is a comedy drama created, written and starring Ruth Jones (Gavin and Stacey
), airing on Sky
that began in 2012.
Set in the fictional Welsh
town of Pontyberry, the series follows single mum of three Stella Morris and her friends and family.
Stella earns a living doing the locals' ironing. And, most of the time, she's relatively happy with life as she juggles the ups and downs of her family, amid the chaos of her eccentric friends, relatives and children's fathers. Her brood consists of eldest son Luke, a lovely boy who starts the series in prison as a consequence of joyriding; beautiful 16-year-old Emma who's smitten with her first love Sunil and expecting his baby; and the brains of the family, 12-year-old Ben.
Stella's ex-husband Karl, father of Emma and Ben, has left her for new girlfriend Nadine but is involved in his children's lives. Luke's father Rob Morgan appears after 25 years, causing conflict for Stella who has recently started seeing 32-year old Sean. Stella's brother Dai is married to Paula, the local undertaker, and the two have a very kinky sex life. And there's Alan, who has been in love with Stella since 1984 despite her just wanting to be friends with him.
Not to be confused with American TV Show of the same name
Stella provides examples of the following tropes:
- The Alcoholic: Paula. Played for Laughs.
- Amicably Divorced: Stella and Karl. Stella is secretly pleased Nadine took him off her hands.
- Casual Kink: Paula and Dai.
- Celebrity Paradox
- Emma makes a reference to Doctor Who in a second series episode (referring to Skype). Catrin Stewart, who plays Emma, has a semi-regular role in that show.
- Ruth Jones has also appeared in an episode of Torchwood, a spin-off show from Doctor Who.
- most of the regular cast have appeared in the "Whoniverse" (Emma, Paula, Dai, Leah and Big Al in Doctor Who; Stella, Dai, Rob Morgan, Luke, Karl and Rhian in Torchwood and Dai Davies in Sarah Jane Adventures)
- Disappeared Dad: Rob Morgan, until Ben manages to track him down whilst doing a family tree project for school.
- The Ditz: Nadine, and to a lesser extent Emma.
- Eccentric Townsfolk: Just one example, the elderly couple who live across the road from Stella keep a horse. In their terraced house. She leaves him in Series 2 and takes the horse with her.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep
- "Daddy", Paula's father who works at the Funeral Director.
- Aunty Brenda. Even her nametag at a self-help group says "Aunty Brenda".
- I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: James Corden, Ruth Jones' friend, co-star and co-writer of Gavin and Stacey, appears in the final episode of Series 1.
- Just Friends: Stella and Alan, despite the latter wanting to take things further.
- May-December Romance: The early-30's Sean and mid-40's Stella, it's one main reasons they break up...that and the whole "she cheated on him" thing.
- Mistaken for Pregnant: Stella
- One Steve Limit: Averted. Not only do we have Alan and his son, Little Alan, we also have to townsfolk called "Dai" - Stella's brother Dai Kosh, and rugby club chairman Dai Davies. A Running Gag is people having to specify which Dai they mean. Also done with Sean.
- Put on a Bus: Stella's parents Ken and Meg between Series 1 and 2. They are said to be on a house swap with Stella's Aunty Brenda, Ken's sister.
- Quirky Town: Pontyberry
- Real Person Cameo: Many Welsh rugby players, and British TV stars, have appeared in Pontyberry as themselves.
- Status Quo Is God: Three major events from the Series 1 finale were retconned as early as Episode 2 of Series 2
- Stella's pregnancy: She wasn't pregnant, she only thought she was because she missed her period.
- Luke moving to Canada: His criminal record is discovered and he's deported back to Pontyberry
- Bobby leaving Pontyberry to live with his boyfriend Steven: Steven cheats on him and he moves back.
- The Unintelligible: "Daddy". Everyone in Pontyberry can understand him (it's supposed to be Welsh), but outsiders and the auidence can't.
- Wedding Day: Emma and Sunil.
- Who's Your Daddy?: At the end of Series 1, Stella sleeps with Rob Morgan and falls pregnant, leaving her to wonder if he or Sean is the father. Turns out she's not pregnant, just missed a period and thought she was, but only after confessing to both Sean and Rob about the baby.