Coupling is a British television sitcom written by Steven Moffat and produced by Hartswood Films for the BBC, which centres on the dating and sexual adventures and mishaps of six friends in their thirties, often depicting the three women and the three men talking amongst themselves about the same events, but in entirely different terms.
The series originally aired in the UK on BBC Two and BBC Three from 12 May, 2000 to 14 June, 2004. There are 28 half-hour episodes in four season.
Coupling originally aired in South Africa on e.tv, from 2001-2002.
It premiered on DStv's BBC Entertainment channel on Tuesday 2 September 2008, at 19h30. New episodes air from Mondays to Fridays at the same time, with all four seasons running concurrently.
Steve wants to break up with his girlfriend, the beautiful but dull (and also ever so slightly insane) Jane. Elsewhere in the same bar, Patrick wants to break up with Susan.
This comes as a surprise to Susan, who wasn't aware they were actually a couple, and thought they were just indulging in some casual sexual activity.
While indulging in one last hurrah with Jane in the toilet, Steve meets Susan and the seeds for their relationship are sown. And along with that act of coupling comes the baggage – his ex (Jane), her ex (Patrick), his best friend (Jeff) and her best friend (Sally).
From this point, the intrepid thirtysomethings head into the metropolitan dating scene and tackle some important dilemmas.
Important dilemmas such as: exactly when does your girlfriend have the right to tell you to get rid of your "private video collection"? How do you chat up a girl who doesn't speak a word of English? Is it acceptable to pretend to be an amputee in order to get a date? How do you recover from a visit from The Melty Man? Should you be able to recount from memory the number and location of all the freckles on your lover's bottom?
And so on.
Over the course of four seasons, Steve and Susan get together, get engaged, split up, get back together and conceive a child.
Sally and Patrick also make some steps towards coupledom (despite a rocky start when their first time in bed together coincides with Patrick's first visit from The Melty Man); Jeff finds his match in Julia, a woman who shares his ability to blurt out embarrassing and awkward statements in moments of tension (although Jeff's attentions are briefly diverted by the comely Wilma, played by guest-star Emilia Fox); and Jane ensnares a variety of unsuspecting males, including a religious broadcaster with a firm stance against premarital sex.
Season 4 sees the departure of Jeff and the arrival of Oliver, a geekily-inclined chap whom Jane describes as "a cross between a puppy and an idiot" before eventually succumbing to his idiosyncratic charms.
Series creator Steven Moffat based the characters of Steve and Susan on himself and his wife (producer Sue Vertue).