Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Princess of the Day: Nessa on Gavin and Stacey

If you're not familiar, Gavin and Stacey is a funny BBC America show about an adorable couple (he's British, she's Welsh) and their close-knit, super wacky friends and family. Gavin and Stacey are both sort of, whatever; they are likable and maybe too perfect to really get attached to. But the supporting characters are totally awesome and quirky. Today I would like to focus on Nessa, Stacey's best friend, who sports an excellent goth look, is matter-of-factly outspoken and has unshakable self-confidence. She is played by Ruth Jones, who seems to be in a lot of Masterpiece Theater productions as well.

I just love Nessa. The very sight of her cheers me, and every sentence she utters cracks me up. In the above scene from season three (which premieres May 14 at 9; set your DVR!), Nessa is chatting with some bouncers outside a club that she is entering for a girl's night. She has the obvious respect of these burly guys. Apparently, Nessa used to be a bouncer (!) and she offers help if any trouble comes up.

Nessa has a long, colorful history, and she is generous with tales of her exploits, sexual and otherwise. But she is not some snide hipster. She is good friends with Bryn, Stacey's dorky uncle. Basically, she treats everyone the same. Nessa is not to be crossed, but she is loyal.

Nessa is also hilariously self-centered. I'm not sure she's winning any mother of the year awards. Of her baby, she says: "He's always after something." That's how babies are. And I can relate. It's funny when she says it, though, because her fiance (who is not the baby's dad) does most of the child care.

Nessa eats with gusto and is clearly proud of her full figure, but it's not like she ever even mentions it. She just is hot, and knows it. In one scene she tries on some sexy black lingerie at a bridal show. "Oh, I'll take all of this," she declares. "But I don't need another whip!"

"You look wonderful," breathes the respectable-looking older saleswoman.

"I feels it," says Nessa, nodding.


  1. I love Nessa, Stacey's uncle and Gavin's mom Pam. I can't wait for tonight's season premiere. Love your site.

  2. I've never seen Gavin & Stacey, but I loved Ruth Jones when she guest presented "Have I Got News For You" and she was so wonderful in the episode of Torchwood that she was in. She is a very gifted woman.

  3. I LOVE Nessa - she really does make the show. And isn't that actress also the writer? :-)

  4. Yes, J, she and the actor who plays Smithy (who also is hilarious!) created the show.

  5. ah, i wish this show got more attention here. it's brilliant and touching and more than just a sit-com in a way that american shows often can't figure out. love it!

  6. Augh! Welsh IS British! It is part of the United Kingdom, also known as Britain.

    Other than that, I'm really excited for your blog.

  7. Cara, I didn't mean to offend. The show makes a big deal over the Welsh/British divide.

  8. Oh, no offense taken at all!

    I stand corrected, not having seen the show. I'll have to watch and see the actual context before calling you out. ;)

    This should teach me not to be such a little know-it-all (but if I haven't learned by now I doubt I ever will)

  9. Just finished Season 1 via Netflix. The show is so great, thanks to Nessa and Smithy. Season 2 isn't yet available! Boo.