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Coupling - The Hit BBC Comedy

Updated on April 30, 2016

Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps...

Coupling is a hilarious British comedy that ran from 2000 to 2004 on Britain's BBC2 and won "Best TV Comedy" at the 2003 British Comedy Awards.

The show focuses on the lives and relationships of the six main characters.  They're all connected to one another either as best friends, co-workers, currently dating or ex-dating.

Some reviewers have described it as a cross between "Friends" and "Seinfeld".  It does have some similar elements to them but I think Coupling is better than either of those shows.

NBC unsuccessfully attempted an American version of Coupling in 2003.

Meet The Characters

  • Steve - Best friend of Jeff, boyfriend to Susan and ex-boyfriend of Jane. Steve's a fairly normal guy but a bit insecure and prone to rants on the differences between men and women. Played by Jack Davenport, best known for his role as Commodore Norrington in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and currently in ABC's drama, Flash Forward.
  • Susan - Best friend of Sally, girlfriend to Steve, ex-girlfriend of Patrick and a co-worker to Jeff. Susan is said to have "slept with Australia" while on holiday there. Played by Sarah Alexander.
  • Jeff - Best friend of Steve and a co-worker of Susan. Horrible at talking to women and obsessed with sex, you never know what will blurt out of Jeff's mouth. Played by Richard Coyle who unfortunately left the series after season 3 to pursue other acting interests.
  • Jane - Ex-girlfriend to Steve. Jane is a self absorbed and possibly insane helicopter traffic reporter for a local radio station. Played by Gina Bellman.
  • Sally - Best friend of Susan and a beautician who is obsessed with the effects of aging and her own ever expanding bottom. Played by Kate Isitt.
  • Patrick - Ex-boyfriend of Susan. Most of Patrick's relationships last one night...good thing he videotapes them. Played by Ben Miles.
  • Oliver - A comic book store owner who joined the gang in season 4 to fill the void left by Jeff's departure and a possible love interest for Jane. Played by Richard Mylan.

Clips from the show...

Sally asks Patrick to run interference when a date goes bad.

Coupling Is Addictive

Our copies of the 1st and 2nd seasons are usually on loan to friends who can't stop watching after we've introduced them to it.

A Classic Coupling Scene with Jeff

Jeff tries to chat up a girl in the pub. Fortunately (or not), she doesn't speak English.

Jeff-isms - The words of Jeff Murdock

  • "Your best friend is dead, but there's a bright side"
  • "When we finally get our hands on the gear, let me tell you, it's not a drill. We're supposed to fly those babies the first time we get in them"
  • "To know about the giggle loop, is to become part of the giggle loop"
  • "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"
  • "She's leaving the country...she doesn't speak English...I insulted her friend's breasts...and she thinks I collect women's ears in a bucket"
  • "No you're not dead, you look, you look great. You're not decomposing or anything...I'm not just saying that"
  • "I get very tense around apples... Well, I get very tense generally. I think I've fallen into the trap of blaming fruit."
  • "Maybe women are completely different when we're not with them. Maybe they're not cross all the time."

British to English Translations

Think because you're not from the UK that you won't get the humor in this show? Not a problem. There have only been a few times that my wife or I didn't understand a reference on Coupling and those were mostly celebrity names. Below are a few names and terms that are used frequently in the show.

Angus Deayton - British comic actor and television show host. Also the object of Susan's fantasies.

Mariella Frostrup - A popular British television presenter, once voted as having the sexiest voice of female tv personalities. Also the object of Steve's fantasies.

cupboard - closet

flat - apartment

loo - toilet, bathroom

snog - kiss, making out

torch - flashlight

1471 - telephone caller ID number (*69 in the US)

Bum Bags and Fanny Packs : A British-American American-British Dictionary
Bum Bags and Fanny Packs : A British-American American-British Dictionary

This book will help you understand what other English speakers are saying...no matter which side of the ocean (pond) you're from.

 

Vote For Your Favorite Coupling Character

Who is your favorite Coupling character?

See results

The Coupling Ladies

Sally, Jane and Susan give Julia advice on flirting...and have some fun with the waiter at the same time.

Other British Comedies

The Office: The Complete BBC Collection (First and Second Series Plus Special)
The Office: The Complete BBC Collection (First and Second Series Plus Special)

The BBC's original "The Office" that the American version was based on.

 
Benny Hill Complete and Unadulterated: The Naughty Early Years, Set One - 1969-1971
Benny Hill Complete and Unadulterated: The Naughty Early Years, Set One - 1969-1971

The Benny Hill Show in its complete format as it aired on the BBC.

 

Comments - Share your thoughts on the show...

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I don't think it's better then Seinfeld and in the first episode the Steve and Jane break up scene takes the fact the dumpee won't accept it from a Seinfeld joke as the it's not you it's me.

    • MEJC LM profile image

      MEJC LM 5 years ago

      I loved Coupling. Jeff was always my favourite character.

    • IQplusone profile image

      IQplusone 5 years ago

      I loved this show - it would be great to run it again

    • MacPharlain profile image
      Author

      MacPharlain 5 years ago

      @JoolsObsidian LM: Remember, "To know of the giggle loop is to become part of the giggle loop!"

      That was a funny episode and I liked the tribute to Reservoir Dogs, too.

    • JoolsObsidian LM profile image

      JoolsObsidian LM 5 years ago

      I enjoyed your lens as I loved 'Coupling', my favourite character being Jeff - I loved the episode with the funeral - the giggle loop and the guys walking along the street as if they were in Reservoir Dogs! I also love Steven Moffat's writing for 'Sherlock' and 'Dr Who'.

    • BuddyBink profile image

      BuddyBink 5 years ago

      I love 'Coupling'. In fact I am watching it right now. I have the Season 1 DVD in my CD drive right now. I so wish American TV was as good as the BBC. Thanks. In answer to Jonathan Roth's question about the actress who played the woman from Israel her name is Anat Dychtwald. And a !yad drawkcab yppah.

    • hayleylou lm profile image

      hayleylou lm 7 years ago

      Great show, nice lens, 5 stars. I have added a link to your lens on my Blossom Comedy lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Does anyone know the name of the actress who played the woman visiting from Israel in the episode where Jeff has absolutely no idea what she's saying?

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      my husband and I are addicted to the show we bought all the seasons and have turned quite a few people on to the show. you just can't get enough of it its the best way to end a long stressful day. just pop in the dvd and get ready to laugh your butt off.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I found this show at 5:00 am for several months this year 2009 but now it is gone and I really loved the show. Coupling was the funniest show every.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      just discovered this show on bbca and i love it. telling all my friends about it. shame it's done, but what can you do. truly a classic, and kudos to all the writers and actors involved. you put on one great show.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Oh I love this show.. I think they are funnier than friends..!!

    • profile image

      SteveWilliams 8 years ago

      Hi there! I Really love coupling and Richard Coyle is just amazing as Jeff. I loved when they brought him back as a woman, though it wasn't ever really the same after Jeff left. I really like your lens and think it's set out really well. Thanks for putting this up.

    • Kanga LM profile image

      Kanga LM 9 years ago

      Great lens. I love this show!

      Hmmm... I'll have to get the DVDs and make my boyfriend watch them :-P

    • MacPharlain profile image
      Author

      MacPharlain 9 years ago

      Hi Vince, season 4 is the last season. Totally agree with you about the British accents and slang. Enjoy watching the show!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      I'm a new fan. Started watching it on BBC America. One of the best shows ever! Not only funny, but, I think the British accent and their slang makes it even funnier. Can anyone tell me, is the show no longer being made? Is the DVD collection up to season 4 the last season?

      Thnaks for the info!

    • Lewister profile image

      Susan 9 years ago from Texas

      One of my all time favorites! Can't get enough of Jeff. Just cracks you up every time he opens his mouth. So sad that he left the show.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Love this show. Love your lens! 5 stars.

    • LynnScotland profile image

      LynnScotland 10 years ago

      Gret show. Fans should check out Steven Moffat's earlier and less well-known sitcom "Joking Apart" starring Robert Bathurst.

    • profile image

      datingtips93 10 years ago

      Funny show. Nice!

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