BBC America, Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., EDT
Why it’s gorge-worthy: You know the old Hollywood rule that says sitcom couples are required to bicker and kvetch and generally lead lives of resentment and sexual frustration and just-beneath-the-surface hostility? Well the sweet, wonderfully charming Britcom Gavin & Stacey takes those rules and sends them through the shredder. Resisting the charms of titular stars Mathew Horne and Joanna Page is like saying no to a slice (or two) of pie at the end of Thanksgiving dinner. The duo manages to capture the moony-eyed delight of a couple who meet over the phone — she lives in Barry Island, south Wales, while he’s from Billericay, in southeast England — but discover that nothing can ultimately get in the way of their love for each other. Not their wacky (but not sitcom-gimmicky) families, including Gavin’s clingy, high-strung mother Pamela (a scene-stealing Alison Steadman). Not their sparring (but secretly hot-for-each-other) best friends, Smithy and Nessa, played with twisted gusto by series creators James Vorden and Ruth Jones. Not even the distance (cultural and geographic) between them. If you’ve felt yourself emotionally flatline watching promos for According to Jim or Til Death, this is the Thanksgiving Day sitcom marathon for you.
Must-see Episode: Episode 3, in which Gavin and Stacey’s families finally meet, and carnivorous Pamela uproariously pretends to be a vegetarian (see clip below), a ruse that provides terrific punch lines for many episodes to come.
Any other Gavin & Stacey fans out there who want to shout out their favorite moments from the series? Or are you planning on catching some other marathon during this holiday weekend? Either way, feel free to give thanks for your televised distractions in the comments section below!