First of all everyone, Merry Christmas. You may find it odd that I’m still doing a post today, but it is so engrained in my Sunday routine it feels natural. Besides, it’s distracting me from the uncomfortable full feeling in my stomach.

Christmas TV is often a mixed blessing. If you are into the kind of show that showcases a Christmas special, then is something to look forward to. For me though, there are very few programmes that fit the bill. Yes, there’s Doctor Who, but other than that, the demise of Downton Abbey has left me slightly bereft.

The one bright spot is Last Tango In Halifax, which came back after an eternity away for a two-part special. For those unaware, it is about a pair of childhood sweethearts who rediscover each other in their twilight years and the collision between their families. Think Romeo & Juliet for pensioners.

Of course it has become so much more than that, and the Christmas special showcased this quite well. The thrust of the plotlines this year fell on the couple’s adult children from their previous relationships. Caroline, Celia’s daughter, found herself climbing out of her grieving over her partner by jacking in her cushy private school job by taking on the headship of a rough comprehensive and moving her family to ghastly damp farmhouse. That beautiful suburban kitchen is no more.

Meanwhile, Gillian, who always seems to have the darkest shadows hanging over her, found herself questioning her marriage to new husband Robbie. It all started with the usual kind of argument – his retirement ushering in a lifestyle change that wasn’t quite working – before a nasty accident led to a more sinister issue arising.

Amongst all this, Celia and Alan almost became bit-part players, which is ironic considering their storyline consisted of them rehearsing for an am-dram performance. With all plotlines involving ghosts, it offered a nice sense of completeness for it to be Blithe Spirit, but even so, it was easily the third most important plot. They have moved from the centre to the periphery.

This isn’t necessary a bad thing. The quiet contentment of love is hardly thrilling, and it is clear that it is Caroline and Gillian that still have a few of life’s journeys to make. The stark contrast of the two of them – Caroline making a new start by choice, Gillian because she is forced to – was subtle but revealing. Caroline had let go of her past, Gillian unable to do so.

Some have asked if a full length series is in the offing. Personally, I don’t think it is needed. Bar a health-related plotline, Celia and Alan seem to be plodding along happily, and I think they should be left that way. There is also enough of a sense of ‘story told’ for Caroline and Gillian – the viewer knows enough to not feel cheated and can fill in gaps for themselves. If this was the last tango of Last Tango, it was perfectly in time.

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