What is it about?
The aria from Madame Butterfly. The questionable purpose of extra cushions on the couch. The unfortunate circumstance in which one has two whole legs. “Overdosing” with two paracetamol. Uncontrollable pauses. These are the things that Coupling is about.
Why is it great?
Coupling is the first British comedy that I fell in love with. I was freshly out of college: a youngin’ trying to figure out the world. This is the perfect time to watch this show because the characters are just about as clueless. Coupling is about six friends, three male, three female, trying to figure out how to communicate with each other, work through their silly neuroses, and have relationships. These characters are extremely attractive and obsessed with the opposite sex. This concept has been done many times before with very generic results. Coupling gets it right by creating ridiculous situations for it characters that are actually quite unique: they give you a man who is so nervous around women that he accidentally lies about being an amputee, rather than the standard poop and erection jokes. Nearly every episode includes silly, made-up terminology to describe the obstacles in relationships. Case in point: the first episode is named Flushed. The writers of this show also do an excellent job of building the laughs in each episode. The first five minutes of an episode will give you a few chuckles, but the last minute or so will have you laughing so hard your tummy hurts, and it will all be because of the joke planted in those early chuckles.
I also love the last line of the show. It is beautiful and perfect and kicks the last four words of Gilmore Girls straight in the bottom.
My favorite character:
Oh, Jeffery! I think it is a true testimonial to the writing on this show that the most disgusting, pathetic character is my number one favorite. While he may have an emotionally stunted exterior, his core is gooey sweetness. I’m sure his Welsh accent doesn’t hurt either.
My favorite episode:
Unconditional Sex (S3, E3). It’s a Jeffery-centric episode with made-up relationship terminology and the early chuckles end in a perfect one liner that makes for a tummy hurtin’ laugh. It’s everything that I love about this show.
Where can I find it?
You can buy all episodes on Amazon– but if you do this buy a whole season at a time. At the time of publication, you could buy Season 1 for $4.99, or $1.99 an episode. The math is pretty straightforward on that one.
If you have a subscription, you can watch all episodes on Hulu.