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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 twentysomethings 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 series, Steve and Susan got together, got engaged, split up, got back together and conceived a child.
Sally and Patrick also made some steps towards coupledom (despite a rocky start when their first time in bed together coincided with Patrick's first visit from The Melty Man), Jeff found his match in Julia, a woman who shared his ability to blurt out embarrassing and awkward statements in moments of tension (although Jeff's attentions were briefly diverted by the comely Wilma, played by guest-star Emilia Fox) and Jane ensnared a variety of unsuspecting males, including a religious broadcaster with a firm stance against premarital sex.
Series four saw 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), as he explains: "I have described the series as being 'my life as told by a drunk'. Like most writers, I write about what has happened to me as that involves the minimum amount of research. As it happens, Sue and I are married; so I imagined a scenario about what would have happened if we had met ten years earlier, and took it from there!"
He couldn’t resist naming his main characters Steve and Susan: "The series involves three super-confident and three super-terrified people. Sue is very confident in the way that Susan is and I'm very crap in the way that Steve is. Where Patrick or Jane are unhindered by self-doubt, Sally and Jeff are riddled with it."
"When writing comedy, you have to have the confidence to believe that there is only one type of relationship in the world, and we are all having it; that all men behave in the same way and so do all women; I fill the script with universals, and people seem to watch!"
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