April 21, 2021

TV Beat: Last Tango In Halifax

My friend Judy pointed out that most of my TV selections are dark and well … scary. True, my favorite type of television show is crime drama, but that doesn’t keep me from enjoying the occasional sit-com, dramedy or dramatic series. “Last Tango In Halifax” from the BBC fits all of those categories with a capital “C” for charming.
The show just wrapped up Season 2 on PBS, but you have the opportunity to catch up. Season 1 is available on Netflix. Season 2 still has some episodes for free on the PBS site. The expired second season programs are available on Amazon for $1.99 ($2.99 if you insist upon HD quality).
The premise is two elderly people re-connect after decades apart, only to fall in love all over again. Alan Buttershaw is played by Derek Jacobi (“I Claudius” and “Cadfael”) and Anne Reid is his re-found love Celia Dawson (“Dr. Who”, “Upstairs/Downstairs”) They are simply darling as the hyper-annuated lovers.
If their relationship is the sugar, their respective families add the arsenic and spice. Actors Nicola Walker and Sarah Lancashire are their polar opposite daughters, Gillian and Caroline. We slowly are given the back story on the different characters as their lives intertwine in hilarious, surprising and bittersweet ways. Teen pregnancy, lesbianism, bigotry, suicide, alcoholism, sudden death plus family and political disagreements are some of the ingredients that make this program a tasty stew indeed. And Judy, one word of warning: there may be a murder but it’s not THAT scary.




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