hollywood, and all of that small-town charm is lost. And if we lose that, we lose the very essence of Gavin & Stacey.

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