This marvellous 1997 series is one to savour. 6 episodes of genius from Steve Coogan and Armando Iannucci. Each episode is a masterpiece in its own right and whilst its difficult to pick a favourite episode I can pick out my favourite moment..
Alan phones down to the Motel reception, and the camera pans back so we can see him sitting on the bed.
"Oh Hello Susan umm slight problem I was a bit bored err so I dismantled my Corby Trouser Press... I err I can't put it back together again... um will that show up on my bill? Right thanks". Alan has all our human failings in him (in this case extreme boredom) and we get to observe them all in cringe worthy (but very funny) detail.
There are many many other great moments: Alan interviewing the Farmers representative (brilliantly played by Chris Morris). The sequence in the car park where Alan is sitting in the car with Lynn and doesn't have anything to say. This leads me neatly on to the extras...
These are marvellous; firstly the commentaries are essential listening, informative, funny and of course you may find out whats in Alan's draw! The outtakes and cuts are very good and the extended version of the car scene with Lynn is well worth seeing. Watching the extras you also find out that not everything you see on the screen was scripted, there was a little bit of improvisation in this series.
This is the best comedy series of the 1990's and I can't recommend it highly enough.
on 11 October 2000
Alan Partridge is undoubtedly Steve Coogan's funniest comic creation and just continues to go from strength to strength. Following him through the six episodes of this series, we see him attempting to rebuild his life after his last series on the BBC was cancelled,and his wife has left him; to hilarious consequences. All of the episodes are absolutely compelling viewing and I would without any shadow of a doubt recommend these videos to anybody who loves comedy. If you have never experienced Alan Partridge before I would also advise that by watching 'Knowing Me Knowing You 1&2' you can see his life before these videos - when he was allowed a TV series by th BBC! One of the main reasons this is so utterly fantastic, other than Coogan's ability to carry off Alan Partridge so sincerely, is a fantastic supporting cast, and the fact that it has been superbly written.
I for one cannot wait to see Alan back on our screens again but until such a time shall continue to watch his videos over and over as they never lose their ability to make me laugh out loud every single time.
on 14 August 2001
The character of Alan Partridge had always been a brilliant creation - in my opinion, he was the standout section of TV's The Day Today - but these six episodes of I'm Alan Partridge illustrate the brilliance of creator Steve Coogan's mind. Moving on from the brilliant yet farcical Knowing Me, Knowing You (or KMKYWAP!)the audience now sees the real Alan at 'home' in his room in the Linton Travel Tavern, with only a 12" plate and tales of Bangkok from geordie Michael for entertainment. This series arouses many emotions within the viewer - Alan had always been seen as a little tragic, a bit lonely, somewhat naive, but I'm Alan Partridge proves this point and emphasises it in style - how can anybody not feel sympathy for a man trapped underneath a cow on a narrowboat in the Norfolk broads?? However, the main reason to enjoy this brilliant series is for the pure laugh-out-loud moments it provides. There are too many to list, but standout scenes include Alan drunk on his home made cocktail "The LadyBoy" (Lager with a Gin and Tonic and Bailey's chaser), the chocolate mousse scene, "There's More To Ireland Dan Diss" scene and many, many more. Not since Only Fools and Horses has a British sitcom made so many people laugh or introduce so many new phrases into the vocabulary of fans. It has recently been announced that Alan series 2 is in the scripting stages and this series is receiving a long overdue DVD release in October. If the new material is anywhere near as good as series one (or indeed Coogan's recent film The Parole Officer - check it out) we will all be in for a treat. Until then, BUY THIS NOW!!!
This series of Alan Partridge is an absolute hoot. Steve Coogan plays Partridge the hideous and obnoxious has been television presenter to perfection. Partridge is now seperated from his wife and lives at the Linton Travel Tavern. He still works as a presenter but now its on radio Norwich and his show is in the very early hours of the morning. Yet Partridge is convinced he still has something to offer. His belief is commendable but his talent is....well...His own production company is insolvent (the way he dismisses his staff is hilarious) as his promotional video for a local boating company. Its a joy to watch time and time again. Its not just the sheer brilliance of the writing. Its the facial expressions of Partridge along with the excellent cast who support him. I will never tire of Partridge and his hilarious escapades. If you haven't got this yet then acquire it quickly - you will not regret it!
on 31 March 2005
WOW, I got the DVD had way back watched them and just watched them again. WOW, Steve Coogan is a Genius. If you are looking of a quirky comedy then this is it. Each episode is different and makes you laugh for entirly different reasons. Some obvious and some not. 'ALan's Fact of the day' and comments on songs are hilararious. "That was Roxanne by The Police, now known as 'Sting'. All I can say both series are wonderful! but them both 6 Hours which will have you hocked and quoting parts to you friends!
on 29 November 2002
Sentient beings everywhere will need no introduction to the moribund world of the anchor (rhyming slang) of Norwich FM's graveyard slot, "Up With the Partridge," or the reasons why he's tragicomic on a level never seen before on TV: "I don't want salvation ... I just want to be able to say - 'I'm Alan Partridge - join me tonight when my guests will be, I dunno, Chris Rea...'"
So you already know that "I'm Alan Partridge" is far superior to established classics like "Fawlty Towers" and "Blackadder," in that it shares with those programmes an absolutely fastidious attention to detail and density of jokes, but mixes in far more pathos and depth than they ever did. The only comparison has been, of course, David Brent in "The Office," which came later and also favours curling toes over laughing bellies, whereas Partridge blends the two to perfection.
The series was released on DVD before, but then withdrawn over the unauthorised inclusion of Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi." That was a blessing in disguise, as the BBC has now taken the opportunity to give "I'm Alan Partridge" the deluxe DVD treatment, a la "The Office" or "League of Gentlemen:" two discs, amusing menus, authentically hideous cover - the lot. Best of the extras are the deleted scenes (already seen on the VHS and first DVD), all of which seem to have been cut for time reasons alone and not quality: a particular moment of genius is Alan's other programme idea pitched at Tony Hayers over that legendary uneaten lunch, a perfect insight into the man's impoverished, flailing imagination: "A costume chat show with me as Samuel Pepys ... you could have John Thaw as Robespierre ... and Stephen Hawkings [sic] behind a curtain whispering clues through his voicebox..."
Also recommended is the commentary by writers Coogan, Armando Iannucci and Peter Baynham, who have the humanity and humility to laugh at the jokes but not too much, and give plenty of glimpses into the creative process, not to mention the slightly alanly-retentive side of the trio which feeds so much authenticity into their just-about-larger-than-life grotesque creation. Less worthwhile is the commentary by Coogan in character as Alan Partridge, along with Lynn, which resembles a rather eventless and drawn out version of the improvised car scene (another DVD bonus) and compares poorly with the same technique used in the DVD of "This is Spinal Tap," where David St. Hubbins so memorably advised us that he had split up with Janine because "the millennium changed and so did she..."
Oh and don't forget the finest comic scene ever recorded in complete darkness - Alan's valance-("the skirt thing round the end of the bed")-darkening bedtime experience with lovely Jill, 50. So beg borrow or steal this DVD. Actually not the last one - I will not condone lawbreaking. Although I will do 80 on the motorway if I have to get somewhere quickly.
on 7 August 2006
I'll keep it short. This is the best DVD I have bought.
Everything about it is top quality, not just the comedy but the way everything fits together. I love the way you have to select 'Yes' to viewing Bangkok Chickboys in the menu of the DVD which links up with the joke in 'Watership Alan'. It actually was confusing the first time!
on 4 December 2003
Steve Coogan's best ever character shines in this series - Alan Partridge, Norwich's finest son, goes about his dreary and pitiful life at the Travel Tavern, desperately hoping for his big break to get back on the telly. In the meantime he does the early morning slot on radio Norwich; in between he fantasises about lap dancing for his nemesis, Tony Hayers, the hostile Head of Programming at the BBC. (Last seen being punched out by a Xmas turkey in the Alan Partridge Christmas Show!)
The brilliant supporting cast of characters are memorable for the stick they endure from Alan's scathing "wit": notably Alan's long-suffering and rhino-skinned PA, Lynn, and Smack the Pony's Sally Phillips as Sophie the receptionist who can't keep a straight face whenever Alan opens his mouth.
This type of comedy is brilliant and typically British in flavour - while Alan has some excellent and acerbic lines and insults (the radio interview with the Farmer's Union representative played by BrassEye's Chris Morris is priceless)the genius of this character is that he is genuinely pathetic; every other minute he makes a buttock-clenchingly cringing observation or question which always keeps him just on the wrong side of your sympathies, no matter how sad and pathetic he becomes.
The 6 episodes of the series include:
A Room with an Alan: Alan's meal at the BBC with Tony Hayers trying to get a second series.
Alan Attraction: Sacking his staff and trying to bed them at the same time!
Watership Alan: the boating video with his "wife" and several angry farmers.
Basic Alan: dressing up as a zombie to entertain the hotel staff.
To Kill a Mocking Alan: a disastrous untelevised chat show ending up imprisoned in the house of his greatest (and maddest)fan!
Towering Alan: Alan shows why he is the worst person to invite to a funeral.
DVD extras include quite a bit of material not shown on TV plus some outtakes which are brilliant. The only downside is that they could have included the Christmas Show as an extra which would have set up the series nicely. But that's not going to stop this getting 5 stars. Buy it!
on 8 March 2003
This video is absolutely fantastic as it contains all six episodes of Steve Coogans beautifully observed comedy about the life of a failed TV chat show host. The plot revolves around Alan Partridge (Coogan)and his antics while he is staying in a Travel Tavern. Alan has an early morning slot on Radio Norwich (Up with the Partridge) He also owns an office company called Peartree Productions and has a tirless and dedicated PA named Lynn. Among the strong cast is Phil Cornwall (Dead Ringers) and Sally Philips from Smack the Pony.
The first episode is titled 'A room with an alan' and shows Alan Partridge staying in his hotel, making complaints about graffite. He buys a house and meet the chief commisoning editor of BBC television, Tony Hayers who rejects a second series of his chat show. Alan tries to suggest other programme ideas such as; 'Monkey Tennis, Cooking in Prison, Sumeo Wrestling with Chas and Dave,etc) No . . .
The second superb episode 'Alan Attraction' shows Mr. Partridge on Valentines Day. He seems to be given every woman he meets a chocolate orange including his female co-worker Jill. He ends up taking Jill out for a romatic day to an Owl Park and then takes her back for an all you can eat dinner at the travel tavern from a eight inch plate. (Alan sneaks in a 10 inch plate) and then back up to the room to eat some chocolate moose . . moostake.
Third episode, 'Watership Alan' sees Alan in a bit of bother from Norfolks farmers. He agrees to star in a video commerical advitising a boat trip. Among the troubles, Alan gets drunk and has to find a screem wife.
In 'Basic Alan' we see the irrepressible star getting slightly bored and taking apart an entire trouser press. Phones his son Fernando and fiddles around with Satelitte TV. Alan tries to cheer himself up by talking to his friend, Michae;. but all Michea; wants to talk about is suicide and monkeys stealing fags. In the end, disaster when Alan takes a stand and steal some traffic cones . . .
Fifth, my favourite episode 'To kill a Mocking Alan' Alan meets some TV stars from Dublin who have come to watch his live afternoon chat show being held in his hotel. Alan thens meets his biggest fan and rashly (he doesn't want to admit to the Irish men that he lives in a hotel.' agrees to go home with Jed Maxwell, his biggest fan. There, Alan is scared out of his wits, Jed is more dedicated than Alan ever imagines, having a photo gallery of Alan on his wall, a mock chat show studio and a tattoe of Alan's face. He says; 'It took six hours, I fainted five times!'
Finally, 'Towering Alan' see's Alan depressed. He has been at the travel tavern for six months, 182 days of bordom. But then he receives terrible news that make be the great big break through in which he been hoping for, so Alan Partridge is all ready to put on his hat and coat, say goodbye to the Linton Travel Taverm forever and return hopefully to stardom. However with Alan Partridge, catastrophe is just around the corner and lurking on the horizon.
Then there is twenty minutes of untransmitted material which is very hilarious. A hilarious comedy, any fan of comedy or of Steve Coogan should buy this great priced video today. Super! Hilarous! What more can I say. The best comedy of the nineties and the best BBC comedy of all time with the possible exceptions of Father Ted and Men Behaving Badly. Witty, Brilliant and just fantasitc!
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.