Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Love Hurts - 1992-1994

Produced by BBC
Created by Maurice Gran, Laurence Marks
Starring: Zoe Wanamaker, Adam Faith, Jane Lapotaire and Tony Selby.

This TV series aired from 1992 to 1994 and had 3 seasons of 10 episodes each.

Tessa and Frank

Zoe Wanamaker plays Tessa Piggot who has, at the start of the series, just been royally dumped by her married boss and lover for a younger woman.  She is furious and hurt and swears off all men.  She is also at a loose end, suddenly without a job or a place to live.  She goes home for a little while for recuperation.  Her mother advises her to work for a charity firm.  She speaks to an old college friend, Diane Warburg (Jane Lapotaire) who is a director for SEED, a charity outfit.  They cannot pay as much as Tessa has been earning, but the work is more meaningful.
Diane Warburg

Her life slowly gets back on rails as she moves into an apartment and starts working.  She runs into Frank Carver (Adam Faith), a plumber, when her flush breaks down.  Frank is no ordinary plumber as Tessa thinks.  In fact, he answers Tessa's desperate call for a plumber as a lark.  He used to be a plumber but is now a big financial wheeler-dealer who owns several companies. He falls rather hard for Tessa and chases her around for a date.  Tessa is still recovering from her break-up, also, Frank is not her type. She is college educated and Frank seems rather lacking in that department.

I have gone through about half of the entire series, fifteen episodes, so to speak.  I am totally in love with it. It is basically about relationships, of course.  The main tussle is between Tessa and Frank who have a roller coaster ride with their relationship, they are either kissing or clutching at each others' throats. Apart from them, Tessa's parents, Diane Warburg and Max (Tony Selby - who plays Frank's Man Friday) also face problems in their relationships.
Max, Frank's Man Friday

Despite this plot-line, and the opening sequence which is overly cheesy, there is nothing too syrupy about the series. The main protagonists are in their forties and adults.  They deal with their needs and wants in a very forthright and an adult fashion.  They are both strong personalities.  Tessa is a professional, completely dedicated to her work.  There is not a patch of 'doormat' on her.  She may be in love at times with Frank Carver but at no point does she bow to him.  Their relationship is on an equal footing.

Tessa and Diane - Strong women

In fact both the women in the lead, Diane and Tessa are strong women with their own goals and missions in life.  Romance is not the primary need that they are out to fulfill.  It is the men who have to measure up to them.

There are several other elements in the story, for instance, the professional travails of the four major characters, that keeps the proceedings interesting.  The characters keep making trips to Gambia, Russia, and other countries as they are involved in providing funding to developing nations. This change of scene from time to time is quite refreshing.

The acting is superlative all around.  Tessa is a spunky woman and is played brilliantly by Zoe Wanamaker. When I watched the series way back in the 90's, I feel in love with Tessa.  I love all the 90's fashions on her, Hobo bags, blunt cut, and baggy clothes.
Loose clothing, Hobo Bag, Ombre hair

Adam Faith's Frank Carver is a slightly childlike character.  He is a wheeler dealer and always has an eye out for an opportunity. He does not hesitate to zoom in for an advantage, whether with Tessa (initially) or with some financial dealing.  He is always beside Tessa and never ever brings her down.

Diane Warburg is a director in the charity firm that Tessa runs.  She is also a Rabbi.  And a mother of three young sons.  Diane is always hard pressed for time which leads her marriage towards a breakdown.  She is also a very self-assured woman committed to her jobs.  She cannot compromise on them for the sake of her relationships.  It is the man who has to understand that.

It is for these characters that I love this mushy sounding series called Love Hurts.  Because they really know how to depict a modern woman.