I'm Alan Partridge, without a shadow of a doubt, began the subversion of the sitcom format that took place at the end of the 90s and the start of the 21st century - without this series, it's unlikely Phoenix Nights, League of Gentlemen or The Office would have been made in the format they were. Alan is a failed TV chatshow host, left to languish on the early morning show on Radio Norwich. He's also bitter, conceited, ill-mannered, cruel and insensitive. The six episodes chart the end of his TV career and the disasters that follow as he desperately tries to cling onto D-list stardom.
The script is brilliant, particularly the moments when Alan Partridge's fascination with the, erm, more bizarre aspects of human life clash with his narrow and secluded view of the world. There isn't a bad episode amongst the six - and Watership Alan and To Kill A Mocking Alan are 2 of the funniest half hours ever to grace TV.
Even more importantly, the BBC seem to have finally got the hang of the DVD format - this one is brilliant, from the clever menus on both discs, through excellent commentaries, deleted scenes and so on on the second disc. The series alone would have been excellent value at the price - the added material just wraps it all up with a big bow.
Excellent stuff. Better than the second series? Who knows, who cares. When that's released it'll be in my collection as well as the first, and they should both be in yours too.