Love and Marriage Series 1 Episode 6 (ITV) Review

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After five weeks of listening to Pauline, Kevin, Martin, Heather and their respective spouses, this final episode of Love and Marriage lets us in on what silent, lonely Ken might be feeling. We saw him lose his wife in week one and, to my great surprise, week six sees him welcomed back into her life. There are obviously a few conditions to their rekindled marriage but, in the end, Pauline and Ken’s family were the ones to push them back together.

In my first review of Love and Marriage, I praised the show for focusing on older, female characters, and it deserves even more praise for depicting a marriage between two older people, with its complications and joys, so honestly and bluntly. Separating once your children reach adulthood is no longer a taboo, and there are plenty of men and women like Pauline who feel like they’ve outgrown their spouses as soon as the house becomes empty. What’s surprising about this series is that they found their way back to each other, and it doesn’t feel contrived or romanticised in the slightest.

But with that happy ending, it was inevitable that some of the other characters wouldn’t be so lucky. Heather’s time finally ran out when she confided in her two sister-in-laws, who of course immediately informed their husbands, leading to a slightly comedic showdown between Ashley and Charlie. Still at this late stage, however, the writers resisted the urge to make the decision easy for Heather as, even after choosing Ashley over her husband, Charlie’s pleas were equally as inviting. If there’s ever a second series then I’m curious whether this union would work out, but it’s a messy conclusion to the story.

As a British rip-off of Modern Family, Love and Marriage surprised me along the way by taking interesting and unexpected turns at every opportunity. None of the answers were easy for the characters, with some questions even left hanging past the final shot, but it managed to be a light-hearted look at some fairly heavy issues present in modern family life. Some soap opera storylines like Heather’s affair and Scarlett’s missing mother might have removed any sense of gritty realism, but I guess that’s not the show Love and Marriage ever intended to be.

What did you think of the series and the final episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.