Coupling (2000 - 2004)

The show explores the love life of six friends who regularly meet in their local pub. Steve (Jack Davenport, Pirates of the Caribbean, Kingsman) and Jeff (Richard Coyle Terry Pratchett's Going Postal) have been friends for a long time. Especially Jeff is completely inept when it comes to having a normal conversation with a woman, let alone anything else. The bizarre situations he gets himself into as a consequence of awkward behaviour towards women are often central to the plot. Jane (Gina Bellman) had a relationship with Steve and often seeks attention from men she fancies using her extensive repertoire of manipulative techniques. Jeff works in the same company as Susan (Sarah Alexander) and he introduces her to Steve and the pair end up in a serious realtionship. Through her the group is introduced to her best friend Sally (Kate Isitt) and her former lover Patrick (Ben Miles).

The show was filmed in front of a live audience, although some scenes that would have been difficult to shoot on a stage set (like the dinner table scene that necessitated some characters to sit against the fourth wall) were recorded otherwise. The show is also notable for including scenes using split screen technique, which is rarely found in sitcoms. Steven Moffat, who wrote the scripts of all episodes, achieved in the series to combine the subconscious aspects of desire, flirting and romantic anxieties with a realistic depiction of situations. The embarrassment the characters face is exaggerated for comic effect, but just so that everything is still plausible.