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24 March 2006 @ 02:41 pm
Coupling Season 4  
I finally got around to watching Season 4 of Coupling.
First, my short review:

Now, the longer version:

I must say I'm really impressed. It takes some kind of effort to turn what was one of the funniest shows ever created (up there with Family Guy and Scrubs) into this absolute pile of crud. Seriously, I barely laughed ever. Oddly, the new character Oliver (replacing Jeff and the most obvious reason the show jumped the shark) provided the source of most of this season's sparse laughs. But, it was mostly slapstick humour, and far too infrequent.

The lack of laughs is clearly the primary problem, what with it being a sitcom, but there are other problems with this sad finale. Mainly that the characters, well established through three previous seasons, don't seem to behave in character. They all seem to have new personalities. Especially Jane, who seems to suddenly be the most clear-headed character on the show!

Also, one of the things that I really love in comedies, and that is done especially well in Scrubs and Family Guy, is when the character's fantasies are played out. While it's done very well in those two shows, it's done very very badly in season 4 of Coupling. Here's a hint for aspiring sitcom writers: having the characters dressed up in silly costumes is not enough, in and of itself, to make it funny.

And do not get me started on the truly, truly awful, cringeworthy, painful and completely not funny way they attempt to bring back Jeff for the final episode.

Mostly, season 4 was killed by the trap that many of these sorts of sitcoms can fall into (especially in later seasons): it lost the balance between drama and comedy. The earlier seasons of Coupling, like Scrubs, had a very good balance of drama and comedy. Actually, Scrubs wrote the book on balancing drama and comedy - the balance on that show is absolutely perfect. Anyway, Coupling slumped into the black hole of drama, and just stopped being funny.
Current Music: The Beatles - Blackbird
vaingloriesque: beevaingloriesque on March 24th, 2006 03:51 am (UTC)
Hee hee hee.

Jump that shark!
Jacobyak_boy on March 24th, 2006 03:52 am (UTC)
I find it ironic that The Simpsons made a joke about "jumping the shark", since that show stopped being funny years ago.
Robet Éivaayvah on March 24th, 2006 12:38 pm (UTC)
Damn it. I wish more series would just end before jumping the shark. The last few seasons of The Simpsons are ruining the entire series for me.

Gah. This is why I think I'll stay a fan of anime. No matter how popular they might get, they have endings. (Although really popular series like Gundam tend to get a bunch of remakes/sequels/spin-offs/whatever.)

I think the advantage of Japan's stuff is that they make so much of their money from the merchandise, so there's more focus on making shows lovable than on making them last.

I don't know... I'm just ranting.

Even Scrubs, I love the show, but I fear that watching it, I'll just be waiting until it finally jumps the shark and eventually gets cancelled.
Jacobyak_boy on March 26th, 2006 08:48 am (UTC)
But, that's the problem; shows often don't get cancelled after they jump the shark.
Robet Éivaayvah on March 26th, 2006 09:31 am (UTC)
Heh. I stand corrected.

So pretend I said:

"I'll just be waiting until it finally jumps the shark or gets cancelled."

I guess my main point is that I'm driven away from the show before I get proper closure. Or watch episodes of the show that gives the entire series a sour taste.

From now on, I think I'll focus my attention on shows that have actually finished. I need to get my hands on some Buffy.
Jacobyak_boy on March 26th, 2006 11:11 am (UTC)
Yeah, when I read "I guess my main point is that I'm driven away from the show before I get proper closure.", I immediately thought of Buffy.

Not only did Buffy end how and when the show's creator wanted it to, but the ending is actually pretty damn awesome. In fact, season 7 is my favourite season.
(Deleted comment)
Outlier Manlukeii on March 24th, 2006 07:46 am (UTC)
Nightlines - definitely one of the best episodes of any of the seasons, but I agree that the rest of Season 4 was not as good.

Jacobyak_boy on March 26th, 2006 11:15 am (UTC)
Yeah, that was pretty good, but I don't think it matches up to 'The Girl With Two Breasts' or 'The Man with Two Legs', and I think it suffers a bit from the shift in the character's personalities.