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The Alan Partridge Thread

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On 25/03/2019 at 22:19, MarkN said:

The bookcase bit was properly great - quintessential Partridge. Not the funniest bit, but it's just exactly what he'd do. After admiring the action of the doors he realised there was probably just about enough space in there for him to be shut up inside, so he couldn't not try it out. Turned out he was probably wrong...

 

The swearing section was great. Especially loved the scattershot bleeping out of the first half of "country" - note perfect again, that bit I think.

 

A few things miss the mark for me, but it's definitely up there.

 

I thought that bit was about him getting a thrill out of being squeezed by the bookcase (because it’s the sort of fetish he’d have).

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Late to the party, but that last episode was incredible. I loved the fact that they dodged the obvious joke of making Alan sceptical about metoo, and made him embrace it utterly without actually really getting it. It's surprising, but also completely true to the character.

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I couldn’t take my eyes off Simon throughout. Especially liked him mouthing along to Alan’s autocue. Really strong end to the series.

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Some lovely moments and I'm glad to see we saw the dark, insecure, spiteful side of Alan really emerge again.

 

The fashion segment was wonderful, as he went from totally uncomfortable to awkward to in the zone! 

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Now it’s finished, I feel like I’ve really not enjoyed this series. There were some good bits in it, but overall, for me at least, it’s the weakest of everything he’s done.

 

I don’t think the format helped. He’s just the wrong kind of character to be presenting that type of show. I know that’s kind of the point, but that angle felt too contrived. Those kind of shows have the blandest personality vacuums presenting them and there’s no way the BBC would turn to Alan to front it. It wasn’t the right fit.

 

Jennie was a dislikable character throughout and she never went anywhere. Zero character development. To the point where she was absent for the majority of the final episode. Same with Ruth.

 

It all felt very one note as well. After the shaky start I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt as I thought it would build towards a crescendo of mayhem, with Alan getting more manic and desperate as the series went on, but it never happened and the whole thing ended on an off-camera whimper.

 

Saying that, Simon was great as always and there was the odd flash of classic Partridge. There were some excellent one-hit gags as well, but the standout, and the only full sketch I thought was brilliant, was Martin Brennan, his Irish doppelgänger.

 

I’ve watched Partridge from his very first report on The Day Today, so it’s been really disappointing for me. I hope this isn’t the end, although I wouldn’t want him to do another series set in this kind of programme.

 

So yeah, very much a missed opportunity for me and I won’t be rushing to give it a rewatch any time soon.

 

 

 

 

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JPL have you read / listened to the recent Partridge books?

 

The books (and to some extent MMM) evolved Alan a lot. I can see that people who missed out on those would probably find this a bit jarring.

 

Time will tell if this series is up there with the best - rarely do I think anything Partridge is best on first watch / listen - but to me it definitely felt like it was him.

 

I agree though that the last episode wasn't the peak. I loved the RIP episode, I've watched that 3 times now.

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9 minutes ago, NickC said:

JPL have you read / listened to the last few Partridge books?

 

The books (and to some extent MMM) evolved Alan a lot. I can see that people who missed out on those would probably find this a bit jarring.

 

Time will tell if this series is up there with the best - rarely do I think anything Partridge is best on first watch / listen - but to me it definitely felt like it was him. 

The last one I read was I, Partridge but that’s a few years back now. It wasn’t really Alan who felt wrong though, it was everything around him. Maybe I’ll come to love it in time, but right now I’m not feeling it.

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Patchy is a good way to describe it, some parts didn't work but when it did it was top tier Partridge, it's a worthy series. I thought Jennie was great, tricky role as it's mostly about the reactions and that's something that would have easily been overstated. It IS super weird how they used her in the final episode though! Alan is just horrible to her and nothing comes of it. Leads me to believe there will be one more (xmas?)  'special' or something.

 

My preference;

 

Good :

Audiobooks

I'm Alan Partridge

MidMorningMatters

Knowing Me, Knowing You

Partridge docs (i.e sissor isle etc)

This Time

 

Bad:

The Movie

 

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3 hours ago, JPL said:

Now it’s finished, I feel like I’ve really not enjoyed this series. There were some good bits in it, but overall, for me at least, it’s the weakest of everything he’s done.

 

I don’t think the format helped. He’s just the wrong kind of character to be presenting that type of show. I know that’s kind of the point, but that angle felt too contrived. Those kind of shows have the blandest personality vacuums presenting them and there’s no way the BBC would turn to Alan to front it. It wasn’t the right fit.

 

Jennie was a dislikable character throughout and she never went anywhere. Zero character development. To the point where she was absent for the majority of the final episode. Same with Ruth.

 

It all felt very one note as well. After the shaky start I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt as I thought it would build towards a crescendo of mayhem, with Alan getting more manic and desperate as the series went on, but it never happened and the whole thing ended on an off-camera whimper.

 

Saying that, Simon was great as always and there was the odd flash of classic Partridge. There were some excellent one-hit gags as well, but the standout, and the only full sketch I thought was brilliant, was Martin Brennan, his Irish doppelgänger.

 

I’ve watched Partridge from his very first report on The Day Today, so it’s been really disappointing for me. I hope this isn’t the end, although I wouldn’t want him to do another series set in this kind of programme.

 

So yeah, very much a missed opportunity for me and I won’t be rushing to give it a rewatch any time soon.

 

This mirrors my feelings pretty closely.

 

I think the worst thing is that I just didn't laugh that much. The two series of I'm Alan Partridge have a ridiculous number of laugh out loud moments and this has maybe a fifth as many. Totally subjective, of course, and I still enjoyed it. I also think it'll be better on rewatch.

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Sadly my feelings having watched the first episode weren’t changed by watching the rest of the series. It wasn’t funny, outside of a few well placed gags. 

 

For those of us us who’ve enjoyed Alan Partridge over the years - for him to be back on the BBC is such a big deal and unfortunately the series such as it is didn’t live up to that expectation. 

 

To be honest, I don’t think Alan should have ever gotten back on TV, and if he did, a huge return to success and fame should have equally been met with catastrophe to balance it out. 

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I feel the format was great. Unfortunately, the execution of it was really, really bad.

 

There were moments in every episode which made me laugh out loud, but also moments which were just embarrassingly bad. Ie the book case bit, the African corruption interview.

For me, the problems flow through every aspect; the writing, the performances (except Simon and Jennie who were both absolutely perfect) the direction and the editing.

 

Far too many big set-up ‘gag’s, which just ended up seeming surreal and out of place with the supposedly naturalistic tone of the show. The pacing and timing of delivery was crazily bad, and fluffed nearly every time. I don’t know why they couldn’t have cut one segment on each show and let the studio bits breathe a bit, it seemed like everything was rushing through to get to a set-piece punchline.

 

The editing and direction are incoherent too, they really should have settled on one vision for the show. Play the live bits 100% straight, keep the off-air bits as they were. As it was it was bizarre, like half way naturalistic ‘magazine show’ editing and half way sitcom cutting away to reaction shots.

 

I feel that pretty much applies to a lot of post-Iannucci Alan. Back on IAP the direction matched the tone, nowadays with the Gibbons when something weird happens it just feels jarring. I do love the Gibbons though, and as far as I can see from IMDB this was their first directing job. I love what they’ve done with Alan in general.

 

Also there didn’t seem to be any real arc through the episodes. I think some of the best Partridge is him stuck in a small room with a guest and watching as the relationship degenerates. MMM series one was the high water mark for this, I think. So, given room over a series his relationship with Jennie, like his relationship with Simon in MMM, should have been amazing to watch fall to pieces.

 

But it just seemed random, one moment he was all puffed up, one moment he was meek and subservient, one moment he was belittling and angry. Then it all breaks down at the very start of the last ep over something that happened off screen.

 

I hope it gets a second series to hopefully sort out the problems, finesse the script over at least another draft etc.



 

However: Noel having cats hiss at him in the studio when he’s talking to contestants was worth all the shit bits.

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@K It’s weird when you put it like that, as there are loads of brilliant bits in every episode. I’m not sure why I don’t really like it, despite me trying to explain it in my post from yesterday, but it’s missing something for me. It feels patchy. For all the good bits, it just doesn’t hang together right for me.

 

I’ll revisit it in a few months and see if I’ve warmed to it.

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This series had more moments that recalled The Day Today than I’m used to seeing in AP. The lack of a laughter track and the surreal nature of some of the segments helped. 

 

Favourite bit from last night:

Spoiler

”I dream that I’m Neil Armstrong. I put in the wrong coordinates and we overshoot the moon. Buzz Aldrin just stares at me for ages and eventually says “what did you do that for?”

 

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