Gavin and StacyThere’s not many people I’ve met who’ve seen BBC Three’s Gavin and Stacey and don’t like it or love it. It’s light hearted, a little sentimental (in a good way) and hosts some great, memorable characters.

James Corden, co-writer who also plays Smithy, was interviewed for the BBC (see it here). Apart form coming across as a genuine nice bloke, something that struck me was his emphasis on the need to tell a good story: they might do a third season, but only if they have a story worth telling (he claims).

I think about stories quite a lot (it’s one of the central themes of my PhD in progress) and I continue to see them as more wonderfully complex, more powerful, more all pervasive and more integral parts of the fabric of life than I previously thought.

Some nights ago I lay awake for a few hours remembering, and re-remembering, my early school life. It was an exercise in introspection that came upon me, seemingly from out of nowhere. I scoured around for faces and names; I replayed events significant and minor (though not that minor, if they stayed in my memory); I reordered and refreshed.

It was like doing up an old bike that had begun (already?) to fall apart and rust from neglect. I hope I put the pieces together in the right order, I think this is how it looked. Perhaps.

The process carried a unexpected air of urgency; that if I neglected it too long it might be too late. Who knows what I had lost already? As I lay there at 2am I needed to know where I had been, who I had been. I needed to know my story. It is nothing special, nothing fantastic or gruesome, but it is mine.

We long for stories to add up and make sense, and as I started TV I will end with film. A few weeks ago I watched 3:10 to Yuma. The story line was genuinely painful. I haven’t seen the original, was it better? Plot holes and inconsistencies, unbelievable characters and fanciful consequences. It really jarred.

It struck me how prevalent our need is for coherent stories; we praise the good ones and bemoan the failures. But why? No time for that now.