Thursday, December 26, 2019

'You' and Penn Badgley are just as grotesquely addictive in Netflix's Season 2

No one is more merry and bright than stalker Joe Goldberg. 

The second season of Netflix’s “You” (★★★½ out of four) has arrived; it’s the perfect violent, depressing antidote to all that holiday cheer. 

Despite the mostly self-contained story in Season 1, “You” retains its thrills, chills and thoughtful questions about masculinity, abusers and modern relationships in new episodes. The action moves to Los Angeles and transplants Joe’s (Penn Badgley) violent affections onto a new unsuspecting woman, the ironically named Love (Victoria Pedretti, “The Haunting of Hill House”).

Most crucially, the season tweaks last year’s stalker/stalkee formula by adding Candace (Ambyr Childers), Joe’s ex-girlfriend and ex-victim, whom viewers suspected was dead in Season 1. Candace channels her rage and vengefulness into playing his game of lies and manipulation, worming her way into Love’s life, too. 

Interview: ‘You’ Season 2: Penn Badgley on the burden of playing a charming stalker on Netflix

Penn Badgley returns as Joe in Season 2 of "You." (Photo: Beth Dubber/Netflix)

“You” returns with Joe, who murdered his last love, Beck (Elizabeth Lail), and got away with it at the end of Season 1, as he runs away from Candace. He moves to L.A. because he hates it there, and he doesn’t think Candace will ever look for him among the palm trees, Instagram posts and celebrities.

Adopting the pseudonym Will, he sees Love, with whom he becomes instantly obsessed, and he manipulates his way into her life and heart even faster than he did with Beck. He begins committing his litany of crimes earlier this time around (yes, the plexiglass book cage returns). 

New York was such an integral part of the story and the tone of Season 1 that fans might be nervous that L.A. is a little too sunny for Joe’s dark deeds. But “You” smartly uses the city to its advantage, adding a smidgen of celebrity culture critique and subjecting the emo bookworm to hippie retreats with the owners of a grocery store even earthier than Whole Foods.

Victoria Pedretti as Love and Penn Badgley as Joe on "You." (Photo: Beth Dubber/Netflix)

“You” has always dared its audience to root for its sadistic antihero, presenting Joe as a conventionally attractive, ostensibly perfect protagonist, then contrasting that persona with his malicious deeds. Season 2 does more than exhibit Joe’s crimes; the writers make Candace a central and worthy antagonist. She plays Joe’s game of pretend, but she’s also a deeply scarred woman he abused (their full history is revealed as the season progresses). Her pain takes precedence in the story over his increasingly desperate missions to please Love, and it’s a welcome shift in perspective. As fun as it is to watch Joe’s path of mayhem and destruction, it’s easy to be caught up in the thrills of the crimes he commits, unchecked. Candace provides a much-needed reality check. 

Ambyr Childers as Joe's resurfaced victim Candace on "You." (Photo: Beth Dubber/Netflix)

When the series debuted on Lifetime, its original home, in fall 2018, it won critical praise (some of it from me) but barely registered as a blip in the vast world of TV. Fast forward to last December, when the series arrived on Netflix and became a sensation. 

Season 1 Review: In addictive ‘You,’ Penn Badgley is even creepier than in ‘Gossip Girl’

Netflix was always the proper place for “You,” which is best viewed in one or two sittings with snacks and a drink to spit-take whenever Joe does something horrifying. In its second season, producers Greg Berlanti (“The Flash”) and Sera Gamble (“The Magicians”) lean in to their new home as the series becomes far more violent and complicated. They prove this kind of thriller, which does not usually age well past a single season (see: “Revenge”), has legs that can potentially carry it for years.

If “You” keep watching, of course. 

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Near

Having a baby wiped my memory: Camre Curto longed to be a mother, but a near-fatal pregnancy crisis left her unable to recognise her fiance… or even her newborn son

Just imagine your brain was wiped clean of every memory you have ever had. Well, that’s what happened to Camre Curto when, pregnant with her first child, she suffered near-fatal complications that destroyed her ability to retain new memories and deleted earlier ones.

Her condition also meant her son, Gavin, had to be delivered by emergency Caesarean. And so Camre found herself a new mum in a bewildering and frightening world, unable to recognise her fiance, Steve, or even remember her baby’s birth.

At first, although her words came out in clear English, the sentences were garbled and meant nothing. Slowly, though, she started to make her meaning clear and could walk and talk, but had no memory beyond the present moment.

Just imagine your brain was wiped clean of every memory you have ever had. Well, that’s what happened to Camre Curto (left) when, pregnant with her first child, she suffered near-fatal complications. Right: Her husband Steve

Doctors couldn’t say what would happen next — because they simply didn’t know. Her devastated family was told that her brain was like a computer hard drive whose files had all been erased, and nothing that had been lost would ever be recovered.

‘From the day you’re born, you start creating memories,’ says Camre, her voice soft but assured. ‘Knowing I don’t have any, especially the big things like marriage and pregnancy, and never will, is hard to accept, but I try to make the best of every day.’

The bright, charming woman who greets me at the home she shares with Steve and Gavin, now a sweet and curious seven-year-old who is the image of his mother, has certainly made remarkable progress.

Slightly built, wearing jeans and a striped jumper and with her dark hair held back in a plait, 31-year-old Camre is clearly shy, but a welcoming smile lights up her face. Though she looks frail, she exudes a positive attitude.

The family’s tasteful home is spick and span. A huge Christmas tree is the focal point of a living room whose windows look out on woodland. It’s an idyllic picture — but when we sit down to talk, I hear just what extraordinary odds this young woman has battled to overcome.

She and Steve have written a book about their experiences, which serves to remind Camre of their story each time she reads it.

‘It’s hard because, now the book’s out, I’m seeing what I’ve lost. But you’ve just got to enjoy each moment,’ she says.

Most of us take our memories for granted. We have a strong sense of our identities because we recall our childhoods and know who our family and friends are. We can drive a car, do our jobs or go shopping because we remember having done these things many times before.

Camre knows now that she is a wife and mother — some new memories have started to be laid down in her brain, although they often don’t last — but there is a long way to go before she has anything like a normal life.

‘I try to keep going,’ she says. ‘I pick myself up and try to make jokes and be funny about what’s happened.’

But it cannot be easy. As she does not remember her past and new memories last only a short time, Camre is anxious about going out in public. ‘People will come up and say hello,’ she says. ‘They’ll say: “Oh, we’ve met before” and I feel stupid.’

Her condition also meant her son, Gavin, had to be delivered by emergency Caesarean. Pictured: The family together

For her son’s sake, she attends events at his school, even though they fill her with anxiety. She shows me the notes her occupational therapist encouraged her to write about a recent mother-son dance.

‘Before the event: Anxiety 7/10, scared, anger, anxiety.

‘After: It wasn’t that bad, Gavin was glad that I went. I’m glad I went.’

In conversation, Camre looks constantly to Steve for reassurance.

‘She’s the strongest and most courageous person I’ve ever known,’ he says, squeezing her hand. He tells me her story — because, although she has now heard it many times, she still remembers none of it.

The couple met in 2009 and, three years later, were delighted when she became pregnant. But at 33 weeks, she suffered pre-eclampsia, a potentially fatal pregnancy disorder characterised by high blood pressure and swelling. It developed into full-blown eclampsia and caused seizures, so she was raced to surgery to save her — and Gavin’s — life.

Camre knows now that she is a wife and mother — some new memories have started to be laid down in her brain, although they often don’t last — but there is a long way to go before she has anything like a normal life. Pictured: The family together

During an emergency Caesarean, Camre lost oxygen supply to her brain for five to eight minutes. She had a stroke and bleeding in her brain, which caused her catastrophic memory loss. Gavin was delivered safely, but weighed just 4 lb 1 oz.

Camre was kept in a medically induced coma for two days. When she regained consciousness, ‘I knew immediately something was wrong,’ recalls Steve, 38.

‘She looked at me and her parents and there was this empty stare. I remember thinking: “Camre’s not there.” She started hallucinating, talking to her hand as if it was a phone.’

She had suffered damage to the hippocampus, an area of the brain vital to long and short-term memory. ‘They told us she was healthy, but her memory was wiped, and they couldn’t say if it was going to come back,’ says Steve. ‘I broke down. I had a hard time wrapping my head around the enormity of it, but it never crossed my mind to give up.’

‘A lot of other men would have,’ interjects Camre.

She went home to be cared for by her parents — she retained an instinctive bond with her mother, but couldn’t remember her name — and, every day, Steve would visit and be treated as a stranger.

‘I’d say: “It’s me, Steve.” And she would just stare at me,’ he says. ‘I’d ask if she wanted to see our son who was still in hospital and she’d say something like: “No, I’m OK.”

‘She was never hostile or angry, but she had no idea who I was or why I said we had a son together. She didn’t understand.’

He knew this arrangement couldn’t last for ever, so one day he insisted on taking Camre to see her son, hoping it might help her.

‘The nurses and I sat her in a chair and put Gavin in her arms,’ says Steve. ‘She touched his cheek and asked: “Whose baby is this?” When I told her he was hers, she said: “I have a baby?” We went through that routine so many times.’

Gavin, who spent the first few weeks of his life in an incubator, was released from hospital and his father had to shoulder his care alone.

Then, eight weeks after Camre came home from hospital, ‘I’d just explained for the thousandth time who I was, and suddenly she looked me straight in the eyes and said: “I don’t know who you are, but I know I love you.” ’

Steve is emotional at the memory. Camre, who cannot remember it, sits calmly beside him.

The couple met in 2009 and, three years later, were delighted when she became pregnant. Camre, Stebe and Gavin together

‘All my worries vanished. I knew we were going to be OK,’ says Steve.

It was the first step on a long road. Camre needed to relearn everyday skills: how to wash her hair, brush her teeth and dress.

‘We would go through changing Gavin’s nappies a thousand times, as well as how to burp and feed him. She was always very gentle with this baby that she didn’t know was hers.’

Slowly, Camre came to recognise her own name, then Steve’s.

‘She said one day: “I think I know you — you’re around a lot, aren’t you?’ ” he laughs. ‘It was as if her brain was waking up and then, just as my hopes got high, it would shut down again.’

As Camre’s brain began to heal, she finally understood that she was a mother.

‘It took another year of repeating everything over and over again until it really sank in and stayed,’ says Steve. ‘I was so happy for her.

‘She was uncomfortable and even a little scared to spend the night in our own house at first, but she had always wanted to be a mother more than anything, so I thought we had to go back to living as a family.’

Camre’s mother, Cheryl, agreed, and encouraged her daughter to spend the night at her home with Steve and the baby two years after her injury. ‘We’ve been together ever since,’ adds Steve.

Camre was still incapable of being left alone, so for months Steve would drop her and Gavin off at her parents’ house each day, go to work, then pick them up again in the evening.

In 2015, three years after Gavin’s birth, the couple married in the garden of their house in Michigan, in the U.S.

If Camre was on her own, it would take her hours just to get washed and dressed — even with the help of notes from her mother about how to wash her hair and put on make-up.

The couple also had to relearn being physical. ‘It took a while — a couple of years,’ says Steve. ‘It came from me showing up every day and waiting until she was comfortable. I didn’t push her, but eventually it happened.’

Steve would love to have a second child, but feels his wife’s health isn’t up to it.

‘Camre wouldn’t remember she was pregnant,’ he says. ‘It’s too much of a risk — but maybe in the future.’

In 2015, three years after Gavin’s birth, the couple married in the garden of their house in Michigan, in the U.S. Camre produces an iPad and we scroll through pictures. She was a beautiful bride, I say.

‘I don’t see myself, not really,’ she replies. ‘I watch our wedding video quite a bit and I can’t see it without tears because it was such a perfect day. I always try to see if I have any memories of it and I have nothing.

‘I want the feelings that come with memories — the happiness, the sadness — I want it all. I tell Steve a picture to me is just a picture, there’s nothing behind it. He tells me where we were and what we were doing.’

Now, there are jokes in the Curto household. ‘She’s a tough cookie,’ says Steve.

‘I married him, so I have to be,’ Camre shoots back.

‘Steve doesn’t let me stay in the down,’ she adds, using her phrase for the depression that she endures, exacerbated by the strong medications she takes.

‘I try to enjoy each day. I feed the deer in the garden. I tidy up and I’m always happy to see Steve and Gavin. I’m very happy to have my family.’

As a result of her injury, Camre suffers from epilepsy and has had hundreds of seizures over the years. Next year, she hopes to have a brain implant to control the seizures better.

‘I want my life back. I used to be able to work, to drive a car. I don’t remember it, but I used to do those things,’ she says sadly.

Steve now works from home so he can be Camre’s full-time carer, but it’s clear she is itching for her freedom.

‘I wish it was me taking Gavin to school and doing the shopping. I want to be able to think back. It kills me that I can’t.’

Camre is unlikely to get her full memory back, and it’s not certain how far she will recover.

‘She’s gone from remembering for a few seconds to hours,’ says Steve. ‘And sometimes she can have a two or three-day window of remembering something important to her, such as an event at Gavin’s school. But the saddest thing is that it fades after that.’

He puts his arm around his wife’s shoulder.

‘She’s come so far, and we believe that she will improve. But, whatever happens, I tell Camre the past doesn’t matter; it’s only today that’s important.

‘We just take it one day at a time — and that’s how we will always do it.’ 

  • But I Know I Love You by Steve and Camre Curto is available now on amazon.com

 

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Penelope the dog wins fans for her ridiculous smile

Meet Penelope, a dog with a truly ridiculous smile.

Penelope, from Gardner, Kansas, has a strange quirk that means her cheeks get tucked in her mouth, giving her a goofy grin.

Her owner, Kayla Harvey, has shared captured plenty of photos of Penelope’s smile, winning her loads of fans online.

Kayla said: ‘Penelope is an incredibly silly and quirky girl.

‘She was a puppy the first time I saw her smile.

‘Sometimes when she looks down her little cheeks get stuck tucked under like that.


‘I see it happen the most when she is super intrigued by something, or when she is getting a good scratching session and she is feeling kind of blissed out.’

Mother-of-four Kayla, who is chronically ill, says Penelope has helped her get through many tough days with her smiles, ever since she got her as a puppy.

Kayla said: ‘I was not looking to get a puppy, I was thinking an older dog as I didn’t think I could handle a puppy, with my health.

‘But then I came across Penelope.

‘She and I fell in love instantly and became inseparable and are now together 99% of the time.

‘She seems to be able to sense when I’m not feeling well and cuddles up with me for hours on end.

‘On days when I’m in a lot of pain and smiling doesn’t come easy, she can make me laugh with her silly antics and expressions.’

Do you have a pet that brightens your days? Get in touch to tell us all about them by emailing [email protected] 

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Junior brags about best Christmas after causing rift in Peter Andre's Christmas

Peter Andre's son Junior bragged about having the "best Christmas ever" as she showed off the flashy new trainers he received as a present.

The chuffed 14-year-old, whose mother is Katie Price , posted a photo of the two pairs of expensive trainers he bagged,

"Literally the best Christmas ever", he wrote alongside it.

Meanwhile, his 12-year-old sister Princess was furious at the gift he got her.

He chuckled as he filmed her holding up her present, which was a pair of marigold gloves and some binbags.

Princess reminded Junior that she had given him expensive gifts, and he protested that actually, their dad Peter had got her that present.

And there was clearly a message behind her gifts as he also told her: "Clean your room!"

The big bags and marigolds weren't the only joke present the family gifted each other on the day.


  • Peter Andre's Christmas erupts into huge fight with Princess furious at Junior's gift

  • Victoria Beckham shares festive fun-filled snap of her children at Christmas

Peter himself received a fake poo in his stocking, which he delighted fans by demonstrating.

In a lovely Instagram video, Peter, 46, spread his legs and hunched over while wearing festive red trousers.

The poo falls from between his legs in the slow motion video. He captioned it: "Got a fake poo …. in my stocking 🙂 cheers Santa".

His son Junior, 14, whose mum is Katie Price , left a hilarious comment mocking his father.

"Should of seen his butters face after", he declared.

"That is actually disgusting", said a follower.

"You sure that's fake", joked another.

The singer pulled out all the stops for Junior and Princess as Instagram snaps showed piles of presents for the youngsters.

Peter and his wife Emily spent the day with his two children, and their two children, Amelia and Theo.

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'Ring of Fire' solar eclipse sees millions turn out across Asia for spectacular Christmas night sky

THE Moon has turned the Sun into a spectacular "ring of fire", stunning millions of skywatchers.

The phenomenon – a rare annular solar eclipse – was witnessed across the Middle East and Asia, including in Singapore, where it won't be seen again till 2063.



"This will be the first and last time I'm seeing this – it is indeed a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me," said Nurul Huda, 27, in Singapore.

She was among thousands at the Science Centre who cheered during "the greatest astronomical event in Singapore", reported the Straits Times.

During an annular solar eclipse the Moon passes directly in front of the Sun – as it does during a total solar eclipse.

But in this instance, the Moon is too small to fully obscure the Sun from view, explains Tanya Hill, senior curator (Astronomy), at Museums Victoria in Australia.

Instead of eclipsing or hiding the Sun, the Moon turns it into a spectacular ‘ring of fire’ that encircles the dark Moon.




Singapore's Science Centre prepared 6,000 solar viewing glasses for visitors, who also watched the spectacle through telescopes.

The centre said that for those on the island, the “annular solar eclipse is such a rare and wonderful occurrence.

“It is a once-in-a-lifetime sight for many. After today, the next visible annular solar eclipse will occur on 28 February 2063.”

Albert Ho, president of the Astronomical Society of Singapore, explained to Reuters: "This will be the first of only two annular eclipses visible from Singapore for the rest of the century.

"So in that sense, it's a very rare event for us."

On Boxing Day, skywatchers in Saudi Arabia as well as southern India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia also looked upwards as the Sun formed a ring of fire around the Moon.

In Banda Aceh, Indonesia, thousands of people cheered and clapped as the Sun transformed into a dark orb for more than two minutes, briefly plunging the sky into darkness.

Hundreds of others prayed at nearby mosques.

Firman Syahrizal told Associated Press: "How amazing to see the ring of fire when the Sun disappeared slowly."

The previous annular solar eclipse in February 2017 was also visible over a slice of Indonesia.

What is an annular solar eclipse?

An annular solar eclipse is a special type of solar eclipse, explains Tanya Hill, senior curator (Astronomy), of Museums Victoria in Australia.

During an annular eclipse, a thin outer ring of the Sun is still visible as it forms a 'ring of fire' around the Moon.

It occurs when the Moon passes directly in front of the Sun – as it does during a total solar eclipse.

But in this instance, the Moon is too small to fully obscure the Sun from view, she explains in The Conversation.

So, instead of eclipsing or hiding the Sun, the Moon turns it into a spectacular ‘ring of fire’ that encircles the dark Moon.

This is because during an annular solar eclipse, the Moon is too far from the Earth to block out the entire Sun.

It’s a quirk of nature that Earth has a moon that is the right size – about 400 times smaller than the Sun.

And it is at the right distance, about 400 times closer to Earth than the Sun is, for a total solar eclipse to occur.

But since the Moon follows an elliptical orbit around the Earth, its distance varies slightly throughout its monthly orbit.

If the Moon happens to be at or near the most distant part of its orbit during a solar eclipse, then the Moon will appear slightly smaller in the sky – leading to an annular solar eclipse.






 

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Ruth Jones hints there's 'room for more' episodes of Gavin & Stacey

Ruth Jones hints there’s ‘room for more’ episodes of Gavin & Stacey as she admits she ‘really meant’ Nessa’s love declaration to James Corden’s Smithy

Ruth Jones has hinted that there’s ‘room for more’ episodes of Gavin & Stacey after her character Nessa dramatically proposed to Smithy (James Corden) at the end of the Christmas Day special. 

The Welsh actress, 53, also admitted that she ‘really meant’ her character’s declaration of love to James’ Smithy. 

Ruth’s interview comes after fans were left wanting more episodes after Nessa’s shock proposal to Smithy.

Eek: Ruth Jones has hinted that there’s ‘room for more’ episodes of Gavin & Stacey after her character Nessa dramatically proposed to Smithy (James Corden) at the end of the Christmas Day special (Ruth and James pictured on Christmas Day) 

Talking about another Gavin & Stacey return, the Stella star told The Sun: ‘I do say never say never, as while we did make it work that was after three years of trying to find time when we could sit down and write it.

‘Obviously with the way it ends, there is room for more. It’s a shame we didn’t have more time when we were writing so we could have written more, then have it all ready to go.’    

While talking about Nessa’s shock proposal, she told the Mirror: ‘It’s quite difficult to show her soft side. If I’m down on one knee, it’s obvious what’s going on.

‘When I put my hand on my heart and I said, as Nessa, “I love you. No, I do, I loves you with all my heart” I really meant it to James.

Sweet: The Welsh actress, 53, also admitted that she ‘really meant’ her character’s declaration of love to James’ Smithy (pictured) 

‘We can argue, but our friendship at the heart of it is so strong. I’m proud of the journey we’ve been on together. We’ve been though a lot.’  

On the Christmas Day special, Smithy’s new girlfriend Sonia made a hasty exit from Barry after being unimpressed with Gavin and Stacey’s family, leading Nessa to tell Smithy she is in love with him.

Nessa (Ruth Jones) got down on one knee and presented a ring to Smithy (James Corden) and the episode ended immediately after she asked: ‘Marry me?’

Shock: Gavin & Stacey fans were left wanting more after Nessa’s shock proposal to Smithy at the end of the Christmas Day special 

Cliffhanger: After Smithy’s new girlfriend Sonia made a hasty exit from Barry after being unimpressed with Gavin and Stacey’s family, Nessa told Smithy she is in love with him

Viewers took to social media in their droves after the cliffhanger to express their shock at the ending with many hopeful than ever for another series.     

The episode saw fans introduced to Smithy’s new girlfriend Sonia (Laura Aikman) who disliked Gavin (Mathew Horne) and Stacey’s (Joanna Page) family when she met them in Barry for Christmas. 

Sonia admitted to Smithy she did not fit in with the group and told him she wanted to go and see her mother for the rest of Christmas.

She told Smithy he could come with her if he wanted but he chose to stay with the group and his son Neil, who he shares with Nessa.  

Reaction: Viewers took to social media in droves to express their shock at the proposal 

The proposal from Nessa will leave Smithy with a tough decision to make as earlier in the episode he told Gavin he was planning on popping the question to Sonia. 

After the show ended, one fan tweeted: ‘Why don’t Nessa and Smithy just get together please?’ while another said: ‘They can’t leave us like that.’  

Earlier in the episode, Smithy and Nessa ended up sleeping together after a drunken night out.

Smithy panicked as he could not remember anything and Nessa lied when she told him nothing happened as she did not want to damage his relationship with Sonia.  

Surprise: Nessa got down on her knees and presented a ring to Smithy and the episode ended immediately after she asked: ‘Marry me?’ 

New love: The episode also saw fans introduced to Smithy’s new girlfriend Sonia who disliked Gavin and Stacey’s family when she met them in Barry for Christmas 

Sweet: Smithy brought Sonia to Barry to meet Gavin and Stacey’s families along with his son Neil who he shares with Nessa 

Choice: The proposal from Nessa will leave Smithy with a tough decision to make as earlier in the episode he told Gavin he was planning on popping the question to Sonia 

Elsewhere, the gang enjoyed a night out at the pub on Christmas Eve in Barry where they were reunited with Stacey’s brother Jason (Robert Wilfort) during the episode. 

Nessa and Bryn (Rob Brydon) sang a rendition of Fairytale of New York which proved another talking point among viewers as the word ‘f****t’ was not omitted from the song.

Bryn sang the controversial lyric of the hit in its original version which appeared to shock Gavin as the rest of the group hit the dancefloor.  

Response: Viewers thought the cliffhanger ending left the door open for another series 

Thrilled: Actress Laura Aikman, who played Sonia, said she had the ‘time of her life’ being a part of the Christmas special 

The episode began with Gavin and Stacey chatting over the phone from Essex and Barry respectively, as the group prepared to gather in Wales for Christmas. 

Viewers were shocked to learn that Gavin and Stacey now have three children together.

Fans learned they are parents to a boy named Harry, and two girls, one of whom is named Meghan, in an apparent nod to the royal family. 

Gavin and Stacey struggled with the realities of raising children as they attempted to have some intimate time together, only to be interrupted by their kids.   

Controversial: Nessa and Bryn sang a rendition of Fairytale of New York which proved another talking point among viewers as the word ‘f****t’ was not omitted from the song 

Song: Bryn sang the controversial lyric of the hit in its original version which appeared to shock Gavin as the rest of the group hit the dancefloor

Defence: Co-creator Ruth Jones previously defended the slur not being censored, saying the show was remaining true to the characters

Split: Viewers were divided over ‘f****t’ not being censored during the Christmas special 

On Christmas Day, the gang gathered in the sitting room of Stacey’s house and exchanged gifts, leading to an awkward moment between Bryn and Jason.

The pair had a longstanding frosty relationship due to an unknown event that happened several years ago on a fishing trip.

When Bryn was gifted with a framed photo of him and Jason taken on the trip, it brought back many bad memories. 

Fans thought they were finally going to get an answer to what really happened on the trip when Bryn stood up to get it off his chest, before he was interrupted by Gavin and Stacey’s children running into the room.  

James Corden reportedly flew back to the UK from Los Angeles to watch the special alongside his family, according to The Sun.

It is thought that James, his wife Julia Carey and their three children have all returned to England for Christmas and the special.

James revealed that the long-awaited Christmas special was saved after he and Ruth Jones wrote the ‘best scene ever.’

The Late Late Show host told The Sun that they decided to scrap the script they’d secretly written in LA, it was brought back to life after an idea ‘landed in the room.’

Opening: The episode began with Gavin and Stacey chatting over the phone from Essex and Barry respectively, as the group prepared to gather in Wales for Christmas

Parents: Viewers were shocked to learn that Gavin and Stacey now have three children together

Awkward: Gavin and Stacey struggled with the realities of raising children as they attempted to have some intimate time together, only to be interrupted by their kids 

Sweet: Smithy and Nessa shared a tender moment together as their son Neil gifted them with a Christmas present 

Fling: Smithy panicked when, after the night out in the pub, he thought he had slept with Nessa, despite planning to propose to Sonia

Fib: Nessa reassured Smithy that nothing happened between them but later admitted to Stacey they had slept together 

Speaking on Radio 2, James explained that he and Ruth met last year to try and write something new for Gavin and Stacey, but after writing 40 pages they agreed it wasn’t good enough.

He said: ‘We decided, ”OK, well, thank goodness we didn’t tell anyone. Thank the Lord we didn’t. We’ve scratched this itch that we thought was there, and it isn’t, so no harm done. No one will ever know”.’

James then revealed that the Christmas special finally came together after an idea for a scene just ‘landed in the room.’

‘It’s probably the quickest scene we’ve ever written. And I think it’s the best scene Gavin & Stacey has ever had,’ he added.

‘Suddenly this scene arrived, I can’t tell you, I sound like Mystic Meg, but it landed in the room.’

Awkward: On Christmas Day, the gang gathered in the sitting room of Stacey’s house and exchanged gifts, leading to an awkward moment between Bryn and Jason

Running gag: The pair had a longstanding frosty relationship due to an unknown event that happened several years ago on a fishing trip

Secret: Bryn was about to finally reveal what happened on the trip after he was gifted of a photo of him and Jason on the trip but was interrupted by Gavin and Stacey’s kids 

Hilarious: Fans were more desperate than ever to know what happened on the infamous fishing trip by the end of the episode 

James was tight-lipped about the nature of the scene, although co-star Mathew Horne hinted on Radio 2 that it involved himself and Joanna Page, as he said it was the first scene they filmed when production began on the special.

James and Ruth admitted they had wanted to write more for a few years but logistically, had found it hard to get together following James’s move to LA.

The last series ended on New Year’s Day in 2010 when Smithy interrupted Nessa’s wedding to Dave Coaches and Stacey announced she was pregnant. 

Romantic: Also during the episode, Gavin and Stacey shared a tender moment when they returned to the spot where they first told each other ‘I love you’

Adorable: Along with son Harry, Gavin and Stacey are also parents to two daughters 

Demand: The Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special had been highly anticipated by fans for months

Production: The cast filmed the special in Barry, Wales during the summer 

Ahead of the 2019 special airing, Ruth defended the word ‘f****t’ being used in the episode during the Fairytale of New York scene.

The song’s lyrics: ‘You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap-lousy f****t’ have proved controversial with calls for the homophobic slur to be censored from the track.

However, Ruth told The Sun that while the Christmas special is being shown in a ‘different climate’ to the original series which wrapped in 2010, she felt she was staying true to who the characters are by keeping the song uncensored.

She said: ‘It is a different climate. But we have to remain true to the characters, to who they were.

Creators: James revealed he and Ruth watched the Christmas special together and said the episode had been a ‘labour of love from start to finish’ 

‘Characters in Gavin & Stacey are kind and big-hearted, I believe. So I think no one is going to be intentionally hurtful.

‘But by the same token, they’re not necessarily going to be completely politically correct or be aware of political correctness.’ 

Just before the episode aired, James took to Twitter and shared a selfie of him and Ruth, revealing they were watching the special together.

He wrote: ‘We had to be together to watch it go out tonight! Gavin and Stacey is a show about friendship and family. 

‘Tonight’s show has been a labour of love from start to finish and we hope you enjoy it. Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. Happy Christmas from us both.’

Plot: Gavin’s family travelled down to Barry to be with Stacey and her family for Christmas 

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