Stella is brilliant.
Even though I’ve only watched the first two episodes, I’m going to tell you why. It’s all about impossible contradictions, and that is what makes it such a stonking artistic achievement.
- It’s laugh-out-loud funny and tear-jerkingly poignant.
- It’s populated by people who don’t often make it onto the screen and yet are highly attractive and/or hilarious, yet never contemptible.
- The character of Stella is such that you both want to be her, and are grateful that you are not her.
- It seems real and believable, while at the same time managing to be utterly romanticised.
- It makes living in a downbeat Welsh country town seem both like a great idea and a terrible idea.
- It shows us how petty and awful and imperfect everyone can be – everyone, even the main lovable characters – and yet that the essential goodness of humanity will win out.
- It takes complex social issues – racism, teenage pregnancy, poverty, marriage break-up – looks them in the face and makes them into human and universal stories. With a happy outcome.
- The sets are so believably unstylish, that you have to think they filmed in people’s actual homes. They feel like homes, not sets.
- Ruth Jones
- There is a pony that lives in a house across the road.
- Did I mention Ruth Jones?
That will do for now. I may say more when I’ve watched a few more episodes.