I’m Alan Partridge

(Part One of This Series)

Alan Partridge is a character Steve Coogan has written and performed across a variety of media since the early nineties, including a faux variety show which Alan hosted for the BBC.  I’m Alan Partridge (1999, 2002) is a sitcom that takes place after the character has lost his television show (and his wife and kids) and is reduced to working as an overnight DJ on a local radio station and living in a motel.  It’s very funny, ultimately depressing, and essentially the missing link between the (broad performance, laugh track) traditional sitcom and the (single camera, emotionally complicated) style of television comedy that emerged over the last decade.

The character of David Brent owes a lot to Alan Partridge, and the international television juggernaut that is The Office got much of its DNA from this show, right down to the pair of young co-workers who fall in love through their shared interest in egging the fool on and smirking behind his back.

Check it out:

None of that is to take away from the achievement of The Office (UK), which is, I think, a perfect series and overwhelmingly superior to this show – it’s just to acknowledge that it didn’t emerge out of nowhere.

If you love The Office (UK), you’ll probably really like this show.  The first series is here.

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