The Couple Next Door is the new swingers drama that's dividing critics

Intrigued? Same.

The Couple Next Door Channel 4
(Image credit: Channel 4)

The Couple Next Door is the dark new thriller from Channel 4 that explores what really goes down behind closed doors in Surburbia. There's sex, lies and a creepy guy with a zoom lens, set within the confines of the Yorkshire suburbs - though the street itself looks more like Desperate Housewives' Wisteria Lane than somewhere in the actual north of England. 

One of our favourite things about the winter months is inevitably more time on the sofa binging the latest shows (Squid Games: The Challenge, we're looking at you). And we do have a particular penchant for a classic psychological thriller that keeps us guessing from episode to episode. 

The Couple Next Door sees two big TV names in leading roles. Evie is played by Eleanor Tomlinson, who you'll recognise as Demelza Poldark in Poldark, while Sam Heughan who plays Danny continues to star as Jamie Fraser in Outlander. The story, which is adapted from the Dutch series New Neighbours, mainly centres around two couples - Evie and Pete, and Becka and Danny. 

Evie and Pete are new to the neighbourhood and experience a huge tragedy shortly after they move. This leads to Evie becoming closer to her new neighbour Becka, who is played by an Australian actress Jessica De Gouw. And it seems the chemistry was as strong off-screen as it was on. 

"Oh Jessica, what a woman," Eleanor explained to OK!. "She and I worked very closely on creating the bond between us, which is somewhat the gateway to all of this that sort of ensues. I think it’s incredibly rare to get a cast of four people who got on so well immediately. So there was really no building of trust. It was already there, and we just had a hoot. We speak pretty much every day, even now."

Channel 4 The Couple Next Door

(Image credit: Channel 4)

As the couples grow closer, it soon becomes clear that Danny and Becka's relationship isn't entirely monogamous. 

"Danny is a man that maybe appears like an alpha male," explains Sam Heughan, - who plays Danny - to OK!. "He and Becka have this unique relationship that perhaps is an open relationship where they have certain guidelines. I think Becka is definitely the one that has driven that, and she has her own set of rules that Dan struggles to live up to."

Sam continues to elaborate on the twists and turns that take place throughout the drama series, noting that 'your allegiances will change'.

There are some subplots in The Couple Next Door too, the most notable being Danny's involvement with a dodgy local councillor who is embroiled in a story that journalist Pete is working on for the local paper. Not to mention the nosy neighbour Alan, who is played by Outnumbered actor Hugh Dennis, in a much creepier role than what is usual for the comedian.

Caroline Hollick, Head of Drama at Channel 4, said of the series: "This series is an addictive, emotional roller-coaster with something to say about modern sexual mores, with an electrifying cast that will set our screens on fire."

Is there a trailer for The Couple Next Door? 

Yes, there's an official trailer for The Couple Next Door, which you can view below. The trailer doesn't give away too much of the plot away, depicting the growing tension between the two couples. 

What are the reviews saying about The Couple Next Door? 

Reviews for The Couple Next Door have been mixed. Lucy Mangan calls the show 'sexy rather than cringemaking' in the Guardian, concluding: "The plot of this trouble-in-suburbia thriller might be flimsy – but who cares when there’s so much sexual tension between our flirtatious foursome?"

However, The Times had a more scathing review with Carol Midgley writing that The Couple Next Door doesn't just 'own its clichés', but it 'revels in them'. She also comments that the couples are 'wooden' and 'episode two contains some of the worst cringey couple dancing you are likely to witness in your lifetime'. Midgley concludes: "Sometimes the dialogue was so stilted, I wondered if it was a spoof."

But other reviewers praise the character dynamics, with Emily Watkins of iNews calling it 'refreshing, nuanced and sexy'. She writes: "With its intriguing characters, nuanced dynamics and surfeit of narrative dominoes just waiting to topple, Channel 4’s latest is a sexy, surprising success – suburbia never looked so much fun."

When is The Couple Next Door On? 

The Couple Next Door is on Channel 4 every Monday at 9pm, and the first episode aired on Monday 27th November 2023. 

All six episodes are available to stream on the Channel 4 website

Lauren is the former Deputy Digital Editor at woman&home and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren has bylines in publications such as Marie Claire UK, Red Magazine, House of Coco, women&home, GoodTo, Woman's Own and Woman magazine.

She started writing for national papers and magazines at Medavia news agency, before landing a job in London working as a lifestyle assistant and covers everything from fashion and celebrity style to beauty and careers.