Saturday, October 18, 2003

Funny but bland, Couplings lacks the edginess of Will and Grace or even the sheer charm of Friends. Lets face it. A show about couplings has to have an element of the risqué in it. If network television restrictions mean that a show about sex cannot depict sex or worse, not even talk about sex then it becomes impotent. (Word used intentionally) So what’s left then? Well, there are always the double entendres but really, how far (and more importantly, how many episodes) can one get by using those? Not too many, I fear. The word is that the original British Couplings was a parody of Friends (3 men, 3 women, all of them friends, etc). This one however seems to be a poor cousin of Friends. True, there’s a bit more of sex but it is still steeped in political correctness. All the men resemble each other, so do the women. They all claim to be friends but unlike Friends, they don’t even seem to like each other. What’s the deal here? So far though I am enjoying the double entendres. But its time we had some more political incorrectness and er, sex-talk. Otherwise, this show is not going to get anywhere.

Incidentally why is it that American television makes such a hash of British shows? Just look at the way Showtime bastardized Queer as Folk, Russell T Davies’ splendid 8-episode series, into a long interminable one, turning each character into a distorted politically correct version. The shy, unassuming, good-looking Vince became whiny Michael. Average-looking in-your-face-slutty Stuart became so-good-looking-he-could-be-a-filmstar slutty-but-healthy-slutty Brian. And worst of all, lanky precocious fifteen year old Nathan was transformed into some seventeen year old young-artist-in-the-making with not one whit of the original’s charm. And the less said about the platitude-spouting lesbians, the better.

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