Saturday, January 28, 2006

But Isn't Sex Supposed to Be Funny?

So, I've been watching Coupling lately, that Britcom that inspired an apparently horrible American version that lasted for about a week. I remember everyone moaning about how awful it was that the American version wasn't more like the British one.

Newsflash: Coupling is really not a funny show.

I like British funny, I really do. I once laughed for about a week straight at an episode of Fawlty Towers. Like every other geeky American kid, I used to memorize Monty Python sketches. I watched every episode of every Britcom that PBS broadcast from Good Neighbors and To the Manor Born to The Vicar of Dibley and As Time Goes By (except, of course, for Are You Being Served?, the purpose and popularity of which I have never understood). And I've been told by some British friends that many Americans don't understand this sort of humor. But I DO. So I was thoroughly prepared to enjoy Coupling.

But Coupling is sadly not very funny. There is Susan, who strikes me as a typical sexually aggressive female character as written by a man - controlling in her relationships but great in the sack, so her having the upper hand can be excused. There's her boyfriend Steve, who looks enough like the husband of a friend of mine that it causes me continual confusion, and who is the decent-average-bloke-who-is-typically-ignorant-about-the-ways-of-women-but-nevertheless-gets-to-shag-the-most-attractive-one-because-his-innocence-is-charming. There's Jane, who is a freakin' loon. There's Sally, who is concerned mostly with aging and whether or not it's showing on her. There's Patrick, who is the beauty with no brains type - and apparently, very well-endowed. And then there's Jeff, the one character for whom the show is worth watching. Jeff can be tiring because he's so predictable - whatever the interaction and whomever the woman, Jeff will screw it up. However, he manages to do it in a fairly entertaining way - and it's worth noting that it is only when Jeff has any dialogue that I ever even chuckle.

So, mostly, I watch what is supposed to be a hilarious show in stone cold silence, with the occasional chuckle when Jeff is on. Which is actually not unlike what happened when I used to watch Sex and the City, except with SATC, there wasn't even occasional chuckling.

Look, it's not that I don't like shows that focus on sex in a light-hearted way. But can't they actually be funny?

1 comment:

BRi said...

I felt the same way when I was watching Coupling last night! It had some definite potential to be funny, but the characters seemed to be so stock. And, in total agreement, I also think Jane (I think) is a complete idiot that caused me more frustration than laughter, and the plain fellow's roommate is the best part of the entire show.
Clever, yet devoid of the laugh-out-loud factor.
Persepolis was much more interesting!