At last, it was Nessa and Dave’s big day. But we all knew that Smithy was going to burst into the church at the eleventh hour, and play his part in a ferociously annoying Graduate/Four Weddings pastiche, from which only Dave Coaches emerged with any credit.
I kept losing concentration due to plunging into plot holes. When Stacey told Gav she was pregnant, she did so via a shoe-box full of positive predictor tests. I forget how many she said she’d done – how much wee can she do? – but it was something like 34. Against my will, I started to work out how much she’d spent. Let’s say the cheapest reliable test is a tenner for two. That’s, good lord, 170 quid! How come Stacey has that sort of money to chuck about? That’s surely more than a week’s wages in the sandwich bar! By the time I emerged from my calculations, Smithy was in the church telling Nessa he wanted to stop her marriage even though she repulsed him, and I had no idea how we’d got here.
Nessa looked interestingly strange in her bronze wedding dress. I went off her a bit this week though. First, there was her meanness to Gwen, which went from being not very amusing to just plain horrible. Even her little speech about how Gwen was like a mother to her was undermined by an awkwardly ambiguous kiss on the lips.
Then, it should have been Nessa’s finest hour at the altar. But when Smithy accused her of not loving Dave, she stubbornly denied everything. It was left to Dave to stand up and be counted; it was rather moving when he said sadly that he knew she didn’t really love him. This was a chance for Nessa to show a bit of emotion at last, and certainly not be buffeted about by two men making decisions for her. But she didn’t have the balls. I fell into another plot hole thinking about what would have happened if Dave had said nothing and they’d got married. I wrote a new ending, and though I say so myself, it was a considerable improvement.
I did enjoy some of it. Every scene with Nessa’s Dad, for instance. Give the man his own show! ‘Played it straight’, he said modestly, of his TV extra work as a man in a coma. ‘Just laid there, you know.’
I also loved Mick’s face when he realised the Auden poem he was reading mentioned coffins. But this was yet another hole – had he not glanced at it before he stood up ? And really, did they have to include that poem, just so everyone could so, ‘Ooh it’s just like Four Weddings innit, ha ha’?
Best bit by a huge margin was Dave greeting John Prescott at the door of the church. Even from the couple of words he uttered, we could see JP is a terrible actor (actually we already knew this from his political work), but what a lovely understated little moment. All those mad stories of Nessa’s past were played out in this one blink-and-miss-it scene. Oh, if only the whole thing had been like this, what a masterpiece it could have been.
We were left with a cop-out ending: Stacey pregnant, Gav dead-eyed, and Nessa and Smithy… well who knows? A couple, or just co-parents? As with so much of this series, the audience was left to do too much of the work, and not in a good way. Much as it saddens me to say it, this really was a good time to pull the plug. I missed these characters after Series Two ended, but I don’t think I’ll miss them any more.
Posted by Qwerty