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Last Updated: Friday, 26 September, 2003, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
Coupling in the US: Your Views
Coupling
The show has more-or-less the same script as the British version
A US version of UK BBC comedy Coupling makes its debut on Thursday in the States.

TV network NBC is hoping it will be as successful as Friends, which is set to end after its 10th series.

Coupling has already attracted attention in the US for its racy content, with some channels refusing to screen it.

Local stations affiliated to NBC in Indiana and Salt Lake City have both rejected the show.


Did you watch Coupling? Did you think it was too risque for the US audience? Can it be the new Friends?

This debate is now close. Please see below for a selection of your comments.

Boring, over the top. Lindsay Price was the only interesting character. the UK version is set to air on a local station here and from the commercials, the UK version looks funnier.
Maria, Chicago

No comparison to the UK version. The show was terrible, the acting was horrible and the laugh track was ridiculous. Lindsay Price was the only character that had some kind of substance. This show is going to ruin NBC's Thursday line up. Cancel it... and fast.
Paul, Canada

I'm admittedly not a fan of British humor and have never seen the British version of this show. But if the US version was almost a replica of the original, I can't imagine how the UK version could possibly be deemed entertaining.
Marisa, USA

I have been a fan of the original series Coupling ever since they started to show it on BBC America. The wit and acting are phenomenal. The first episode of the American version, while almost word for word worked off of the same British script, wasn't the same.

Since as a people we Americans can be so uptight and hypocritical, the content may offend some who will not be happy enough to just turn the television off. The rest of us will give it a chance. I think the real failure will be in the acting and the feel of the show. It is hard to copy perfection and much more will have to done to win over a new audience.
Liz Lewis, USA

I didn't think that it was very funny. It definitely wasn't too risque...not compared to what else is out there. Overall, I think that it fell flat, with characters not having enough dimension or chemistry. The writers need to work harder if they want to follow the Friends legacy.
Alex, USA

Was not impressed. They're trying too hard to be racy and the script was completely predictable.
Tina, Canada

I tuned in last night to see how American televsion could destroy one of the funniest shows ever written, and true to form, they succeeded. Coincidentally, BBC America showed the original UK version shortly afterwards and it was plain to see just how much better the original was.

Firstly, the characters in the UK version have different dialects. Part of what makes Jeff funny is the way he speaks. Not so the American version, they all sound the same. The characters themselves also don't look right. Susan should be a blonde, in the American version she looks like Monica from Friends in the wrong show!

My wife, who is American, laughed out loud at the British version. Alas, the American version didn't cause the same response. We'll probably give it another try, but after that.....................
Martin Gladstone, USA/UK

American version - bad acting, boring. English version - excellent!
Anon, USA

I started watching Coupling on BBC America and thought it was hilarious. The US version isn't very funny at all. The actors and actresses do not match their characters. It could be that I have been spoiled watching the original. Watching reruns of the British version are still funny, so it isn't because I have known what to expect.
Karen, US

As a British fan of the original Coupling living in the US, I was intrigued to see how NBC would mess with Coupling. I was not disappointed. The American actors appear to have watched the original and were attempting to repeat the original lines and actions parrot fashion, very one dimensional. The canned laughter was heard everytime an actor spoke or moved and became very annoying after the first 2 minutes. Can't see this lasting, recommend people watch the original on BBC America!
Ethan Holic, USA

I've seen the pilot version of the US Coupling, as well as the UK Coupling. I don't think it's too risque for all of the American audience - though possibly for some sections. And while the script was almost identical, the casting is not nearly as good, and I enjoyed the original version much more. (And I'm glad that is being distributed on DVD over here.)
Michael Lee, USA

I think the acting is one of the main problems with US Coupling, Jack Davenport is a very talented actor and the US guy just doesn't have the background.
Dave Heron, USA

The US version is dull as ditch water. The acting is terrible, with all the characters coming across as the same. The US Jeff is simply rubbish so the show fails to be funny whatsoever. The original UK version is far superior. Maybe because as a Brit I'm used to better quality TV, I didn't think the show was too risque for US TV. Sex in the City is far more raunchy. It was just boring, and the US producers have suddenly made it completely unfunny even though the episodes are almost identical. It needs some serious tweaking if it seriously wants to challenge Friends.
David Martin, USA

The US version of Coupling is beyond bad. Steven Moffat has my condolences - it must be painful seeing one's brilliant work debased by tepidity, mediocrity and lack of imagination.
Emma Tankel, USA

I agree, the US version should be banned. Not because I agree with their reasoning, but because it's just awful! How US networks can take a tremendously clever and funny show and ruin it so quickly is beyond me. I suppose that if you just kept the racy content in the British version and took out all the laughs, it would get banned too. Thankfully the British version has something the US version lacks - a sense of humour.
Jeff, USA

I've been watching the UK version of Coupling on BBC America, so I was a bit sceptical when I saw that NBC was bringing a US version to network television here in the states. I have to say, though, it was very funny, and pretty true to the UK version. The casting is particularly good. It's probably the first sitcom in a long time that made me laugh out loud for most of its 22 minutes.

Yes, it probably is too racy for "Middle America", but I have to say I could easily get addicted.
Bonnie, USA

I am an Englishman living in the US and I saw the debut of the US Coupling last night. IT DOES NOT WORK!!!! After seeing the English version you can't watch it. Perhaps it will work if you never saw it before - but the characters do not seem to have any depth and Jeff is not the same (you have to have the Welsh accent).
Simon Malsbury, US

As a fan of the original British series, I must agree that NBC failed to imitate a good British comedy. Normally this type of imitation fails because the script has been "dumbed down" for a network audience, but interestingly enough this one fails primarily due to poor casting. The US actors are wooden; and wooden isn't funny, even with a great, unadulterated Steven Moffat script. You don't hate them, you don't like them, and you don't care. Thanks NBC, but I'll stick to BBC America.
Lara Allen, US

I spent a year living in Houston and was continually amazed by how conservative American network television is. All sexual content, nudity, swearing or innuendo is virtually banned - while they have no problem showing the most violent of films at any time of the day.
Ross Bannerman, Scotland

Let's hope for the Americans that it becomes the next Friends and not the next Men Behaving Badly. There was a US version of that show too. And it was dreadful. It was way too slick. The Americans seem to be obsessed with casting beautiful people. Making it all look so unrealistic. Let's hope they've not made that same move this time, but have gone for realistic people with character.
Simone Engeln, Belize

I love British Coupling. I watch it all the time. I watched the NBC version last night. It was ok. Maybe as the season goes on it will get better. I do like the US Coupling opening theme song better. There are a lot more risque things on US television. Day-time soaps are a good example. Neither British or American Coupling can replace Friends.
Brian, Baltimore, USA

I am a Brit living in Philadelphia and thanks to my local PBS station have been lucky enough to see the English version of Coupling.

Having seen the American version I can definitely say it is a VERY pale imitation. The toning down of the script for American sensibilities has removed the edge from the comedy and the acting is so wooden I think they must have hired Gerry Anderson as the casting director.

I truly wish this remake had gone the way of the one for Absolutely Fabulous and had not been made. There is nothing worse than trying to take a great edgy comedy and make it politically correct.
Stephen Jeffery, USA

Unfortunately, it doesn't match the quality of the UK version. The actors weren't well matched -- and the background was bland.
JC, Canada

I've watched Coupling on BBC America for a few months now, and the US version is just not as funny. Same witty dialogue but I didn't enjoy the show at all...it must be the actors.
Amanda, USA

I think it was a cheap knock-off of the British version. They tried to make it tooo racy. I much prefer the British version but I can't seem to find it on any more.
Catie, USA

I've been watching coupling on BBC America for ages, it's probably my favourite show. I was amazed that the trailers for the US version seemed to be word for word the same, and after watching it last night, it was even worse than I expected. The "characters" are so wrong it's unbelievable. There's a complete lack of expression from the actors. British Jeff doesn't have to say anything to make you laugh, US Jeff is indistinguishable from the other 2 guys. The girls were obviously chosen solely for their looks, certainly not for their personality or ability. Compare it to last season's NBC new comedy, Scrubs, which I thought was brilliant, and it makes you wonder why NBC felt the need to copy something (badly).
Roger Franklin, USA

No way will this US take replace Friends or be the next Coupling hit.. Bring back the UK original version please!
Coupling UK fan, Canada

I am a big fan of the British Coupling, and I was really sad and disappointed by the American version. So many things were different, and above all, the new cast does not have the same chemistry. The guy who plays Jeff was especially disappointing. I found the whole cast to be devoid of emotion. As for the raciness of it, it was very turned down in the American version, and seemed to be too sterile to be as funny as the British one.
Eileen, United States

I saw the US version tonight. I was bored to pieces. It's amazing how the same exact words just have no effect. The UK version is far superior. I am American, and I'm not above liking something that is American more if it is, in fact, better, but this Coupling is just a pale ghost of the BBC version. This copying thing just doesn't work. What Not to Wear and Trading Spaces (the US copy of Changing Rooms) also don't compare. It's why I keep BBC America in my cable selection.
Abby Nardo, USA

I tuned in out of curiosity. Having watched the original coupling, the US was nothing more than a pale imitation- which really didn't work. The script was adapted for the US- taking out the subtlety, which made it stupid and the bad acting made it unbelievable. The characters though cute in their own way were trying to copy the British actors (accent and mannerisms)- that killed it. And Jeff without a Welsh accent???come on. Maybe if you hadn't seen the original it would be more entertaining, so it might catch on with some. Some sections of the public will find it too risque, I'm sure- the same section who tried to get the vicar of Dibley banned for blasphemy.
Les, US/UK

I watched both the UK and US versions of Coupling back to back and agree with everyone's comments. So what new can I have to say? NBC's refusal to use the first episode's title and Jeff's word of "Flushed / Unflushable" to refer to a relationship you can't drop denies it the thematic unity present in the UK version. This becomes most apparent during the situation in the women's restroom. Jeff's description of the concept of privileges within a relationship as "in the zone" was totally absent in the US version. So not only was the US version not funny, it didn't make sense. Overall the UK version had a more light-hearted and playful attitude towards sexual mores. The US version demonstrated lack of sexual restraint as freedom but with the subtext of seriousness. But why? At the risk of appearing more profound than it is -- the English were able to shake off the puritanism of Cromwell and established the quintessence of sexual humour in Restoration comedy. And we know what happened to the Puritans. They moved here.
John Maddy, USA

Well, I was going to ask the question, "What happens when they run out of episodes?" since the entire British run of three seasons numbers just 22, about that of one season here in the States. But after seeing the first episode of the Yank version I can answer by myself; They won't get to episode six before it's axed. Thank God though, the extra eps. would have been written by American hacks trying to ape Moffat's style, it would have had to have diverged from the continuum of the Brit series just to get into season two and it would have gone from terrible to appalling within a year. Just watch the original, and pray for the axe to fall on this travesty soon!
Arthur Taylor, USA/UK

While I know that the original has the advantage of a full 30 minutes, the US writers pretty much had to do nothing but condense, since they used the original UK pilot script. But instead of doing that, they tried to get creative. Rather than Steve falling out of the ladies' room stall to get a condom, he phones Jeff to get a condom for him (which is contrived AND dumb! Good job, NBC!). This scene replaces Sally telling Patrick he qualifies for her elasticity, and so we wonder why she shows up at the restaurant with him in the end. After all, the last we heard, she told him he was an ass. Awful. And I'll tune in next week to make sure they didn't screw up the "Sock Gap." Because every man across the globe needs to learn about it. Really.
Casey, USA

They should just air the BBC version, because the acting is better, the scripts are better, every single aspect of the show is better. BBCoupling recognizes and develops the relationships between the 6; NBCoupling IS just about poorly strung together sex jokes. The only good thing coming out of the whole American experiment is the fact that the Moffats/Vertues are getting paid for being intelligent, humourous, talented people.
Susan, USA

Why can't we ever leave well enough alone??? First it's tea, now it's my favorite television program to find late at night....
V.M., US

I disliked the US version of Coupling, it was boring and a cheap rip off. I am a big fan of the original BBC Coupling and want to see more of it. Compaired to the original actors for the US show are week and unfunny, it was very disapointing. Please bring back the UK Coupling. Perhaps...perhaps...perhaps????
Alisha, USA

I'm a Brit living in the US. I've been watching the British version on BBC America for the past couple of months which has had my husband and I in stitches. We did watch the 'American offering' but have to say it seemed sterile in lifeless in comparision. Only the British Jeff can't utter the words 'breast' and 'gusset' and have the audience crippled with laughter.
Jill Snell, USA

It's a shame American television producers cannot come up with some original. I hope they paid well on the Royalities to the original Coupling show. The male actors resemble the English counterparts to the tee. Just switching hair colors and adding a bit of ethnic culture for the women actors, just didn't hit it. GIVE IT UP NBC, ABC TRIED IN WITH A VERSION OF COLD FEET IT SUNK AS WELL. NBC should stick with detective stories, that's what they are best at!
Cheryl, USA

As a huge fan of Brit comedy, and especially the original (& only) Coupling, I could barely stand to watch the US version for more than 10 minutes. It's just plain horrible. Whichever NBC vice presidents suggested this should give their careers a thorough examination.Give the program a merciful death now! Thank goodness for BBC America, otherwise I too would turn into some mass market network drone.
Ross, Canada

There are commercials that are racier than the US version of coupling! The show needed canned laughter - doesn't that sum it up perfectly? yuck.
Virginia, USA




SEE ALSO:
Bland start for US Coupling
26 Sep 03  |  Entertainment
Final Friends series to air in US
25 Sep 03  |  Entertainment
British sitcom set to follow Friends
19 Jun 02  |  Entertainment


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