'Last Tango in Halifax - Season 3'
(Sir Derek Jacobi, Anne Reid, Sara Lancashire, et al / 2-DVD / NR / 2015 / BBC Home Entertainment)
Overview: The intricate dance of life continues in this heartwarming drama series about two long-lost childhood sweethearts and the 60 years of baggage they bring to their better-late-than-never marriage. How will newlyweds Alan (Sir Derek Jacobi, The King's Speech) and Celia (Anne Reid, Upstairs, Downstairs) navigate a startling revelation about Alan's past? And how will their adult daughters, Gillian and Caroline, deal with happiness and tragedy in their even more complicated lives?
DVD Verdict: I have to admit that the very FIRST episode of the very FIRST season was enough to itself captivate me as soon as the lead protagonists met for the first time after over 60 years! Very rarely do you see such insightful and delightful stories involving septuagenarians. It has both its thrilling and heartwarming moments, right from the beginning. It has a lot of heart, and the first episode itself draws me into their lives; it was the same way I felt about Downton Abbey. And as Downton, it has a mesmerizing and entrancing opening score which sets the appropriate and stirring mood for the episodes.
Three seasons on and that captivating spirit of TV making is still alive and kicking - and that is down to both the writers and the incredible acting talent of the cast, of course. Sure both our leads are compelling, but the fact you fall in love with haughty Caroline and mixed up, do anything for love Gillian, and stay in love with them three seasons later is fantastic writing. Even the less sympathetic characters - John and Judith - are fun to be with as you wait to see them plunge into their next disaster. As for the two lovebirds, Alan and Celia, they are just so believable and such a delight to spend time with.
But it has to be writer/creator Sally Wainwright that gets the applause here. After watching this, I've discovered 'Scott & Bailey', also by Sally Wainwright and can't believe the same person wrote such two very different series. I've also watched 'Happy Valley' with Sarah Lancashire and she is incredible. The contrast with her character in 'Last Tango' is stunning. So once again, thank you Sally Wainwright!
Somehow, I just feel like older characters receive very little respect in mainstream entertainment. They are either cutesy or curmudgeonly (but still lovable) with little real world nuance or dimension. But not here, not even close in 'Last Tango in Halifax - Season 3.' So come share highs and lows in this uplifting comedy drama - winner of four BAFTA Awards for best drama series, best leading actor (Jacobi), best supporting actress (Sara Lancashire, The Paradise) and best writer (Sally Wainwright, Scott and Bailey). This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.