The Coupling (US version) thread

I’ve been a fan of the original since I watched a marathon on BBCAmerica with my parents around Christmas time (that’s not a sentence you see everyday). I got the series 1 DVD for my birthday, and have tried to convert as many of my friends as possible.

Color me unimpressed by the NBC version. To me, the acting seemed so wooden. I smiled at a couple bits, but they were all original Stephen Moffat bits. I think I was smiling only because it was a good joke, not because it was acted well. I only had one laugh-out-loud moment, which was a new bit (Jane playing on her cell phone in the bathroom stall). As a poster on Television Without Pity said, “it was like a high school play version of Coupling.” By and large, the cast was too good looking. Steve wasn’t dorky enough, Jeff wasn’t quirky enough, Patrick was too much of an ass, and Sally wasn’t insecure enough. Susan was bland, and only Jane was tolerable.

I thought the overall pacing of the episode was off, too. Granted, I understand that they had to trim stuff because the BBC doesn’t have commercials. But it didn’t seem to flow well. First off, they change the circumstances of how Steve and Susan meet (granted, only a little, but still). In the NBC version, Jeff hands Steve a condom, Susan raises her eyes a bit, but that is that. The British version seemed more smooth. Also, the British version sets up the Sally-Patrick date better. Sally first tells Susan that she only smiles for single men (and reminds Susan of an upcoming facial). Then, after Susan dumps Patrick, we see Sally smile. Later, when Susan shows up early to the restaurant, she explains that her facial has been cancelled. Which leads to the payoff of Sally on a date with Patrick at the time of the facial.

Plus, when Susan flashes the gang, she does so in a corner in which the walls are an open mesh! That makes her character seem more exhibitionist than she actually is.

I also got really sick of the 3-camera format. The BBC version has a lot more steady cam shots, outdoor shots, and more intercutting of related material (the opening conversations being the best example in this episode). Which helps make it more clever.

Then there’s the jokes that were cut. “One swallow doesn’t make her my girlfriend” is great material. I’m surprised they kept “I’m not completely SHAVED!”.

I know I’m biased–my boyfriend said I wouldn’t like the show on principle, even if it was good. Perhaps he’s right. Regardless, I think I’ve rambled on long enough. Any thoughts? I’m especially interested in the opinons of people who haven’ts een the original version.

(From someone who has seen the first season and part of the second of the British version):

I caught the last 5 minutes, so I can’t make a complete assessment. I, too, wasn’t terribly impressed. I much prefer how the British actors protray their characters. I can’t think of anyone else who could possibly play the “Jeff” character (or for that matter any of the other characters, with the possible exception of Patrick) than the originals.

Still, I’ll try to watch the next episode before I make my final judgement.

(Wondering how the American “giggle loop” episode will fair…)


The pacing was my biggest problem with it. I love the original because they have such good timing. A lot of the funniest moments in the original are when Steve or Susan playing straightman to the idiot friends around them. It has a great ‘Abbot and Costello’ pacing to the exchanges complete with stunned and dramatic pauses. In the NBC one it seemed more like ‘1,2,3 and joke and laughtrack on and laughtrack off, and next joke go’. I also hated Jeff(didn’t seem to be even trying to be the character) and Sally(same problem).

I actually liked the Patrick charater better. His vanity and self-centeredness seemed more appropraite to the character than how the british guy plays it. I’m wondering if they are going to keep usoing the same scripts, and how they are going to do some of the more gimicky ones, like the context cam one, since gimoicky show never do well here(sadly :frowning: I loved Herman’s head and Andy Richter).

The Steve character is just totally wrong. In scenes where he’s supposed to be very embarrassed and stammering, he’s just not embarrassed enough. And Steve is one of the best things about the British version; you’re completely on his side. I can’t identify with this new feller.

And talk about cutting jokes, they cut the joke that was the title of the original episode: “Unflushable”.

Ugghhh, I thought the american version was absolute crap… Thankfully I was able to redeem myself by watching the real version on BBC America as soon as the NBC version was finished. The only redeeming factor was the american Patrick, I didn’t care for any of the characters at all until the end, and then it was only Patrick. Otherwise I thought Jeff wasn’t sleezy enough, the Jane character wasn’t ditzy enough, and what’s with changing Krippen (sp?) for the Titanic? I had no clue who Krippen was before I saw the British version and it was STILL a funny joke.

Oh well least I have Seasons 1-3 of the british version on their way to my house right now, maybe I can convice myself the american version was just a bad dream.

I didn’t watch the American version, since I was watching Survivor. But I don’t see the point. From the commercials, it looked as if they were using the same scripts. Why not just import the British version? It would be cheaper than making new versions, and I suspected (which has been confirmed in this thread) that the original version is superior.

I don’t have BBC America, so I only found out about Coupling last year. I’ve only seen the first two seasons (at a friend’s house). I have the first season DVD, and am anxiously awaiting Season Two’s release.

Don’t like the British version and didn’t like the US one, either. Got through 15 minutes before I turned it off.

“I really like to have sex!”
“Gee, I like to have sex, too!”
[laugh track wets itself]
“Do you want to have sex with me?”
“No, I don’t.”
“You don’t want to have sex with her?”
[laugh track gives itself a hernia]
“But I have boobies!
“Look, she has boobies!”
“OK, I guess I do want to have sex with you.”
“Oh, good—we are going to have sex!”
“Gosh, I wish I could have sex.”
[laugh track has to be carried out on stretcher]

The pre-buzz on the show was critical of the writing. But the writing taken from the BBC version was very good. It’s the acting that’s horrible. Bob “just reading the cue cards” Hope Special level acting.

“Porn Buddies” is funny on the BBC version. It just wasted time on NBC.

It’s going to die quickly.

After only 4 episodes, in fact.,1002,271|84431|1|,00.html

Yes, NBC have finally realised that the awful US version of Coupling is not the most talked about new show, and in fact that the only people who are talking about it are just saying how bad it is.

Goodbye and good riddance, US version of Coupling, nit to mention your bad actors. Long live the original!

NOT to mention… Not

Must remember that Preview is my friend…

Weird. My comment to my wife when I saw the first U.S. Coupling was that it was like a high school play version of the British show. Great minds and all that.

I’ve only seen the handful of British shows that BBC America runs over and over, but the acting on that version was miles better. The actors inhabited their characters. On the U.S. show you kept getting the feeling that these were stand-ins doing a lighting check for the director and that the real actors would be along later to do it right.

Good thing CSI is on Thursdays.

FYI…it was announced yesterday that the US version of Coupling on NBC has been cancelled. Over. Done with. History.

I tried to like it, really.

It just sucked. Not funny. Bad thing for a sitcom.

Will NBC ever find a decent show to fill in that post-Will & Grace time slot? Every show that’s ever been there has sucked, including Good Morning Miami.

With Friends in its last season, it looks like Must-See TV is about to die a painful death.

Of course, both shows were derived from “Friends”. Hmm…US show -> UK show -> US version of the UK show. This has got to be a first.

I think the TV guide’s sum up of Coupling " The US’s answer to the UK’s answer to Friends" explains why I only watched one episode of it. I don’t like the UK Coupling, and I can take or leave Friends. I had to see how bad it was for myself though, a strange facination compelled me to.