BBC America comedy will get smiles
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BBC America's "Gavin & Stacey" (8:40 p.m. Tuesday) is the British equivalent of an American, single-camera laugh-track-free comedy series. It's amusing and knowing and will make some viewers smile, but it probably won't provoke gales of laughter. And that's fine. It's still more clever than most single-camera comedies ABC has put on the air in recent years.
Gavin (Mathew Horne) and Stacey (Joanna Page) have been chatting by phone for the past six months from their respective workplaces. As the series begins, Stacey makes the trip from Barry Island, Wales, to London to meet Gavin for the first time. She brings along her brutish, overweight best friend Nessa (series co-creator Ruth Jones) and Gavin brings his tubby best friend, Smithy (series co-creator James Corden).
It's love at first sight for Gavin and Stacey, but Smithy initially rejects Nessa ("Look at the size of it," he declares). That doesn't last long.
"Gavin & Stacey" wisely balances its cute central couple with additional oddball supporting players, including Gavin's worrying mother (Alison Steadman) and Stacey's meddling uncle (Rob Brydon). But they're odd in a realistic, all-families-are-weird way, not a sitcomy way. And that makes all the difference in the world.
First Published August 24, 2008 12:00 am