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The *British* Netflix Series You Need Right Now

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Notre Dame chapter.

I hadn’t even been home for an hour before my mom, ever the sporadic Netflix-binger, placed her remarkably clean computer screen (so rare these days!) in front of my face and pleaded with me to watch her latest Netflix obsession with her. It was my first ~quarantine~ night at home, and I was completely overwhelmed. I was lucky enough to have been with my friends in California when we got the dreaded online-school announcement *sigh* to make plans to head home, and now that I was home, nothing felt real yet. I had hugged my mom goodbye at Laguardia airport just two months earlier with hot, unwanted tears streaming down my cheeks; I had excitedly been planning my spring break trip with my friends all throughout my winter break, and now that it was finally time to say goodbye to my family, the thought of not seeing them for so many months without spring break felt sad and scary. The three, almost four months without them stretched out ahead of me as long and never-ending.

silhouette of person sitting alone in airport waiting area
Photo by Suganth on Unsplash
As I would soon remember though, time in college doesn’t work the same way that it does in the rest of the world (or at least, it doesn’t at Notre Dame). Late nights studying during the week evolved into late nights in LaFun on the weekends at a dizzying pace; the January freeze, so infamous in South Bend, became a balmy March almost before I had even realized February had gone by. I still thought of and missed my family every day, but I was too busy marveling at how different (in a good way!) the second semester of freshman year was from the first to worry too much about not seeing them for the longest stretch of time that I’d ever had to. But now, all of a sudden, I was home. For the next five months, at least, and even though I was happy to see them so much sooner than I had expected to, things felt so different under these circumstances. I couldn’t believe I had spent so much time stressing out about not seeing them, when now, all of a sudden, I was home. It was all so much to take in, and I couldn’t do it all right away. 

So, instead of trying, I obliged my mom and her persistent requests to start this “adorable, Downton Abbey-eseque” (the Downton Abbey reference was what got me… she knows me so well) British show she couldn’t stop raving about. And now, three weeks and three seasons later, I know why. While the title isn’t especially catchy (who am I kidding. It’s maybe one of the most un-catchy, unappealing TV show titles ever), that’s the only un-perfect thing about it. Last Tango In Halifax (a mouthful, I know), the British BBC drama whose first three seasons are on Netflix, is the perfect quarantine show. The premise: two single, 70-something year olds in Yorkshire, England, are put on Facebook by their tech-savvy grandkids. The twist? They are childhood sweethearts, and they never got closure from their abruptly-ended courtship. After 60 years, they find each other again on Facebook, and, well, you get the idea. I never thought I would be as moved by an elderly romance as I have been by Alan and Celia’s love story, but it’s impossible not to melt for their charm and genuine, decades-old admiration for each other. They both have grown daughters (each with a family of her own) to bring an entirely new layer of drama to the show any time their romance gets to be a little *too* perfect. And trust me, once the drama starts, it never ends. But since it’s British, it never gets old.  

The show’s overwhelmingly charming British-ness (cozy British accents, gorgeous green British countryside, clever British quips, the list goes on and on) catapults this family drama from authentically heartfelt and compelling to straight-up television gold. I don’t remember the last time I felt this invested in a TV show, and the best part is that I don’t feel guilty about it! At all! There’s something so wholesome and pure about this show that it’s impossible to feel anything but warm, uplifted and inspired afterward. And that’s all anyone needs these days, right? 

So, next time you need to forget about the world outside for a little bit (which will probably be soon, TBH), get cozy with Last Tango In Halifax and settle in for a wild ride through the rolling meadows of rural England. You won’t regret it. 

Juliet Webb

Notre Dame '23

Juliet is a Notre Dame freshman who likes to say she's from both Chicago and New York. Born in Chicago but raised in New York, she loves both cities equally and just can't decide which one is better!! Juliet is currently an Anthropology major and Peace Studies minor, and plans on pursuing a double major in elementary education. She loves her two younger brothers, her dog, romantic comedies, Potbelly sandwiches, Pamplemousse La Croix and Kacey Musgraves, and she is SO excited to be writing for Her Campus Notre Dame!