I TOOK THAT PHOTO! Which can only mean one thing: that impossible dream I had of meeting Sarah Lancashire came true.
I was fortunate enough to attend the screening of the first episode of series five of Last Tango In Halifax in Halifax, and there won't be any spoilers here, but if you just want to know whether or not it's worth watching, then, yes. I'd put my life on that one.
There's something about Caroline that makes me feel a little less alone in the world, not quite so lost. That's not to say that we are anything alike, at least not our backstories, our present situations, but she's so beautifully played by Sarah Lancashire, so fantastically written by Sally Wainwright, that I fell in love with her instantly back in series one.
Of course, although Caroline is my pull factor, there's so much more to Last Tango. I'm assuming you've seen at least some of the show if you're watching this review, but if not then a little recap: Celia and Alan reunited after fifty years or so, and ended up getting married. We've watched their two families come together and bond, each with their own troubles - Gillian with her farm, and Caroline coming out as a lesbian and putting up with her former husband and his alcoholic partner.
The wonderful thing about Last Tango is that Wainwright portrays the love and chaos of normal family life. There's so much humour in there, even when scenes are dark and quite depressing, and that's because it reflects real life. It's maybe a slightly heightened version of the average family drama, but these characters are still realistic, believable, lovable even when they annoy us. In a way, Wainwright has created for us an extended family that we can all share.
Series five is off to a great start. We have a few new characters brought in to keep things fresh, but the characters we know and love are still going strong. As it's been a few years since the last series, the infants have grown up into young girls, and relationships have stretched, strained, and blossomed.
We're watching these characters grow and develop against the scenic backdrop of Yorkshire. For obvious reasons this is set in Halifax, and we have some gorgeous scenery. Attending the screening was my first time in the area, and I can see quite clearly that it epitomises some of the most profoundly beautiful qualities of the north.
Wainwright is very fond of that part of the world, as we see with her other work such as Happy Valley (also starring Lancashire), and while Yorkshire would have once been considered a rising entity for film and television, I actually feel like it has now well and truly bedded itself as a strong player in the landscape of filming locations.
I came for Sarah Lancashire, I stayed for the impeccable character development, the realistic dialogue, the gorgeous locations, and the gripping narrative. Series five of Last Tango In Halifax is off to a great start, and I cannot wait to see where it takes us next.
Written by Amy McLean