Where Friends is a US sitcom about drinking coffee and dating, Coupling is a UK sitcom about drinking and shagging.

It's currently in it's third series (as at October 2002), and is going to be used to replace Friends in the US after that show's last series.

It's the first sitcom in years that's had me corpsing on the couch for the entire episode.

The two leads are played by Jack Davenport, (ex of This Life), and Susan Alexander. (You know - the incredibly sexy one off of Smack the Pony).

It's written by Andrew Moffat, who also wrote the BBC2's 'Joking apart' - the first situation farce.

Almost single-handedly, it's demonstrating that British comedy programmes need not be limited to the quizcom format to be funny.
A comedy on BBC, and intermittently on BBCAmerica. It is essentially Friends but with better writing, better acting, and likable characters. Invariably hilarious, frequently even more so than British Men Behaving Badly. The show simply follows a group of friends throughout the course of their lives.

Steve has dumped the clearly insane Jane and is now dating the perfect blonde (but insecure) Susan, who broke up with Steve's friend, the successful and penultimate male chauvinist Patrick. Sally, who is obsessed with preventing any signs of aging, dates a variety of men throughout and is never happy with any of them, longing to be with Patrick (because he is accurately described as having been "born a tripod").

While Steve and Susan are the primary focus, there is a lot of time dedicated to the rest of the cast as well. There is almost always a subplot involving Jeff. Jeff is nuts in a very different way from Jane. I include some of his choice quotes below as a means of explanation of Jeff. Some of the most entertaining episodes revolve around Jeff getting himself in over his head, such as when he convinces a girl that he has a prosthetic leg in order to convice her he isn't a serial killer. Jeff lives in a world largely his own, where secret hidden things always cause him problems and there is the eternal possibility that his mother will turn up and say disappointedly "Oh, Jeffrey". As she does when he is blindfolded and brought into a surprise party at his office and strips naked with the blindfold still on thinking he's about to get lucky.

Cast:
Sarah Alexander..... Susan Walker
Gina Bellman........ Jane Christie
Richard Coyle....... Jeff Murdock
Jack Davenport...... Steve Taylor
Kate Isitt.......... Sally Harper
Ben Miles........... Patrick Maitland

Jeffisms (while he may seem mysogynistic, he actually isn't. He's simply clueless):

"Yeah, but, Steve, you’re entitled to her stockings... you’re still in the zone… the boyfriend zone. This is the tailing-off period. You’ve still got a load of stuff in her flat. You might still have a wedding to go to together. You’re under joint headings in your friend’s address books."

"I mean, where exactly do you take your socks off? My advice is to take them off right after your shoes, and before your trousers. That’s the sock gap. Miss it, and suddenly you’re a naked man in socks. No self-respecting woman will ever let a naked man in socks do the squelchy with her."

"Only an interview? What if I panic? You know, what if I say an accidental word... there’s pressure, you know, the wrong word could just pop out of my mouth by accident... Nipples!"

"Oh, wouldn’t that be great... being a lesbian. All the advantages of being a man, but with less embarrassing genitals."

"You know, when I was a kid, I used to write the word 'naked' hundreds of times on a piece of paper, and then rub my face in it."

"I need breasts with brains. I don’t mean individual brains, obviously... I mean, not a brain each. You know, I like intelligent women, but you’ve got to draw the line somewhere... I think breast brains would be over-egging the woman pudding."

"This is the curse of Jeff Murdock. I meet the woman of my dreams and I can’t take my trousers off."

"Steve’s whole fantasy life revolves around Mariella Frostrup… If ever meets Mariella Frostrup in person his right hand will shout 'mother'."

"Stage One. The prickles. You can feel the prickles starting all over your face. If you just think the word blush, your head will inflate to three times its normal size. And then you realise you’re not saying anything. You’re stuck on pause. And you’ve forgotten how to work your face."

"All of us in our time are visited by the Melty Man... Don’t say his name, Patrick. Don’t even think his name, or he will rise from the shadow dimensions to do his evil work inside your terrified pants."

Steve, it’s a bad idea to actually count women’s breasts. The whole bus stares at you."

"Steve, you know what the sentence of death is, don’t you? I don’t mean the sentence like in executions and stuff, I mean the scary one... Just five words, Steve. Five little words. 'Where. Is. This. Relationship. Going.'"

"You know what’s great about skirts? When a woman’s wearing a skirt, you know, you know, that somewhere in that room, shifting all the time, there is the VAA: the Visual Access Angle. A clear line of sight back to base camp."

"I am a prison for sperms. Those poor little tadpoles have been sentenced for life in Jeff Murdock’s groin. And let me tell you, that can be a pretty lonely place."

"Having a girlfriend is like legalised sex."

"Women remember, Steve. It's like they've got minds of their own."

"When God made the arse, he didn't say, 'Hey, it's just your basic hinge, let's knock off early.' He said, 'Behold ye angels, I have created the arse. Throughout the ages to come, men and women shall grab hold of these, and shout my name.'"

"I'm not bad. I've never been bad... I'm fairly new to mild naughtiness."

"You know jelly-wrestling... which is basically jelly with women wrestling in it... OK, well, think about this. Afterwards, after the wrestling, what happens to the jelly? Because you could sell that. That is a missed opportunity. You could bottle it and sell it... You take the women out first, obviously."

"Fact of life: the longer a man doesn't see a woman naked, the more he turns into a giant hoover pig."

"Sally could be a lesbian! ...It could happen! She could be having a shower maybe. and probably Jane would be there. And she might happen to say, 'Jane, could you help me soap my breasts?'. 'Your breasts, Sally?' 'Yes, Jane, it's those tricky undersides.' 'Oh, I know what you mean, Sally, breasts can be a real dirt-trap.'"

"Porn-wise, lesbians are like a jam sandwich, without the sandwich and just the jam. Fact, lesbians are just a big blob of jam. Well, not actually. Unless they've exploded in all the lesbonic excitement."

"Do you know what would be the best way to wipe out all of human kind if you were a space alien with a special kind of mind ray? Make all women telepathic. Because if they suddenly found out about the kind of stuff that goes on in our heads they would kill us all on the spot. Men are not people - we are disgustoids in human form. "

"Maybe women are completely different when we’re not with them. Maybe they’re not cross all the time."

"Well yeah, there's that, but that's not what the boys are wanting is it. See they want to think they're going somewhere when they go. I keep thinking about my brave lads all excited on the launch pad and then suddenly it's... 'Oh no! Daylight!' "

Coup"ling (-l?ng), n.

1.

The act of bringing or coming together; connection; sexual union.

2. Mach.

A device or contrivance which serves to couple or connect adjacent parts or objects; as, a belt coupling, which connects the ends of a belt; a car coupling, which connects the cars in a train; a shaft coupling, which connects the ends of shafts.

Box coupling, Chain coupling. See under Box, Chain. -- Coupling box, a coupling shaped like a journal box, for clamping together the ends of two shafts, so that they may revolve together. -- Coupling pin, a pin or bolt used in coupling or joining together railroad cars, etc.

 

© Webster 1913.

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