Friday, 7 August 2009

UnderRated: Coupling

Billed as the British version of Friends, Coupling tells the tales of the lives and loves of six main protagonists, three of each gender with the main scenario being a sofa in a bar and the action shifting to various flats and a beautician's.

The writer is Stephen Moffat, who is now much more famous for writing the best and most scary episodes of Dr Who - the one with the little voice calling 'Are you my Mummy?' "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances"; "The Girl in the Fireplace" about Madame de Pompadour; and "Blink", the one with the statues - all of which won awards.

The BBC announced in May 2008 that Moffat would be taking over from Russell T Davies as head writer and executive producer for the fifth series, to be broadcast in 2010.

Coupling is smart and funny and involves all sorts of innovative story telling techniques, such as split screen action and various versions of the same story told through the eyes of different characters.

Ruf and I have worked our way through dvds of all four series and very much enjoyed the antics of Susan and Steve (based on the evolution of the relationship between the writer and his second wife, Sue Vertue, who also produced the show); Patrick, Susan's ex, and Sally, her best friend, who has a fixation with her neck skin getting older - don't we all; as well as Jane, Steve's previous girlfriend, and the very strange Jeff, Susan's work colleague.

Moffat also wrote the original, unbroadcast, pilot episode for the American version of the same series, in 2003, although this was less successful and was cancelled after four episodes on the NBC network. Moffat has blamed its failure on an unprecedented level of network interference.

I thoroughly recommend the UK boxset!



Gorilla Bananas said...

Melty man! C'mon! The second clip was inspired by the old lipsmackin' Pepsi advert, I think.

Joanna Cake said...

Mr Bananas, I love the concept of the Melty Man :) I think the whole series is a succession of events inspired from elsewhere and part of the fun is trying to work out where :)

BenefitScroungingScum said...

I love Coupling! BG

EmmaK said...

I don't know I just never found it funny I suppose because none of the characters are believable and the acting is stilted. But horses for courses!

Nadia West said...

I love Coupling. The term "sock gap" has made it into my lexicon.

CoatMan said...

This series was extremely funny and delightful - I used to love watching it.

Anonymous said...

I used to love that series. We no longer get it, alas.

Joanna Cake said...

Emma, I think it took a while to get going and I agree that Jack Davenport was incredibly stilted. But I do wonder if that was actually deliberate.

Glad there are other fans out there and thanks to everyone who commented x