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Taking a gamble, putting yourself out there, and putting hope in the universe that the potential romantic pairing will work out for the best.In coming to London in that first episode, Stacey does what all of us have done at some stage by putting her love life in the hands of fate.One of the show’s biggest strengths is that its title characters aren’t wacky weirdos played for cheap laughs.Gavin is one of the straight men of the ensemble, with Matthew Horne giving a level-headed and reliable everyman performance.The show opens with a snapshot of ordinary existence: Gavin Shipman and Stacey West, both trudging through their boring office jobs with desks, phones and computers.I’ve rewatched all 20 episodes in the last few weeks, and I still couldn’t tell you what they actually do for a living.After all, lots of shows have nice ideas and good actors, but very few of them ignite the nation’s interest to such a degree that two characters get to make a number one single with Tom Jones, while another gets to coach the England football team in a Comic Relief sketch.
Enter Smithy and Nessa, the unenthusiastic chums who are dragged reluctantly along to provide back-up should the date go awry.She’s an ordinary likeable lass, with flaws and fears, layed wonderfully by Joanna Page.These two well-balanced-compared-to-the-rest-of-them protagonists provide ciphers for the viewers.Regardless of your gender, in most episodes you’ll probably find something to relate to in Gavin and/or Stacey.
The wackier behaviour is left to supporting characters like Smithy and Nessa, portrayed by James Corden and Ruth Jones respectively, who also wrote the show.
In creating these characters for themselves, Corden and Jones fashioned a bottomless pit of comedic potential. Smithy is the iconic lad’s best mate: he has a nickname for everything and everyone, is constantly turning up unannounced at his mate’s parents’ house, and has a soft side that he’d like to think is hidden (but really isn’t).