Christmas came right on time this year with the release of the final instalment of Star Wars’ Skywalker saga, and the much anticipated follow up to the beloved Series “Gavin and Stacey”. But did they live up to their own expectations?
The ninth and final feature length film of the main Star Wars universe has received mixed reviews by critics, but with fans received anything but, as it creates a sense of closure, and almost
impossible task following the mixed response of Rian Johnson’s “The last Jedi”. J. J. Abrams returns to right the ship, and that’s exactly what he does. With the opening scenes he retcons the
previous film, to fit the narrative of two films into one, it may feel rushed in places, but it still leaves you no time to breathe either. Abrams Star Wars captures the unique feeling of the Star Wars franchise, relying on heavy doses of nostalgia and almost flawless cinematic spectacles.
It’s fair to say that in the decade since Gavin and Stacey last aired the show has only grown in popularity. With attempted remakes across the pond and its addition to Netflix providing a platform to the masses for the sitcom’s unique brand of realistic wit and charm. Corden and Jones had a mighty task ahead of them after such a break. 10 years since the last outing in Barry island, and in the lead up to Christmas it was much anticipated. Corden and Jones however did not disappoint, with a happy melding of the old and the new Nessa and Smithy steal the show as if the series had never ended. Once again showing that Gavin and Stacey is a timeless sitcom that feels ever so familiar.
With both of these shows failing to disappoint, it was an excellent Christmas for the silver screen and the small screen alike, however, they both lie upon the issue of relying on nostalgia. Both the rise of Skywalker and Gavin and Stacey rely heavily on the sense of nostalgia that the viewer has for their favorite shows and movies. This initially seems fine, but with more and more remakes being made, (Disney I’m looking at you) it raises the question, do we just rely on the sense of nostalgia to make entertainment?
Whether it is Pam’s wrong but endearing quips and the referral to a now grown up Neil as “neil the baby” or returning characters such as Lando or Palpatine (spoilers!) the reliance on previously loved material or characters is one of the many things that makes these two great. But can this endure without diluting itself and becoming a shadow of what used to make it great? I am not suggesting that this is imminent, simply that it is a point of worry that we should appreciate previous materials, but not simply emulate them for sake of easy enjoyment.