Myersvision: Last Tango in Halifax

Audre Myers is perhaps my most Anglophilic contributor, probably even more Anglophilic than Ponty, and he’s actually from England!

As such, it was only a matter of time before she graced us with a delightful, tea-and-crumpety BBC dramady about rediscovering lost love in old age.

There’s something befuddlingly adorable and quintessentially English about two stodgy geezers falling in love.  Perhaps it’s the notion that we can always recapture some sliver of our misspent youths when in the throes of being in love.  Nothing quite so takes us back to the possibilities (and follies) of youth quite like tumbling head-over-heels for someone else, especially when they tumble into you, willingly and excitedly.

Two fogies canoodling also gives us some hope that it’s not too late for us after all—gulp!

With that, here is Audre’s review of Last Tango in Halifax:

Have I mentioned I’m a hopeless Anglophile? A great joy in my life are the dear, dear friends I’ve made who are English. But I loved England before meeting them; they are the icing on my cake.

Scouring Netflix one day a year or so ago, I stumbled on Last Tango in Halifax. I watched the first episode and I was hooked.

Suppose, when you were 16, you were in love with someone and then, through events beyond your control, you lost track of that person. How sad would that be? Would you carry that person in your heart for the rest of your life? What if, after 60 years, you found that person again? What do you suppose would happen?

Meet Alan Buttershaw and Celia Dawson. This is the story of their lives. Alan is played by Derek Jacobi. All the English friends say, “Oh! He was wonderful in I Claudius!” I don’t know that Derek Jacobi but I’m deeply in love the ‘Alan’ Derek Jacobi. Celia is played by Anne Reid and she’s an outstanding actress – you believe her instantly, even if sometimes she makes you cringe (at least in this story). The rest of the actors are perfect in their roles, especially Sarah Lancashire as Celia’s daughter Caroline and Nicola Walker as Alan’s daughter Gillian. All the interwoven storylines capture your imagination and your attention and you marvel how this story goes on and you never lose faith in it!

It is a story of modern times – Alan was able to find Celia because his grandson, Raff (played by Josh Bolt), a teenager, looked her up on FaceBook. There are storylines within the story that might put you off but don’t be; I found them to be handled tastefully and with restraint (this isn’t Hollywood, after all! This is England).

There are moments between Alan and Celia that are so uplifting and joyful that you could be transported to another place – those moments are indelibly printed on my brain. It’s why I binge watch a couple of times a year. There are moments that are almost spooky that are quite effective. There are moments when you find yourself talking back to the characters ([laughing] – at least I do. Ok, you can stop sniggering now.).

What more can I say? Last Tango in Halifax is satisfying and does not fail to entertain. Just remember … Alan’s mine!


17 thoughts on “Myersvision: Last Tango in Halifax

  1. Port – you should be writing reviews for some major publishing house or ‘Sunday book reviews’ in major newspapers. You make me laugh – your reviews are always better than my articles, lol!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks Audre. 🙂

    I’ve never been able to watch Last Tango in Halifax. I don’t know whether it’s due to fact that Halifax was one of my neighbours growing up and I hated the place or because it’s a product of the BBC. Tina and I are big fans of Jacobi but on this one occasion, I don’t think I’ll be following up your review with a viewing. A good review all the same. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. I wouldn’t necessarily understand not wanting to watching something because of its proximity to a place you don’t care for but I have found, over the last few years, that ‘the English’ are like that – Birtwistle is the same way; he loves Lancashire and Clitheroe but not some much the other cities (towns?).

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Just caught something in the intro – did you say this programme has two guys falling in love? In which case, I definitely won’t be watching it.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Hahahaha, “geezers” meaning old people, as Audre pointed out. I find nothing endearing about two men falling in love.

        Two women is also absurd—I didn’t pick up on that in Audre’s review, haha, but I was probably busy—but it’s marginally sexier from a brutish, misogynistic point of view.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. 39 – Birt seems to have withdrawn from a lot of things, including TCW.

    He, too, is writing a book and he sends me installments to proof for him. When you mentioned your coming book on TCW the other day, he is to whom I was referring when I mentioned I knew two writers.

    Liked by 2 people

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