Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Coupling - The Complete Fourth Season|
Actors: Jack Davenport, Gina Bellman, Sarah Alexander, Kate Isitt, Ben Miles
Director: Martin Dennis
Genres: Comedy, Television
Studio: Warner Home Video Release Date: 01/25/2005
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"A hairy, inquisitive sex octopus?"
Heather Baldwin | Minneapolis, MN | 10/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been a huge fan of this show from the beginning. This DVD's release date isn't for a few months, but I wanted to share my insights. The fourth season starts a few weeks after the end of the third season left off, with lots of new twists and turns, great jokes, and compelling stories. The bad news is that Richard Coyle, who plays Jeff, left the show (the character travels to the isle of Lesbos, and you fans can easily decipher the joke, I'm sure). But the good news is that a new character named Oliver, played by Richard Mylan, is an enjoyable enough replacement, despite having big shoes to fill. Here is a recap of the six episodes (if you haven't seen the finale of season three, then there might be some spoilers):
1.) 9 1/2 Minutes - A well-written story from three interweaving points of view, taking place in the bar: a.) Patrick and Sally encounter their first major conflict in their new relationship; b.) Susan is upset with Steve when he shares his odd view about her pregnacy; c.) Jane fears her blind date is her gynecologist, but it turns out to be a goofy guy named Oliver, who runs a sci-fi bookstore.
2.) Nightlines - Relationship troubles lead to a late-night phone call between Susan, Sally, Steve, and Patrick. Out of the blue, Jane joins into the conversation, and it is revealed that she keeps a key to her ex-lover's flat. But it's not who we expected. Meanwhile, Oliver receives a visit at his store from his ex-girlfriend Tamsin, whom Susan befriended earlier in the day at a seminar for pregnant women.
3.) Bed Time - A battle of wits develops between Patrick and Sally, as Patrick attemps to go home after sex, and Sally finds ways to make him spend the night at her place. Later, Sally hosts a dinner party and Oliver, Jane's date to the party, worries about his "nipple erections".
4.) Circus of the Epidurals - Steve and Susan attend an antenatal class, with Tamsin, Sally, Jane, Oliver, and Patrick in tow. The instructor turns out to be Jill (Jane's former therapist from season one's "Inferno"). Steve and the other men in the class are baffled about why a woman in labor would refuse painkillers, leading to a standoff between him and Jill.
5.) The Naked Living Room - The evolution Oliver's flat has gone through after his break-up with Tamsin is shown, becoming "unedited" as the months pass. He runs into Jane at the supermarket one day, and completely panics when she asks him to bring her up to his flat. Later, Susan begins to go into labor.
6.) 9 1/2 Months - While waiting for Susan to begin childbirth at the hospital, Steve falls asleep and dreams that a female version of Jeff has returned from Lesbos. Steve recaps the events of the day to her: a.) Sally and Patrick's relationship changes when she learns the truth about one of his previous partners, and then she discovers a mysterious box hidden in Patrick's video cupboard; b.) Oliver's romantic night with Jane is foiled by the arrival of Steve and Susan on the way to the hospital, and he wonders if Jane still has feelings for Steve. Finally, Steve and Susan's baby is born.
Overall, an excellent group of episodes with many funny and touching moments. And although the character of Oliver doesn't match the greatness of Jeff's character, fans should still give him a chance. I highly recommend this DVD, which I'll purchase when it is finally released."
Hank Hanacek | Vancouver Island | 03/25/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"One underlying problem to those serials penned by only one creative mind is that they inevitably run out of steam. "Coupling IV" demonstrates this in spades. While I & II were fine examples of the genre and made one eagerly anticipate each new episode, relish each situation and have empathy with each well-developed character, this stalled somewhat in III. True, Stephen Moffat tried in the third season to introduce novel scenarios and tricks to maintain interest, and was quite successful in maintaining viewer interest and enjoyment, but this lagged badly in IV.
One essential problem of course is the departure of Richard Coyle and his replacement by Richard Mylan. Mylan's "Oliver" character is a whiny, lisping schlemiel who just doesn't fit into the Coupling ensemble. Another problem is the stridency of Jack Davenport in his role; one can tell that this actor is getting tired of his role and no longer enjoys the part.
Although every season of Coupling has been a fine example of British Humour, one could do well to own just the first three seasons. In many ways, the last season does a lot to undermine the total enjoyment of the first three collections. My advice is to forego the disappointment and save the money."
What? Jeff is gone and we only get six episodes? Oh oh...
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 02/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you were disappointed when you learned there were only two discs for Series Four of "Coupling," then the news that there are only episodes on the first of those two discs is going to be downright depressing. Given the results I have seen to date I appreciate the British idea of avoiding having a set number of episodes in any given series (read "season" on this side of the Pond) because that increases the quality of what we see a lot more than the American model, which is driven towards the goal of having one hundred episodes that usually translate into profitable syndication. But only six episodes to get us through Steve trying to deal with Susan's pregnancy, Sally and Patrick's serious relationship, and Jane's close encounters with Oliver, the new guy, fans have to feel Series 4 comes up short (and that is before we ever come to terms with that new guy replacing Jeff).
This series takes us from "Nine and a Half Minutes" to "Nine and a Half Months," and since the previous series ended with Susan (Sarah Alexander) announcing she is pregnant is not surprising that this one ends with the birth of the baby. We have seen writer Steven Moffat play with time and space before (e.g., "The Girl With Two Breasts" from Series 1 and "Split" from the start of Series 2), and he continues along those lines in these two episodes. "Nine and a Half Minutes" gives us the same time frame from the perspective of each couple, while "Nine and a Half Months" finds Steve (Jack Davenport) unstuck in time (and having his weirdest dreams ever) as Susan goes into labor.
With Susan being pregnant her relationship with Steve is pretty much reduced to his complete and total fear over the miracle of birth. Dragging him to antenatal classes ("Circus of the Epidurals") is the disaster you would imagine. But overall the best moments for Series 4 come from watching Sally (Kate Isitt) and Patrick (Ben Miles) become closer. The sticking point becomes whether or not Patrick has slept with Jane (Gina Bellman), an issue raised by a late night phone call that does not end until all six characters are on the line ("Night Lines") and not resolved until the final episode, when Sally actually gets into the infamous cupboard of Patrick's love and finds a box she should not open. In between we get the creative allegory of a knight playing a game of chess with a princess in "Bed Time."
I agree that the attempt to work Oliver (Richard Mylan) into the mix is problematic. Part of the trouble is how Oliver comes across too much like a poorer version of Jeff (Richard Coyle), who is present in spirit and a bit more (Samantha Spiro) for a couple of episodes. Granted, changing the peculiar mix of characters in this sextet is risky, but they should have come up with more when they came up with Oliver. The other factor here is pairing up Oliver with Jane, which works a bit better because it finally allows her to be the confident one in the relationship, as amply seen in "The Naked Living Room." This certainly suggests some ways of rethinking the Oliver character, but it is obviously a bit too late for that. Like everything else on "Coupling," the story of Oliver and Jane is to be continued.
However, I have to think we are getting close to the end of the road for "Coupling." This is not because baby Joshua has arrived, but rather because everybody is now paired up on the show ("Friends" stopped before things got that far). No wonder there were only six episodes in Series 4: once Jane and Oliver hook up nobody is out looking for sex any more. In fact, there is every possibility that "Coupling" will no longer be about sex but will actually be spending more time on the subject of love, at which point we should probably turn out the lights because the party will be over."
When Coupling lost its mojo
Kathleen M. Ayotte | FPO, AE United States | 03/15/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"If all the other reviews didn't make it clear enough, let me state once more: No Jeff, no mojo. Some of the best moments of the previous three series center around Jeff's crazy concepts: The "giggle loop," "sock gap,"nudity buffer," and "melty man" to name a few. It was bad enough that they lost this vital element, but they made it even worse by trying to force the new guy, Oliver, into becoming a copy-cat Jeff. A ploy which failed. Miserably. Let me suggest that you adopt C.S.F.A.T. or Coupling Season Four Avoidance Technique with this one."