Sunday, 23 December 2012

Last Tango in Halifax - the best TV drama of 2012?

I'm writing this off of the back of seeing the last episode of one of my favourite TV shows for a very long time: Last Tango in Halifax.

For those not familiar with this BBC six-parter, the basic premise is thus; a pair of would-be lovers reunite in the autumn of their lives and take the decision to get married.

If you haven't guessed by now, my favourite television dramas are not those with the flash special effects, expensive sets and fantasy elements which the rest of the world tend to go for (unless you consider the set of "Wild at Heart" to be expensive, in which case, consider that to be the exception to my rule). I prefer TV dramas which are real, which real people can relate to, and which do not use explosions and car chases to hide shoddy writing and a mediocre plot.

Last Tango in Halifax is, by contrast, brilliantly written. It seamlessly manages to encompass almost every aspect of modern life -marriage, divorce, alcoholism, sex, sexuality, homophobia, illness - yet despite all this drama, maintains a relatable element.

In contrast to the heavy-hearted subject matter, there were some great comedic antidotes to the potential doom and gloom, perfected partly by Sally Wainwright's admiral writing talents, and partly by Sarah Lancashire's professional and timely delivery.

So inspired by the brilliant writing that I went on to watch this video from the BBC Writer's Room, which, combined with my recent reading of James Corden's autobiography, has reawakened my passion for trying my hand at scriptwriting.

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