The performances are as strong as you'd expect from an established team, with actors such as Jack Davenport (the ever-perplexed Steve), Ben Miles (unreconstructed chauvinist Patrick), Sally Alexander (dryly intelligent Susan), and Kate Isitt (neurotic Sally) wearing their roles like second skins. But in the surreal stakes, it's Richard Coyle as Jeff, wondering aloud what happens to jelly after women have finished wrestling in it, and Gina Bellman as Jane, musing on the importance of a first snog in identifying what men like to eat, who really raise the laughter levels. All things considered, this is superior comedy for all thirtysomethings--genuine and putative. --Piers Ford
Now that I've bought and seen season 3, I'm stunned. I suppose they couldn't keep it up forever, but this season is neither sexual nor goofy it's just kinda boring. It centers around Patrick and Sally which seems a good idea. In my opinion, they were more interesting than Susan and Steve. However, they don't act as they used to, no longer is Patrick the chauvanist he was now he's Sally knight in shiny armor. And since when have they been hanging out as friends? As I remember Sally couldn't stand to have a conversation with him because of his political views and only wanted sex. The two have become the most boring couple imaginable. They alone, however, are not the downfall of the series. Worse, by far, is Steve. In every episode it seems he has to have a rant. These used to be hilarious as in the Lesbian Spank Inferno fiasco, but now they are without purpose. He just has to say them because it's been decided they're his quirky character trait. Even if you ignore the fact that there is no reason for them, they aren't once funny; I feel like pressing the mute button.
To be sure there are a few good gags, such as Patrick not noticing that ugly women even exist and I'll even go so far as to say the spilt screen episode is structurally ingenious, but ultimately this season is only worth paying for to complete a collection.
The "Return of Jeff" in the season finale was painful to watch, although the fourth and fifth episodes, Circus of the Epidurals and the Naked Living Room, had me laughing hysterically. The episode in Season 1 where Steve tries to justify his love of porn, specifically Lesbian Spank Inferno, is one of my favourites, so to come back to that in Season 4 is brilliant.
If you have been a fan of Coupling throughout, definitely buy this DVD. If you're trying out Coupling for the first time, I recommend starting with the first three seasons - you will fall in love with this comedy instantly.