InQuire Recommends: Last Tango In Halifax

InQuire Recommends: Last Tango In Halifax

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A couple of weekends ago, the BAFTA-winning BBC series Last Tango In Halifax reached the end of its third series.

For those who don’t know, Last Tango stars Sir Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid as two widowed 70-somethings; Alan and Celia. Childhood sweethearts, they reunite after 60 years having found each other by chance on Facebook. It’s a love story, and after reuniting, they fall in love all over again. The series follows the trials and tribulations of their families coming together.

Written by Happy Valley’s Sally Wainwright, the drama also stars Sarah Lancashire (as Celia’s daughter, Caroline), Nicola Walker (as Alan’s daughter, Gillian), Tony Gardner (as Caroline’s ex-husband, John), and Rupert Graves, among others.

Image from Guardian Online.

I’ve been a fan of Last Tango ever since its debut in 2012. Despite being a love story about an old couple, it also centres around the love lives of their children and grandchildren. Each new series has been heart-warming and heart-breaking at the same time – sometimes all in the space of an episode. The characters are so fully-formed and rounded, that you could recognise your own family in all of them.

What’s more, these characters aren’t perfect. They are all deeply flawed, to the point that you can be left thinking ‘She’s a cow’ or ‘He’s an idiot’ at any given time, but by the end of the next episode they can win you over again. None of them are bad people as such – when they do things that are less than perfect, or morally dubious or ambiguous, it’s much more due to them being products of their own environments or upbringings than anything else.

Wainwright has succeeded in creating a romantic drama relatable to all audiences, from 17 to 70. We watch both families come to terms with Granny/Granddad having a new girlfriend/boyfriend, and each family having its fair share of marriages, divorces, one-night stands, fall-outs and reconciliations.

I can’t describe much more without slipping in some huge spoilers. Nevertheless, I hope it’s enough to pique your interest. At the heart of the show, Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid make a beautiful couple, and Sarah Lancashire, Nicola Walker and the rest of the cast put in sensational performances. Find yourself a boxset, and catch up now.

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One Response to “InQuire Recommends: Last Tango In Halifax”

  1. Roger Partridge

    Feb 20. 2015

    Get the box set we did- 2 of them- and we watched 12 episodes of the first two series whilst on holiday! Fantastic! Laughed, cried, thought it silly, thought it everything! So well acted and the writers deserve real congratulations. So clever how such humorous situations are created. A thoroughly entertaining series. Hope there’s more to come!

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