Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps
I came across 'Coupling' on the local PBS channel late Saturday nights. It was on after 'The Office', which was the show I wanted to see. But after a few weeks, I skipped 'The Office' and got hooked on 'Coupling'. After the series run, I wanted to see it again, but not have to wait once a week. So, I scored a great deal on the entire series.
'Coupling' is one of the most satisfying series I have seen in many a year. At first, I'd watch and think, "I can't believe they just said that!" But as the series went along the characters became more developed, and I really cared about them, especially Sally Harper. This surprised me, because, at first, I could not stand her. She was this one note age obssessed stereotype. But Kate Isitt really brought a lot to making Sally a real person. Her standout, and I think, brave performances are in the episodes "Remember This", "The Girl with One Heart" (absolutley heartbreaking at the end), "Bed Time", and "9 1/2 Months".
Gina Bellman was note perfect as the "mad" Jane Christie, a good time gal up for anything. However, Jane never became really believable until the penultimate episode "The Naked Living Room", but it's worth the wait.
Susan Walker, played by Sarah Alexander, is the most elusive of the women. She's smart, organized, sexually voracious, a "happy trotting elf", to quote an episode. Yet, there's a distance to her, probably because she's so busy keeping everything together. Maybe having a boyfriend like Steve Taylor has something to do with that.
Steve, played by Jack Davenport, is the most normal of the guys. He does tend to complain a lot, especially during series 4 "the baby season", but he also gets to make great speeches about why men are like we are; "Inferno" is a great example. Steve also gets the last line of the series, and after he says it, you know why it ended when it did. It's perfect.
Patrick Maitland, played by Ben Miles, is the "tripod" womanizer. But, in a twist, he's very upfront about it. There's no guile to him at all. When he gets involved with Sally, it's very confronting to him, and he breaks out of being the stud, although not willingly.
And Jeff... ah, Jeff. The reason to watch the show. Richard Coyle will always be identified with Jeff Murdock no matter what. I saw a video of 'Lorna Doone' with Mr. Coyle on the box as the romantic lead and just burst out laughing. Jeff gets the best lines and observations; the "sock gap" is so true! And he always manages to get naked at least one a season with hilarious and squirm inducing results.
Richard Mylan, as Oliver Morris, had the thankless job of replacing Jeff after Richard Coyle left after series 3. He acquits himself admirably; he's not Jeff under another name, and he gives Oliver gravity in "The Naked Living Room" when he dares confront Jane... something none of the other characters ever did.
Steven Moffatt wrote all 29 episodes and as he went along he put twists on presenting the stories, such as "The Girl with Two Breasts", "The End of the Line", "Split", "Remember This", "9 1/2 Minutes", "Nightlines" and "Bed Time." Great, great imagination.
So, yes, it IS a comedy about sex, sex, and more sex. But if you watch closely it's also a about lot more.Read full review