Thursday, August 08, 2013

How "How I Met Your Mother" and "Coupling" are the Same Show

Some years ago, the BBC decided to create their own show to compete with "Friends." Their answer was a show called "Coupling," a funny and clever show about a group of twenty somethings and their awkward sex lives as they try to figure out who they are going to become. It became a big success in the UK, so much so that NBC decided to create their own version, as they had done with "The Office." The attempt was a dismal failure, and that was the end of the experiment.

Or was it?

Not long after, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas emerged with a brand NEW show called "How I Met Your Mother," about a group of 20 somethings and their awkward romances as they try to figure out who they are going to become. Despite the fact that creators of both shows claimed the idea was based on their own lives and relationships, and that both shows experimented with traditional sitcom structure, both shows have only been thought of as "Friends" knockoffs, and no comparison has ever been drawn between "Coupling" and "How I Met Your Mother."

Until now. Follow this little photoessay and judge for yourself.

 That's just the beginning...

And this:

And my personal favorite:

Am I on to something here or not? To the best of my knowledge, the creators of "How I Met Your Mother" have never acknowledged a debt to "Coupling" for inspiring their show, or even an awareness of the prior show's existence. Neither has anyone else. Not to take away from the creative efforts of everyone who has worked on HIMYM, which has turned out completely original scripts as far as I know. But it seems to me some sort of acknowledgement of its clear predecessor is due, no?