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Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars if you won't do it, Sky will..., 28 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Alan Partridge - Mid-Morning Matters [DVD] (DVD)
It was worth experimenting with a 'webcam' series entirely from inside Alan's radio studio, and - like Pear Tree Productions' Inner City Sumo concept - part of the appeal to Sky was no doubt that it was 'very cheap to make'. It does come at an artistic cost, though: it's very confining, and not only because the studio is a small one. It's lost that priceless over-the-top sense of the ludicrous; the realistic style makes it harder edged, less likeable and also less funny. The writers - including newbies Rob and Neil Gibbons - do well to provide any relationship development at all in such a small compass. Even so, we lose all the old supporting characters - there's no Lynn looking in to drop off his foot powder, and he doesn't even have DJ Dave Clifton to spar with.

The format also restricts the Partridge character to his worst side. In the past he always managed to seem sympathetic, however daft he acted. We could see his softer side, all his self doubt, and he was usually trying to keep up appearances as things fell apart around him. Here, though, he's in a position of petty power. His bullying of Sidekick Simon, and slimy fawning over hot young 'co-DJ' Zoe, are more unpleasant than funny. You can't put yourself in Alan's shoes at such times. At best you can only pity him, and pity isn't funny.

It's not a fashionable opinion, but I also think it misses the laughter track.

Pretty good, then, but not quite what we've been waiting eleven years for. It feels like a stop on the way to somewhere rather than a final statement.

28.12.13 ETA ...and indeed it wasn't. Anyhow, nice to see Lynn, Michael and Count Davula of Cliftonvania brought back for the Alpha Papa film.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Mar 2014 18:36:43 GMT
David Fuller says:
Seems like the things that make this brilliant are the things you didn't like - the new, fresh approach and the claustrophobia/intimacy.

Perhaps you should contact Armando Iannucci c/o the BBC and ask him to make I'm Alan Partridge Series 3. And Series 4. Etc.

I'm not sure the great man will be that keen.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Mar 2014 20:29:39 GMT
gille liath says:
Not sure why you think that; what I said is that the idea was good but, in the execution, the thing has become too narrow. The fact that old characters were brought back for the recent film suggests that the writers agree. Anyway, in terms of a review, it seems logical to compare this series to the previous ones - so that's what I have done.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Mar 2014 02:51:34 GMT
David Fuller says:
I don't think Iannucci, Coogan, Baynham, et al. have (or want) any long term plan for Partridge, and although they try and keep the facts consistent I believe every series, almost every show, is a one-off.

Iannucci himself said there's a lot he doesn't like about the second series of I'm Alan Partridge. I thought the movie, good as it was, might have been a step too far - I'd have to see it on DVD to be sure.

But I'd say the last thing they want on their hands is a Cheers or a MASH, not to mention a Dad's Army or Last Of The Summer Wine.

I don't think AP has 'become' anything - it's just an original and fresh approach for one unique series.

Who knows what they'll do next, if anything - and that's a good thing in my opinion.
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