British television: Coupling

Old Oct 10th, 2003, 02:35 PM
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British television: Coupling

I'm curious what other British Television fans think of the American version of Coupling.

I think the British version puts the U.S. version to shame. What do you think?
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Old Oct 10th, 2003, 02:56 PM
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I agree. I keep trying to figure out why because they've even done the same shows. I think part of it is that the 'Jeff' character isn't right in the U.S. version. He needs to look/be wackier and of course the U.K. Jeff's Scots accent makes what he says even funnier.

I also don't think there's much 'clicking' between the three men and the three women, but perhaps it's too soon. I can't remember what the first Friends' episodes were like, perhaps they had the same problems.

I hope it does work, although we've stopped watching the U.S. version. Thankfully, we still get the U.K. version on re-runs.

Will be interesting to hear what others say.
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Old Oct 10th, 2003, 02:58 PM
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Hi Kaneohe - I think all British shows put their American copies to shame. But when it comes to Coupling, frankly the British show, IMO, stinks. Just ain't funny, full of one-dimensional stick figures, and it's dated. And I can't tell the men apart. Haven't seen the American show, but heard it would be canceled for being too risque. Apparently not.
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Old Oct 10th, 2003, 05:01 PM
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American version isn't the same. I don't think the show's producers here get the English humor behind the scripts (and in certain obsessions!)

American version does the same thing they generally do to remade material. Everything is slicker, blander (especially the actors) and for some reason, everyone needs to have a more glamourous life. Noted that one of the characters in the US version now has a window office so big it would make the average CEO envious. I'm not sure why the entertainment industry in the US thinks that the only thing interesting about a character is status. All in all, I don't think they understand their own show.
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Old Oct 10th, 2003, 07:09 PM
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I've become a big fan of the British version of Coupling. I watched the first few Americanized episodes and was really disappointed. I think there's less subtlety in the plot lines and the actors aren't as good. I also agree with rickmav -- the Jeff character is not a good fit. The British Jeff really makes the show, with his quirkiness and Scottish accent.
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Old Oct 11th, 2003, 11:23 AM
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Haven't seen the American version - I wonder if we're likely to see it in the UK. But I was sceptical as to whether it would work - I always thought there's something specifically British about the little-boyness of the male characters, especially Jeff (that's a Welsh accent by the way), and US TV companies seem to like all their characters to be a bit too glossy and glamorous (can you seriously imagine anyone in Friends doing the ironing?). For that reason I cannot imagine how they're going to re-work 'The Office' - for a start, I doubt if US viewers are as used to the conventions of the 'fly-on-the-wall' documentary, which is half the point of the programme, let alone having as a tragi-comic protagonist someone who has only the dimmest idea that everyone sees him as a complete idiot - and when it's pointed out to him turns into (yes, another) sulky adolescent.
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Old Oct 11th, 2003, 11:54 AM
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This is a subject SOOO dear to my heart. First of all, we are big fans of the British Coupling. I think it is one of the funniest sitcoms of recent years, but it is really the actors (and their characters) that make the show so funny. I think it's more like Seinfeld in some ways than it is like Friends.

I also think they've had some extremely clever episodes, e.g., the phone call mix-up (No, I am Giselle!), the split screen time line, and the Israeli-girl- in-the-bar language flip.

The US version supposedly used the EXACT same scripts, line for line, and even though the reviews were dreadful, I had to watch it to see why it was such a disaster. I agree with many of you who said that the casting is to blame, especially Jeff, the Mad Hatter who drives the loonier humor in the British version.

I won't be watching any more of the US version, but I can't wait to get the 2nd season of the British version on DVD. We have shown the 1st season to several friends, and I am amazed at how much I laugh at repeat viewings.

As for The Office, how can perfection be improved on, or even duplicated? I'm not sure I can bear to watch the sure-to-be-awful effort.

PatrickLondon, Monica would definitely do the ironing.
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Old Oct 11th, 2003, 12:06 PM
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I won't watch the American version again...hopefully it won't make it through the season.

Another favorite British Comedy is As Time Goes By....too bad it's no longer in production. I thought the writing on that show was excellent.

I'm not familiar with The Office...tell me about it.
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Old Oct 11th, 2003, 12:11 PM
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Kaneohe, read this review. It gives an excellent description of the show. The show is excruciatingly brilliant.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...L&type=tvradio
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Old Oct 11th, 2003, 01:48 PM
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The Office is a fantastic show! It's so funny. At times you're squirming your seat, the guy is so bad!

One show that I find odd is Manchild, which airs on BBC Canada. It's the British middle-aged man's version of Sex in the City. It's amusing, but clearly a rip-off of American TV. The men are pathetic, there's really no likeable character on the show.
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Old Oct 11th, 2003, 02:42 PM
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They're making a US version of The Office??? That's just demented - and not in a good way.
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Old Oct 11th, 2003, 06:54 PM
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I'm horrified I thought the 'Jeff' character was a Scot. I guess it's about time I went back to Scotland. Or Wales.
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