This BAFTA Award winning tv drama is now onto its third series, however I (bizarrely) have only just happened upon it. I have to say though, what an absolute treat it is!
First shown in 2012, it tells the story of Celia and Alan, both in their 70s and widowed, whose grandsons put them onto Facebook and who consequently reconnect after 60 years, having known each other as teenagers until Celia’s family moved away. There still remains a spark between them after all this time and, after an eventful afternoon together, they decide to get married, much to the astonishment (then subsequent delight) of their families. Whilst the story is theirs, we become involved in the lives of both their families as they deal with loss, separation, infidelity, class differences and the inevitable friction and readjustment caused by the merging of two families.
I have only watched the first series so far so am only able to comment on what I’ve seen (some of you will be way ahead of me!), but I couldn’t help but write about it here as it’s such a wonderful discovery.
The series was created, and is written by, Sally Wainwright, and is actually based on the true story of her own mother, Dorothy, who lost contact with a childhood friend at age 15 but was reconnected with him 60 years later through Friends Reunited (anyone remember that?!). They were subsequently married 6 months later.
It is by no means groundbreaking drama (although the focus on an elderly couple is quite unique) but it is beautifully written, heartwarming stuff, with a host of wonderful characters brought to life by a fantastic cast and a central theme of ‘it’s never too late’ which is incredibly uplifting.
Anne Reid and Derek Jacobi shine as Celia and Alan and are supported by the brilliant Sarah Lancashire and Nicola Walker who play their respective daughters (born on the same day we come to learn; a nice little touch). Joining them are talented folk such as Tony Gardner, Dean Andrews, Nina Sosanya and Ronni Ancona to name a few. There is something extremely satisfying and reassuring about watching a truly talented cast working seemlessly together. You certainly feel like you’re in safe hands.
So, if you’ve yet to see this gem of a series, then I urge you to give it a go. I am fervently trying to get my hands on Series 2 to continue my viewing (Netflix currently only have series 1 and BBCiplayer is only showing the current series after its airing on BBC1 each week). I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.