It’s a tribute to the strength of Ruth Jones’s writing (and the onscreen class of old hands like Elizabeth Berrington and Owen Teale) that ‘Stella’ – returning tonight for a second series – works as well as it does. In other hands, this relentlessly gentle comedy-drama would be intolerable. But Jones’s obvious affection for her characters is counteracted by the occasional mischievous zinger, tonight mostly provided by Stella’s Auntie Brenda in the time-honoured role of ‘OAP who can say the unsayable’. As we rejoin Stella in the Welsh valleys, we find her still confused over the identity of her imminent baby’s father, and her extended family about to come home to roost. Elsewhere, Berrington and Teale are the pick of a solid supporting cast as Paula and Dai, their bedroom activities now compromised by Dai’s new job at the funeral parlour.
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