Couples: Wow!

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Simon36
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Couples: Wow!

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As part of some research for something I have finally viewed a handful of episodes of Thames' daytime series Couples from the mid-Seventies, something I've mentioned on here before as having been intrigued by considering the impressive credits.

Well blow me down with a feather. I was absolutely spellbound. This is first rate television, tremendously intense and gripping. The series is set in a marriage guidance clinic, and each episode generally consists of a couple of two-handed scenes that cross-cut every few minutes: the stories tend to interweave and have about four-ish episodes each to play out. There is a surprising amount of swearing for a daytime series, and also, some very frank sexual discussion.

One clutch of episodes are just two handers between David Swift and Sheila Hancock, all set in one room in real time and are all you would expect of such a pairing.

Network really must get this released: its funny that at a time when lunchtime theatre on the London Fringe was all the rage ITV was giving it such an impressive run for its money.

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Re: Couples: Wow!

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Yes you don't expect 1970s afternoon telly to have lesbians etc as a subject in slick drama eh?
This was the follow up to 'Rooms' another excellent afternoon series. I would suspect that they would give today's afternoon fayre a huge run for the money?

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Re: Couples: Wow!

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The BBC have of late picked up a little on afternoon drama: Moving On has been very very good, and I do rather like the old-fashioned and gentle feel of Land Girls and WPC whatever it is. Never saw Missing though. It was an area that unless I'm mistaken they never experimented with until recently whereas ITV were in the 70s excelling at it. (In the 80s I seem to recall that apart from the dire Gems it was all replaced by at first very welcome repeats of evening drama series, then by foreign soaps.)

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Re: Couples: Wow!

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Simon36 wrote:The BBC have of late picked up a little on afternoon drama: Moving On has been very very good, and I do rather like the old-fashioned and gentle feel of Land Girls and WPC whatever it is. Never saw Missing though. It was an area that unless I'm mistaken they never experimented with until recently whereas ITV were in the 70s excelling at it. (In the 80s I seem to recall that apart from the dire Gems it was all replaced by at first very welcome repeats of evening drama series, then by foreign soaps.)
Yes a good effort from the BBC these past years with Father Brown, The Indian Doctor and the Australian Doctor Blake Mysteries- all very nice period dramas and very watchable.

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Re: Couples: Wow!

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Yes,I agree Couples was a very interesting series. I'd love to see it get a release from Network- I was surprised that they didn't include an episode on their Soap Box DVD. I know it wasn't a "soap" strictly speaking,but then nor were all the shows featured on that volume. Couples is yet another example of how rich and varied ITV's daytime drama output was in the 70s- Rooms and Crown Court were also notable for the high calibre of writers and actors who were involved. Emmerdale Farm was a very solid serial with an impressive amount of exterior shots for a drama during this time. The Cedar Tree,as currently being discussed on another current thread,was a charming period drama with,again,some impressive writing talent. General Hospital was probably the most "soapy" but was,again,an entertaining show which was popular enough to become a prime time hit for a number of years. 1972-77 seemed to be the golden age for ITV daytime drama. Emmerdale Farm and The Cedar Tree were both promoted to later slots that year and Rooms came to an end. After that Crown Court was the only long running show,although the number of episodes produced seemed to decline each year after that golden age. Let's hope we get more of all of these shows on DVD.

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Simon36
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Re: Couples: Wow!

Post by Simon36 »

Not to forget also the STV soaps, one of which was called The High Life, set in a Glasgow tower block. Don't think that was networked...

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Re: Couples: Wow!

Post by Andrew 76 »

Simon36 wrote:Not to forget also the STV soaps, one of which was called The High Life, set in a Glasgow tower block. Don't think that was networked...
"High Living", and according to wiki, none exist. "The High Life" was a much later sit com, set in a Scottish airline, starring Alan Cumming.
I never knew there was so much in it!

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Re: Couples: Wow!

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Garnock Way was the other STV 70s soap. Some of those were uploaded on STV's youtube page a while back...

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