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April 29, 2006


Beth Ciotta

BBC America offers some brilliant comedies. I'm a big fan of The Office and Coupling. Although I agree with tenspeed & brownshoe, Coupling wasn't the same once Jeff left. Three more oldie but goodie BBC faves: Absolutely Fabulous, Blackadder, and Fawlty Towers.


coupling is a great treat. i lived in evanston for a year and the main perk was that the pbs showed coupling. i've only seen it intermitently, but wholly recommend it. The actor playing Jack is terrific (he was in the Talented Mr. Ripley) and it's soo well done. It's almost too good, with no commercials, it makes your brain actually stay engaged for the length of the half hour. shocking :-). it can sometimes be catched on the bbc america station.Have a great trip to chicago! and make sure NOT to eat at jacky's bistro!!!!!-- kate


Ken, I think you mean the first three seasons of Coupling. The 4th season falls a little flat with the loss of Jeff/introduction of Oliver.


Mark: Yeah, but I mean, does size really make a difference? You know what woman always say?Patrick: Ouch? the best comedy ever!

Rob Spalding

You're right Coupling is great, which is why I was bugged to see the Lovely Sarah Alexander in Teachers, I thought we'd lost her.But that seems to be ending, was it only supposed to be a short series or did it no go down well?Also, Stephan Moffat - the writer, wrote the best 2 episodes of the last series of Doctor Who.

Ken Levine

The Oliver season wasn't as good but the 8 1'2 minutes episode where we saw the same scene three times from different points of views was absolutely BRILLIANT.


Reading up behind the scenes - it appears that the actor playing Jeff didn't want to return, thus Oliver.Then NBC bought the show after season 4, and promptly cancelled it in the US - thus killing the show for good everywhere.The writer then went on to write shows for the new Dr. Who.Contrary to popular belief, I still think season 4 was funny. It was different, but it's hard to accept something new. Especially if you watch 3 seasons with Jeff (on DVD you can watch them all in a week), and then you're given Oliver. It's a tough transition.All in all, I still believe season 4 was funnier and more original than most of the stuff we have over here in the USA. When you compare Coupling with (god) it's american counterpart you can see exactly how different our societies are when it comes to television and what is considered "acceptable".


What threw me with the American Coupling was when they did scenes that were in the UK version, they simply weren't funny. The dialog for the attempted Jane/Steve breakup in the first episode is almost identical between the two versions. I cannot figure out why I still laugh at the original, while the US version of the same scene doesn't raise a chuckle.The UK version was also not afraid to not explain a joke. (Spoiler for season 4) There is a subtle bit in 9 1/2 Minutes (Series 4, ep 1) when Oliver hands Susan his business card and she gets a strange expression. At this point, she, and the audience, think that he is Jane's gynecologist. Several minutes later, we discover that Oliver runs a specialty SF book/video store named HellmouthI'm a bit embarrassed that it took me 3 viewings to catch that one. My wife couldn't figure out why I fell off the couch laughing at what appeared to be filler


In Germany Coupling is carried over Nickelodeon at night... in german, naturally, and it REALLY doesnt work. I guess language is essential


Coupling was brilliant. I never watched the US version. My current BBC America favorite is Little Britian. What I love about British TV is they don't beat a show to death, 3-4 seasons and that's it. Also check out Kath and Kim, an Aussie sitcom, fab.

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    Ken Levine is an Emmy winning writer/director/producer/major league baseball announcer. In a career that has spanned over 30 years Ken has worked on MASH, CHEERS, FRASIER, THE SIMPSONS, WINGS, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, BECKER, DHARMA & GREG, and has co-created his own series including ALMOST PERFECT starring Nancy Travis. He and his partner wrote the feature VOLUNTEERS. Ken has also been the radio/TV play-by-play voice of the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres.
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