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4.8 out of 5 stars
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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.
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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!
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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.
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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!
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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.
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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?
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on May 21, 2003
"Coupling" is the UK's answer to "Friends" -- and, as usually is the case with BBC productions, it's far and away a better act. The ensemble is hilarious. "Friends" had its funniest season in its debut season, in my opinion, and "Coupling" well surpassed all "Friends" humor in this debut DVD.
Sure, "Coupling" suffers from the same problem that "Friends" does: How come none of these people seem to have friends who are not white? (At least "Coupling" contains an openly bisexual woman, whereas Ross' lesbian ex-wife completely vanished from "Friends"). While that complaint is valid, the show remains bust-a-gut funny.
The "Giggle Loop" has to become Seinfeld-esque reference to anyone whose ever found the urge to break out laughing at markedly inopportune moments. And I'd love to see what else is in the Cupboard of Patrick's Love!
PS: As of 2003, I hear that NBC is planning on making their own answer to "Coupling." One can only hope that it'll be as good a replication, but I, for one, will not hold my breath.
It's shows like this that make me want to move to the UK, or at least pony up the extra money to get BBC America on my cable system.
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on May 21, 2003
"Coupling" is the UK's answer to "Friends" -- and, as usually is the case with BBC productions, it's far and away a better act. The ensemble is hilarious. "Friends" had its funniest season in its debut season, in my opinion, and "Coupling" well surpassed all "Friends" humor in this debut DVD.
Sure, "Coupling" suffers from the same problem that "Friends" does: How come none of these people seem to have friends who are not white? (At least "Coupling" contains an openly bisexual woman, whereas Ross' lesbian ex-wife completely vanished from "Friends"). While that complaint is valid, the show remains bust-a-gut funny.
The "Giggle Loop" has to become Seinfeld-esque reference to anyone whose ever found the urge to break out laughing at markedly inopportune moments. And I'd love to see what else is in the Cupboard of Patrick's Love!
It's shows like this that make me want to move to the UK, or at least pony up the extra money to get BBC America on my cable system.
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on May 17, 2003
I was watching Monty Python on BBC America while laying in bed. My remote control had fallen on the floor, and I was feeling too lazy to get out of my warm bed to pick it up! The show that followed Python was something called "Coupling" that I had no intention of watching if it hadn't been for that little streak of laziness.
As it turned out, I happened to tune in during a Coupling marathon which played every episode from the first season back to back. Within ten minutes of watching "Flushed", I was hooked!
How good was it?
BBC America showed the marathon twice in a row... and, don't you know, I watched it in its entirety... TWICE!! I was an immediate fan, as you will be, too!
I had never before seen a show as cleverly written and imaginative. An example of this would be where in the local bar, a main character, Jeff, sits at a table with a beautiful Israeli girl who doesn't speak a lick of english. The hilarity of him trying to break the language barrier ... was good enough. But it didn't stop there. All of a sudden the scene stops and rewinds to where he sits down with her, and some graphics come up saying "Now imagine that you don't speak English..." Then it replays the entire scene with the Israeli girl speaking English, and everyone else in the bar speaking some other language. Now you see how tough the language barrier really can be. All the parts you thought were funny before become downright hilarious in another language!! You'll never look at a "woman with two breasts" the same ever again!
I've now been a devoted fan for its three seasons with many to follow (I hope). I can't imagine what this show will be like when it is remade for America to replace "Friends". We should just leave well enough alone and show the British version instead. I"m sure I'll watch one or two of the American episodes, but I truly doubt if it will be as good as the original.
The cast has such great chemistry with each other. Half of its charm is that I didn't know any of the actors from anything else, which made it truly "fresh". There's no doubt that the American producers will try to put one or two "stars" in the series which will taint the show from the start.
Trust me... Buy the DVD and enjoy it time and again. This show will have you laughing aloud to yourself in church when one of the many memorable scenes suddenly pops into your head!
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on March 13, 2003
Susan has just broken up with Patrick, and Susan's best friend Sally wants a go with him. Steven is trying to break up with Jane, and his best friend Jeff is there to support him. By the way, Jeff works with Susan and had one date with her, and she wants Jeff to fix her up with Steven. Confusing? Not if you get this fabulous 1st season DVD. Called the British version of "Friends", "Coupling" is that and so much more (the BBC isn't as censored as American television). With a cast of excellent actors combined with original and witty dialogue, "Coupling" is the best show you're more than likely not watching (unless you have digital cable or a dish and get BBC America). DVD includes all 1st season episodes, plus bios and interviews with the cast. My favorite episodes include "The Giggle Loop", where Jeff explains the times when it's most inappropriate to bust out laughing, and the episode where Jeff tries to chat up an Israeli girl who speaks no English ("she thinks I collect women's ears in a bucket!", he moans to his mates). You can't go wrong with this one. At the risk of sounding like a Designer Imposter perfume ad, if you like "Friends", you'll love "Coupling". Give it a go.
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