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Coupling starring Jack Davenport, Sarah Alexander, Ben Miles, Richard Coyle, Kate Isitt and Gina Bellman

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Coupling starring Jack Davenport, Sarah Alexander, Ben Miles, Richard Coyle, Kate Isitt and Gina Bellman

Coupling starring Jack Davenport, Sarah Alexander, Ben Miles, Richard Coyle, Kate Isitt and Gina Bellman. 2000. Characters: On the bed are Susan (Sarah Alexander) and Steve (Jack Davenport). Staring, from left: Jane (Gina Bellman), Sally (Kate Isitt), Jeff (Richard Coyle) and Patrick (Ben Miles). Image from: http://i26.tinypic.com/2u6ec60.jpg

Now, all I have to say is that there are only three mistakes ever made about this show:
1) This brilliant sitcom, like many UK TV series, has too few episodes.6 -9 episodes? Are you kidding me? I keep coming back to watch the show again and again and all episodes through 3 seasons are downright hilarious. Too bad they didn’t shoot more.

2) The 4th season was a mistake. I am sorry, but taking Jeff (Richard Coyle) from Coupling? What were they taking. Think what could have happened if Matthew Perry a.k.a Chandler from Friends left. And put another actor as another character into the mix. Yep, it simply would suck.

3) Remaking this show? Are you nuts? Remaking shows a decade later is one thing. Remaking a British show in The USA, just failed. It might have worked for The Office. I didn’t like the original and I didn’t care for the American version. But Coupling?  That show is very British yet very universal. Still, it is impossible to recreate the comic chemistry and timing with other actors.

Coupling has actually a very simple premise. 3 women, 3 men. They have all dated or will date one another at some point. While the everlasting and the more sensible couple remains to be Susan and Steve, the conversations and events will have you crying out of laughter.

Because with coupling, romance takes a very backseat to comedy. It is about sex, relationships and the eccentricities of these 6 characters. While Susan (Sarah Alexander) and Steve (Jack Davenport) have less quirks, Jane (Gina Bellman), Sally (Kate Isitt), Jeff (Richard Coyle) and Patrick (Ben Miles) provide enough weirdness to make your day. And don’t even think Susan and Steve are any less hilarious.

What’s so special about these characters? Well, it is the script and the acting- but let me start with Jeff. I suspect that he is probably almost everyone’s favorite character. Any sane girl would want to date Steve. But Jeff is…entirely in a league of his own when it comes to advice, views and philosophies on dating. I’ll provide you with some of the Jeffisms. The show’s fans will have a great time remembering and others might realize they should watch this show at once. If you think Jeff’s not funny, you really don’t need to read the rest. Of course plain writing won’t do Richard Coyle any justice, but will give you a rough idea.

“Unflushable”:  Season 1, Episode 1 (These are terms coined by Jeff, not episode titles)

Jeff: (on Steve not being able to break up with girlfriend Jane): Steve..Do you know what I call this type of woman? You know, the one you can’t get rid of?

Steve: Is this going to be tasteless? Am I going to be ashamed to be your friend?

Jeff: It’s a technical term. A harmless expression.

Steve: Alright. Hit me.

Jeff: Unflushable.

Steve: Turn around and walk away, Jeff.

*The Zone: Season 1 Episode 1

Steve (on how Jane “made” him have sex with her): She just leans over, looks me in the eyes and says “I’m wearing stockings.”

Jeff: No!

Steve: She had never worn them before. Not once in the entire relationship. I’d begged!

Jeff: But, Steve, you are entitled to her stockings!

Steve: Am I?

Jeff: Yes! You’re still in the zone!

Steve: The what?

Jeff: The boyfriend zone! This is the telling off period. You still have a lot of stuff in her flat, you might still have a wedding to go to together and you’re under joint headings in your friends’ address books?

Steve: That means I’m entitled to see her underwear?

Jeff: If it comes up! That’s the rules of the zone. Good luck in there.

Steve: You are a strange and disturbing man, Jeff.

Jeff: Thank you.

* The Sock Gap: Season 1, Episode 2

Jeff: OK. Have you thought through your foreplay yet?

Steve: What do you mean foreplay?

Jeff: What do you think I mean? I mean when exactly do you take your socks off? My advice is to get them off right after your shoes and before your trousers..That’s the sock gap! Miss it, and suddenly you are a naked man in socks! No self-respecting woman will ever let a naked man in socks do the squealchy with her!

Patrick: That’s your foreplay tip? Socks?

Jeff: Many men have fallen through the sock gap, Patrick!

*The Reason for celebrity marriages: Season 1, Episode 2:

On thinking about somebody else during sex…

Susan: Is it absolutely necessary to think about somebody else?

Jeff: I mean everybody does. That’s why there are so many celebrity marriages. If you fantazise about somebody else during sex and so does your partner, and those two people you are fantasizing about  happen to meet while you are still doing it, they are bound to sense something, aren’t they? They are connectiong on like a virtual plane. So can you imagine what it was like when Posh first met Beckham? They were the epic center of a non-stop, nationwide virtual shag there! There is no wonder she got pregnant!

****

That’s Jeff for you. Oh, his gems are endless. The other are funny in different and original ways.

Jane loves creating stories about how she is a bisexual even when she is not, especially when she wants to excite a guy. She is very “unflushable”, persistant and downright weird. She is sort of attractive too, so her romantic life does get action, even though almost all her actions are mentally questionable. Sally is a beautician and loves youth. She freaks out at the idea of unnecessary smiles causing wrinkles on her skin, so she only smiles to single men, for instance.

Patrick thinks he is godsend to women. Even thought I can’t see what is particularly attractive about him, he is the one with many conquests. It is like Joey in Friends or Barney in How I Met Your Mother. It just works in the context of the story. And Steve…As cute as he is and comparably very normal and sweet compared to Jeff, he also has a tendency to freak out a lot, at the weirdest instances. And while Susan is normally the sexy, independent, sexually active woman every man dreams about, things change a bit when she is in a relationship. But then a relationship, especially a serious one, gets the best of almost anyone…

Sex and The City had a fairly female audience. In Coupling, you get the best jokes about sex, weirdest and most original dialogues about dating (thanks to the writers and Jeff), funny situations, physical comedy and more. The area that it is superior to Sex and The City is that it is purely funny with no drama involved and it includes lots of reality for both men and women. Like when Sally overhears Jeff trying to give Steve advice on foreplay, she is taken aback. She asks “Do they know about that”. And of course, they don’t…What Jeff means is that Steve shouldn’t be late to take his socks off and that he should call -whoever he fantasizes about sex- Susan. So there won’t be hell to pay if he says another girl’s name… Now, these two shows are very different in format and genre and I wouldn’t give up on either. But it is nice to have such a hilarious yet truthful sitcom on relationships where you can sit with friends of both sexes and laugh together…

Coupling on Amazon. com

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2 Responses to “Coupling starring Jack Davenport, Sarah Alexander, Ben Miles, Richard Coyle, Kate Isitt and Gina Bellman”

  1. Okan says:

    – Jeff! stop shaking the caravan!!!

  2. zoey says:

    :)))) Got to love Jeff. Steve too…

    Steve: I dumped her the last 4 times I saw her.
    Jeff: So, what goes wrong?
    Steve: We have sex.
    Jeff: You have sex?
    Steve: She makes me.
    Jeff: How?
    Steve: She suggests it.
    Jeff: Evil!

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