on January 18, 2004
"Coupling--The Complete First Season" is a collection of six episodes of this very funny British comedy. The show follows the experiences of 6 young adults (3 male, 3 female) as they navigate the waters of romance and friendship. "Coupling" struck me as a sort of British blend of "Friends," "Seinfeld," and "Sex in the City." But in the end the show has its own very delightful identity.
In "Coupling" a very likeable cast does an outstanding job with some very witty scripts. The subject matter is often quite spicy--pornography, penis size, bisexuality, etc. are all mined for humor. The six episode arc culminates in "the Cupboard of Patrick's Love," an outrageous story about home-made erotic videotapes that brings the whole ensemble together in a very satisfying and typically hysterical fashion. The DVD contains some good bonus features, most notably a series of behind-the-scenes interviews with all six cast members, writer Steven Moffat, and producer Sue Vertue.
The strong sexual content of "Coupling" never seems gratuitous or tasteless--the topics seem to flow naturally from the characters and their life situations. The cast members have a wonderful onscreen chemistry, and the scripts are cleverly constructed. In the end, this show is often screamingly funny and always highly enjoyable.
on August 23, 2003
You probably heard about this show from friends. There probably is no need for introduction of what this show is about. With the many good reviews on Amazon, I will discuss the casual viewer who wants to try something new or have a curiousity of purchasing the "Coupling" series 1 DVD. Friends who have enjoyed American shows like "Friends" and "Sex and the City" have asked if they should buy this DVD. Let's just say that for each party that I go to, I bring this DVD along and show people who have never been exposed to a BBC show and guess...these people go out and buy the DVD. That's right...it's that good! The American version will be coming out soon (and I have screened the pilot alrady) but the BBC is way more funnier and sexier. Are you and your friends always discussing sex, oh...this show is going to be a blast for you. Where people can have something in common with the American show "Friends", I think many people and friends can find a lot in common with the characters of "Coupling". The stories are well written, trust me...once you pop this DVD in, I don't think you will able to stop it. There are six episodes in series one and there are behind the scene interviews and a photo shoot and the DVD is just simply worth owning. The only thing is that people not familiar with British culture may not understand certain words and there is no English subtitles available. But fortunately, for this series, you can understand what they are saying and there are not many words thrown out that make you scratch your head and say "huh?". Trust me on this one... this is a definite "party" DVD to show people. A DVD that they will just love. They will be hooked as you will be as well! Highly recommended!
on September 22, 2003
The basic plot of this sitcom may seem familiar - 6 young unmarried people hanging out, trying to meet people, and sometimes dating each other. But it's done in such a brilliant and fresh way, it's anything but stale. The humor is sexy and sharp, with small jokes building up to a hilarious finish as the absurd actions of these 6 friends all play on each other. You might cringe at the awkward situations they get themselves into, but it's never mean-spirited, and before you know you'll be laughing uncontrollably.
I'm not sure what's going to happen to this British original after the U.S. version comes out, so make sure to check it out while you can.
on September 3, 2003
If you've missed this series, you've missed a gem indeed. Never mind the awkward US 'equivalents' of this baby. 'Sex in the City," "Friends," forget them. This is real, irreverant, truly funny stuff. I love the ease and subtlety that this series really addresses potentially horrific material with such style. I'm still giggling after watching the third episode in this series. Totally irreverant and tasteless in such a tasteful way. Think "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex" as narrated by Mr. Rogers after a stiff drink. Twisted, clever, and dirty in the same fell swoop. Easily 5 stars, 6 if it went that high.
on August 30, 2003
I used to be an avid viewer of Friends, but eventually, I grew to find some of the characters really annoying. The Ross-Rachael thing got old and both have become kinda annoying and whiny.
Compared to that, Coupling is a relief. It's unashamed to cut to the chase -- sex, and while wacky and sometimes confusing, manages to touch upon issues that we've all faced, but other shows have been afraid to joke about. Must be an English thing.
Anyway, catch this original BBC series -- I'm afraid that the US remake will come up well short...
on April 20, 2004
Coupling is without a doubt one of the funniest series from the last few years. Rivaling and actually exceeding the cleverness of other hits in comedy such as Friends.
Coupling, too, is about a group of 6 close friends, and deals with their every day problems and relationships.
In the first series, we are introduced to Steve, who is determined to break up with his girlfriend Jane and discusses this with his best friend Jeff. In their regular pub Steve runs into Susan (a colleague of Jeff), and sets a date with her. All this happens while he is having sex with Jane in the ladies' room.
Susan breaks up with her boyfriend Patrick, and her best friend Sally decides Patrick is fair game. More so after hearing Patrick is well endowed in the nether region section.
After the introduction episode, we get to see how Susan and Steve hook up together, and the crazy adventures the friends roll into. There's Jane's aunt dying, a discussion about Lesbian porn (the spanking kind), Jeff running into a stunner of a woman who doesn't immediately mace him, and Patrick's personal porn pile (starring Patrick).
While each of the actors is equally brilliant, the genius and probably the reason Coupling is such a success is Jeff (Richard Coyle). His absurd experiences in life have caused him to come up with names for situations. You'll laugh your ass off while he explains the "The Zone", "Unflushables", "The Sock Gap" and most brilliantly, "The Giggle Loop".
But you're not ready for that ;)
A definite recommendation. And for those who cannot get enough of Coupling, season 2 and 3 have also been brought out on DVD.
on April 2, 2004
I've grown up on a steady, if small, dose of British comedy; it's very different from American comedy -- stand-up comedians in America are really funny, but sitcoms rarely are. I routinely browse BBC America in the hope of catching a Monty Python rerun -- and accidentally discovered Coupling on one such occasion. The episode was "Size matters"; it was, needless to say, hilarious. A few weeks later, I was thrilled to find Coupling listed on a mainstream channel (NBC, I think) -- it turned out to be an Americanized version of the exact same show, right down to the script -- but it was terrible, downright unfunny!
So my wife got us a copy of the first season -- and I absolutely love it! I do think that the show thematically bears a loose resemblance to Friends, but the comparison doesn't go very far. In any case, both the script and the cast are outstanding, the character development seems to be progressing very well; you make instant connections with them -- and the comedic timing of the actors is superb. I can't wait to get my hands on the second season!
on October 7, 2003
The British "Coupling," the version that is worth watching, features some absolutely terrific acting, wonderful comedy and true moments of innovation. Jack Davenport, who starred in "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "Pirates of the Caribbean," appears in this BBC series as Steve, who in the series' first episode breaks up with the daffy Jane and goes on a date with Susan, who is clever and sexy. Susan, of course, has just broken up with Patrick the human tripod, who is now interested in Sally, Susan's best friend and a beautician obsessed with preserving herself. Rounding out the characters is Jeff, an altogether weird one who is Steve's best friend and Susan's co-worker. If you've seen the American version, then you get the basic idea of how they all meet and mix together.
But to see a cast of true inspiration and genuine hilarity, you need to catch these DVDs of the British series. The acting is better, the episodes are deeper, the writing is more clever and twisted. There's no canned laughter on this version - nor is there reason for it. (The episode "Inferno," featuring a dinner party and a porn video, is the one of the most hilarious half-hours I've ever seen of TV.)
If you want to know what the big deal about "Coupling" is, this is where you need to look.
on August 9, 2003
Oh bollocks! This is not SEINFELD and it's not FRIENDS -- it's COUPLING the hilarious British comedy that's about nothing but sex. A likeable cast takes on a tabboo topic, and hilarity ensues. The US remake can't possibly get away with all these limey randy Brits do! And you need to see the original before anybody mucks it up. The DVD is a top notch affair. You get six episodes (which is an entire season on the BBC), some cast interviews, bios, and a photo section. The menus roll clips from the show becoming its own sort of "best of" feature! It's in a widescreen format. This show works because of the actors. They are funny, and it reminds me of the brilliant ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS. Very fast pace, very funny, and unashamedly vulgar at times! Even if you are not a fan of British humor there is much to reccomend here because it's a sex farce. Simple and direct! Reminds me a lot of the best sequences of SEX AND THE CITY where the girls talk frankly about sex, but here you get both camps - guys and girls, so it's more universal.
on June 9, 2003
The plot is deceptively simple. Steve has just broken up with Jane and is now with Susan. Patrick and Sally have a secret yen for one another but neither wants to be the first to say anything. Jeff is a pervert. And they all hang out at the same coffee shop.
This popular British sex comedy is probably one of the most refreshing things to come off the television in a long time. It addresses sex without being crass. It's funny while being subtle and incisive. Even the slapstick is controlled and precise. No wonder American television, perennially strapped for creative ideas, is replicating it this fall.
There are only six episodes in this complete first season, so it really is as brief as it feels. The breezy pace adds to this. But at least the brief length facilitates repeat viewing, which the series certainly supports.
Even people who don't ordinarily like British fare will probably enjoy this sophisticated, funny, irreverent show. Acerbic without being bitter, sexy without being gratuitous, funny without being condescending--hey, everybody, what's not to like?