Coupling : Complete Series 1

Coupling : Complete Series 1


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

If winning is all about teamwork, BBC2's sitcom, Coupling, has the best of all possible worlds. The first series shares the same director (Martin Dennis), writer (Steven Moffat) and cast. Such commitment deserves to succeed. You can tell the difference.

Following in the wake of Friends, as so much does these days, it takes the concept of romantic comedy, as applied to six thirtysomethings in London with sex on the brain, and is wickedly funny.

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Assuming that girls are manipulative in the bedroom and guys lie about their feelings naturally, in the company of their own gender they spill the beans.

Steve, Jeff and Patrick can't keep off the subject of breasts and pornography, while Susan, Sally and Jane obsess about buttock size and donkey parts. Love is mentioned, as in "I can't believe you said you loved her. She wasn't even naked", like a drowning man hallucinating about straw.

There is a surreal edge to Moffat's writing, personified by Jeff's twisted imagination. He is the only one who can't get laid. As a result, his sexual fantasies take flight.

The girls have their own problems. Jane won't listen to anything she doesn't want to hear and leans toward alternative madness. Sally hates aging and Tories, limiting her smiles to those who deserve it (i.e. single men), thus avoiding laugh lines.

The ensemble cast is perfectly formed. Jack Davenport (Steve) turns embarrassment into an art form, as Richard Coyle (Jeff) transforms fear of rejection into a comic triumph.

The six episodes are continuous, carrying the emotional complexities on to the next, even though the plot of The Girl With Two Breasts could never be confused with The Cupboard Of Patrick's Love, for example.

All in all, this is a delight. Long may their libidos puncture the facade of good intentions.

Reviewed on: 12 Oct 2001
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An intelligent sitcom about relationships, sex and friends with six confused thirtysomething Londoners.
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Director: Martin Dennis

Writer: Steven Moffat

Starring: Jack Davenport, Gina Bellman, Sarah Alexander, Kate Isitt, Ben Miles, Richard Coyle

Year: 2001

Runtime: 174 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK


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