4 August 2003 | jmatrixrenegade
Hilarious, Mature, and Intelligent
A British show about six people ultimately connected by "coupling" (relationships) more than just friendship ... thus this is not really a "British Friends," but is a sort of "British Seinfeld." It is sharper than "Friends" and the characters are more complex than "Seinfeld" (which has one "straight" guy and three knuckleheads), a good combination. The "Seinfeld" influence is specifically shown by the Jeff character, who outrageously explains different relationship concepts in a Seinfeld-like way, a sort of invented language.
On the other hand, the characters are all more mature ... having real jobs, unlike say Kramer or the ne'er'do'well George. The show at times has mature humor, but it earns it by being a mature show ... these are not the twentysomethings (now in their mid-thirties and much more boring) of "Friends" or the largely childish "Seinfeld" gang, these are mature adults with serious concerns, even if they are portrayed in often amusing ways. And they don't submit to the lowest common denominater or do things quite in the meanspirited way at times seen in "Seinfeld." And the fact there are six interrelated individuals makes things more complicated ... but still, the "friend" aspects of it all aren't really emphasized as much.
The show also is often hilarious, much so than the often mildly amusing (and less so in recent years, but then again, there are so fewer episodes of this show) "Friends." A particular find is Jane ... the egotistical sexual focused nut ... her very voice is funny. Susan is the beauty that is levelheaded, but she is played by a gifted comic actress as well. The other roles are also well played.
I don't know if the US version will know how to translate all of these positives to our shores, but I hope so. We need more comic gems like this in the wasteland that is American sitcoms.