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Lost in the Giggle Loop
on 28 August 2001
Just when it seemed that the US had the ensemble sitcom market bubble-wrapped, along came 'Coupling'; at last, a British effort that had the guts to be positive, that eschewed the tired female cynic / male cretin dynamic, and recalibrated the funniometer along the way.
Centred conceptually around the complex inter-relationships of six friends, and physically around their favourite bar, the series contains countless sharp observations on sexual politics while sensibly focussing on laughs first and issues second. Central to the appeal of the show is the glee which writer Steven Moffat takes in his characters; the anarchically unhinged Jane; the obsessively analytical Geoff, whose whacky theories, and their frequent self-fulfilment, form a recurring theme; the shallow Patrick, the nervy Sally, the unnervingly forward Susan and the struggling nice-guy Steve. You've seen them all in your local, and these distillations are so skillful you'll swear you've met them in person.
The six episodes on this DVD serve to set a style and lay a foundation for a series which could run and run. From the terrors of the Sock Gap, through the trials of the Giggle Loop, to the sheer audacious brilliance of staging half an episode in Hebrew just to get a cheap tit gag, "Coupling" Series One will have you pounding on Moffat's door simply demanding more.