Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Theme Time : Mari Wilson - Coupling

Before the mighty ratings successes of Sherlock and Doctor Who, Steven Moffat gave us....

Well actually he gave us Press Gang

OK, I've rewound a bit too far.

Somewhere before Sherlock and Doctor Who and after Press Gang, Moffat gave us...

Well, Joking Apart and Chalk.

OK, let's not remember Chalk.

Before Sherlock and Doctor Who and sometime after Press Gang, Joking Apart and Chalk (I thought we weren't mentioning that?) Steven Moffat gave us....


I loved Coupling and though, at the time of its broadcast it was compared to US sitcoms Friends and Seinfeld, I maintain that the recent US hit sitcom How I Met Your Mother liberally stole from Coupling (which US TV had tried to adapt for themselves, with a disastrous pilot) with its quirky complicated stories of incestuous friends who meet down the pub or wine bar.

The show ran on BBC2 from 2000 to 2004 and was a firm favourite in my own set of friends at that time as it was the kind of programme that seemed to speak directly to that generation focusing as it did on the dating, sexual adventures and mishaps of six friends played by Jack Davenport, Sarah Alexander, Gina Bellman, Richard Coyle, Ben Miles and Kate Isitt. In the fourth and final series, Coyle's departure led to a new character played by Richard Mylan, but neither he nor this series was a success. 

Beehived retor songstress Mari Wilson who had achieved some chart success in the 1980s performed the popular easy listening song 'Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps', written by Osvaldo Farrés and Joe Davis, to accompany the opening and closing credits. The Latin song, written in the late '40s as 'Quizas, Quizas, Quizas', had originally been a hit for Bobby Capo and is perhaps most famously sung in its English language version by Doris Day.

This evocation of complicit romance and the 1960s this lounge lizard classic has was further enhanced by the credits that accompanied it, and let's not forget that kind of retro 50s and 60s Latin/Lounge stuff was really in fifteen years ago when Coupling was made. Most famously the credits were described by Mark Lawson thus  "brightly coloured and suggestive shapes swirl around the screen: circles, curves and angles tumble like limbs locked together in sex. As the names of the actors discreetly sweep across in black lettering, the bright shapes form the title: ''Coupling".  Elegant simplicity, showing how a clever choice of theme tune can evoke an atmosphere and set a pace to which images can be cut."

I started watching Coupling again last night and intend to watch every episode - yes, possibly even series 4! - the first episode was still as funny as I remembered and had me laughing a couple of times, which is pretty good going I'd say.

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