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Coupling: Complete Series 2 DVD

| DVD

Steven Moffat's second series of Coupling, first broadcast in 2001, is a brilliant consolidation of all those neuroses, small deceits, obsessions and personality tics that struck such a resonant chord when Steve, Susan and their four friends were first unleashed on us. Comparisons with Friends itself are tiresome and lazy: Coupling is an intrinsically British comedy that picks apart the trivial and the mundane in everyday relationships and takes them on surreal journeys, leaving the participants hilariously bemused and rarely any wiser. Its success is due to the magical combination of Moffat's very funny scripts and the talents of six extremely likable actors, including Jack Davenport (Steve) and Sarah Alexander (Susan). But it's Richard Coyle's Jeff, whose sexual fantasies and putting-your-his-in-it propensities exert a compelling fascination, who really keeps you watching through your fingers as you hold your hands to your face in disbelief. Breasts, bottoms and pants are the basis for most of the conversational analysis when these friends get together as a group, as couples, as girlfriends or as mates, invariably becoming metaphors for the state of a relationship or situation. Individual viewpoints and terrors are explored through respective memories of the same event and what-if scenarios. Chain reactions inevitably ensue, fuelling comedy that is based almost entirely on misunderstanding. On the DVD: Coupling, Series 2 on disc is presented in 16:9 anamorphic video aspect ratio, together with a crisp Dolby Digital stereo soundtrack; Mari Wilson's sensuous version of "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps" for the theme tune deserves a special mention. Extras include disappointing interviews with writer Steven Moffat and Jack Davenport, which are mainly an excuse to repeat several major scenes from the series in full. The "Behind the scenes" feature is also a let-down: it's just a not very funny record of a cast photo shoot. --Piers Ford

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