The good thing about British sitcoms is that they are insanely funny. The bad thing about British sitcoms is they don’t last long. Every season has about 6 to 8 episodes. Not enough for me. They are too good to have such a short stint. Coupling is one such show.
Coupling (2000) centers around the lives of six friends. Steve (Jack Davenport), Susan (Sarah Alexander), Patrick (Ben Miles), Sally (Kate Isitt), Jeff (Richard Coyle) and Jane (Gina Bellman). Steve has commitment problems. Susan doesn’t mind committing. Patrick has huge problems. Sally has a huge thing for Patrick. Jeff and Jane just have problems.
Though it has been compared to “Friends”, it’s different. In Friends, it was about being friends and their separate lives. Here, it deals with the characters’ relationships with each other. Everyone stands out in their roles. But the best is, without a doubt, Richard Coyle as Jeff. His theories on the female form are hilarious. The show lost some of its touch when he left after the third season. Richard Mylan took his place as Oliver. Being funny is one thing but being creatively funny is another. The episode “Split” is my favourite. It narrates events from the girl’s and guy’s perspective simultaneously. The episode with the meeting of Patrick and Sally for the first time is another laugh riot.
The American version was not successful partly because of the casting. Jay Harrington as Steve, Rena Sofer as Susan, Colin Ferguson as Patrick, Lindsay Price as Jane and Christopher Moynihan as Jeff. While I agree with the Steve and Susan casting, the others felt like a mismatch. Christopher Moynihan as Jeff was the worst casting I had ever seen. It also lacked originality because it used the same script as the British version. Every dialog was the same yet spoken differently (read:badly) and that was another reason it failed.
I would recommend Coupling, the U.K series to everyone. It’s not just funny, it’s crazy. It guarantees to make you laugh your socks off.