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The Alan Partridge Complete Box Set [DVD]
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Every episode from the three BBC comedy series featuring Steve Coogan's cringeworthy alter ego, chat show host Alan Partridge.
'Knowing Me, Knowing You' (1994) sees Alan presenting his own TV series along with the Christmas Special ‘Knowing Me, Knowing Yule’ . The two series of 'I'm Alan Partridge' (1997 and 2003) chronicle Alan's increasingly desperate attempts to rebuild his tattered career after assaulting the BBC's Chief Commissioning Editor with a frozen turkey!
‘Knowing Me, Knowing You & Knowing Me, Knowing Yule’
Alan Partridge, the chat show host from hell (or more precisely, Norwich) hit the TV screens with his own series in 1994 – and we still haven’t stopped laughing. Aiming to “quite literally put the chat amongst the pigeons,” Alan took on prime time TV – and lost, badly. As chat show host he is brash, cheesy and uncompromisingly narrow-minded. Faced with crude clown groups, risqué men’s dance troupes and fashion designers, he is obnoxious and downright rude. As only Partridge can, he humiliates, infuriates, assaults and even kills his guests – but always, ends his show like a true professional… “On that bombshell…”
Includes original untransmitted test footage.
I’m Alan Partridge – Series 1
Since his chat show came to a catastrophic end, Alan Partridge has been rebuilding his career as an early morning DJ on Radio Norwich. With his loyal PA Lynn by his side, Alan prepares for his return to celebrity status.
I’m Alan Partridge – Series 2
After a couple of years of being clinically fed-up, Alan has ‘bounced back’. He’s got the third best slot on Radio Norwich, a military-based quiz on cable TV called Skirmish, a 33 year-old girlfriend called Sonja, an autobiography (Bouncing Back) and is only living in a caravan until his new house is finished.
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Series one is okay, but has aged the least impressively. Series two and three are classics, and see the character and presentation maturing. There are also sundry specials and extras, some of which feel like padding, others of which are great (e.g. his country walks and talks in East Anglia - being an East Anglian myself I also like the local connections!).
There are some incredibly funny moments - his air-bass routine in his trailer-home, or, literally painfully funny, as when he tries to deliver a speech after having skewered his foot on a railing - but overall it's not so much side-splitting larf-a-minute stuff, as a more simmering character and situation driven affair.
As well as being very funny, it can be very sad, poignant even. In some respects this is a very modern somewhat dark style of comedy (although already - like Partridge himself - rapidly ageing), but in others it has longer deeper roots. Partridge's tragicomic attempts to maintain his dignity in the face of adversity could be traced back to such antecedent bumblers as Peter Sellers' Clousseau, for example.
Definitely we generally laugh at these characters for the pricking of their pomposity, and at their expense. But we also recognise enough of ourselves and general humanity for it to be tinged with pain and melancholy. Clever and funny. Great if somewhat uneven. Originally I gave this set just four stars. But having watched it numerous times now, and derbies a lot of pleasure from it, it now gets the full five; after all, I do love it.
And at only £10 for the complete TV series - what I paid, roughly, and still the price at the time of leaving this review - it's very good value.
By-th-way "The Parole Officer" is good too, little slow to start , but has some great lines.
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