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3.8 out of 5 stars45
3.8 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 8 July 2009
Imagine taking Joey out of Friends. Imagine taking the Cat out of Red Dwarf. Imagine removing Baldrick from Blackadder's side. What if there was no Barney in How I Met Your Mother, no GOB in Arrested Development or if Green Wing was lacking Dr. Alan Statham. Such occurances would by no means spell the end of a show (probably for commercial reasons), but they should. Ensemble comedy is exactly that. There are several cogs, and they are all integral. Yeah the show can go on, but it won't be quite as good.

The same can be said of Coupling Season 4. No Jeff means less laughs. Not necessarily because Oliver, try as he might, is any less technically funny, but because over three previous seasons we've grown to love and appreciate everything that Jeff did and said. Would the show be the same if Patrick or Steve had left? No, it would have suffered greatly. The same for the characters of Susan, Jane and Sally.

The trouble with this season is that it's different. The emptiness left by Richard Coyle's departure is felt all the more keenly precisely because Oliver is basically superfluous. We already had a witty, nervous, wreck of a man in Steve,, and the sheer bizarre audacity of some of Jeff's comedy is sorely lacking.

Moffat's writing is still sharp as ever, and the rest of the cast are on form as always. The feel is the same, the tone identical. But the dynamic has changed, and not for the better. Unavoidable perhaps, but lamentable all the same.

Give it a try. There are still some very funny laugh-out-loud moments, and the character development of the old core five is excellent. But there is definitely something lacking. And his name is Jeff.
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on 4 May 2005
Series 4 of Coupling falls far short of the brilliance of the previous three series. It seems that Steve Moffat may just be getting tired and this reflects in the script which seems almost like a cut and paste job of each characters often formulaic reactions to the world around them. Steves melodramamatic tenancies where in previous series were very affective (cushion arguement/we are men speech) now seem pretty forced. Sally seems to be rehashing all her old lines from the previous series, and are certainly now starting to run a little thin. Jane seems to be a little less crazy and slightly more charming in this series which is great however it would seem like a pretty unbeleivable change in character has taken place since we saw her last.
There are also no episodes that show great originality such as the one where Jeff spent a whole episode missunderstanding, and in turn being missunderstood by an attractive Hebrew speaking lady. On that note the absence of Jeff in this series is one of the bigger blows I felt, although his absence alone cannot be accountable for the shows shortcomings in general this time round.
In the first few series you really got to know and care for the characters, but it seems series four does a good job of undoing these ties. A few good episodes aside, quite dissapointing, although if there are any veterans of the previous series I'm sure it will be a tempting buy if only to see what your old mates have been up to.
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on 24 January 2015
Surely everyone would agree that this is the worst series of Coupling. It kinda sticks out like a sore thumb but it's still clever and it's still pretty funny. The dynamic of the show is very different though and it's not just because Jeff is missing. For example, Jane is fairly toned down by this point (something that seemed to be happening slowly every series), Sally and Patrick are finally together, meaning their chemistry has changed, and the whole Steve/Sally relationship has become entirely about pregnancy.

Jeff's "replacement", Oliver, is different enough to introduce some new stories and he has some good moments, but he never gets a chance to really develop as a character over only a handful of episodes. If he wasn't in this series it probably wouldn't have lost anything; in fact it might've been better with more time devoted to the other characters. If you were to list each Coupling episode from best to worst, most of series 4 would be near the bottom, although Coupling at its worst is still good due to the clever format and writing. We do, after all, get a couple of non-chronological episodes once again, which are often the highlight of each series.

Did this series really have to exist? I'm not sure. I'm also not sure whether Moffat intended this to be the last series even if Richard Coyle had stayed. It may have been that after he decided to leave, Moffat decided to wrap the show up with a final series because series 3 ends with two big cliffhangers. As a stand-alone group of episodes it's fine, the only problem is that it's the final series. Watching this after the excellent first three series makes it feel like a bit of a whimper. It does have the advantage of tying up a few story arcs but, sadly, there is no closure for Jeff and his ended relationship with Julia.

In summary, it's still very good and worth watching if you've seen the first three series but this series could give you a poorer impression than you'd otherwise get about the show. So make sure you start with series 1 and watch it in order.
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on 13 July 2014
Overall I love Coupling. We've had series 1-3 for some time but recently I finally got around to ordering this final series when I saw it at a low price. I'd never watched this far when it was on TV, so beyond knowing that there's a baby on the way I didn't know what to expect and I was really looking forward to six more episodes of hilarity.
I'm glad I have it for the sake of completeness but really?! No JEFF? I feel bereft - this series I've waited so long to finally see is seriously lacking. I'd had no idea that Richard Coyle had basically decided he didn't want to typecast himself, so he left before series 4 was filmed (according to imdb anyway) - we watched the whole series expecting him to reappear.
There are a few good parts, the bond between the main five characters is still entertaining and there's some heartwarming moments too, but really it is just not the same. Oliver, who is clearly a replacement for the overexcitable, clumsy Jeff, is funny sometimes but more often just irritating because he's trying but failing to be "the new Jeff". Don't even get me started on the ridiculous fake appearance of "Jeffina" in the final episode.

It's such a shame for a brilliant show to go so suddenly downhill. A total anticlimax after the wonderful other series - I really wish they hadn't bothered, but now I can't unsee it!
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on 24 May 2005
The first three series of Coupling were exquisite. As others here have said, this one has its moments (although I'm trying hard to think of one as I write) but generally comes nowhere near the same standard. We miss Jeff, of course - he's as inspired a comic creation as Baldrick or Captain Mainwaring - but his absence is not the real problem. That is Oliver, who is an idiot and a badly-written idiot too.
The early series work so well because we sense the mutual warmth and the shared history between the characters; Oliver has no part in that and we get no impression that the others feel anything for him at all, yet there he is, trying to join in as Jeff used to. Good comedy - think Dad's Army, Frasier, Steptoe - is all about characters and this character simply doesn't belong. He's the man with the accordion, trying to play along with a string quintet and it jars every time he appears. I hope there'll be no more Coupling, and nothing more to spoil the magic of the early series.
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on 26 January 2012
COUPLING without Richard Coyle (Jeff) is like RIO BRAVO without John Wayne, SOME LIKE IT HOT without Marilyn Monroe, THE PARTY without Peter Sellers, DIRTY HARRY without Clint Eastwood, ROCKY without Sylvester Stallone, ALIEN without Sigourney Weaver, SHINING without Jack Nicholson, DALLAS without Larry Hagman, PRETTY WOMAN without Julia Roberts, FORREST GUMP without Tom Hanks, GET SHORTY without John Travolta, THE OFFICE without Ricky Gervais, MAD MEN without Jon Hamm, THE IRON LADY without Meryl Streep.

(I guess I made my point.)
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on 30 October 2005
The first 3 series of coupling where in all exellent very origional british comedy at its best. Unfortunatly the fourth series is a real let down. With the absence of the best character by far jeff and the addition of the very irratating oliver leading to a real borefest. In short just pretend this series was never made and enjoy the other 3.
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on 12 March 2006
Save yourself the let down. I adored the first three series and watch them often on DVD but the fourth series is really not in the same class. The absence of Jeff is a major body blow. Save your money and don't let this series spoil the first three all of which I recommend without hesitation as being witty and clever. One can only wish that Steve Moffat had learnt from John Cleese who only ever produced twelve "Fawlty Towers" and quit while he was ahead.
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on 10 July 2004
Before I start praising the series, I better tell you that Jeff, the zany, hapless one has elected to leave the show in order to embark on other projects. You might say that it is a miracle we still got Series 4, because writer, Steven Moffat said that he almost axed the series, but luckily, he's produced another fine six episodes, so I think that people should be grateful we got any...
I think this series however does have a different feel to it, it's darker, cleverer, the plots are thicker. I know people blame the show's so-called murderer, Oliver, Jeff's replacement but I, alone maybe, found him very funny and in a way as good as Jeff because it was a new character to explore, get to know, develope. Jeff was great, but it is nice to have a new face to laugh at.
The episodes are on the whole fantastic, I especially liked 'Night Lines' and '9 and a half months', where Susan gives birth. A wonderful series that deserves more than it is getting, if people want to watch Jeff, play the earlier DVD's but true fans who believe in comic evolution shall enjoy this series no end.
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on 28 November 2010
This does not match the past three series and most people would agree this almost soley down to the absence of the character Jeff who made the programme what it was. It still has its moments and the new actor makes a fair stab at the role but it falls short of what it was.
Shame the actor who played Jeff dint want to continue as in the end it killed the programme off.
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