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The Alan Partridge Thread


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7 hours ago, Mawdlin said:

The big difference with this series is that there's no canned laughter (good decision) but it does perhaps give it a flatter tone and energy than we're used to.

 

Alan Partridge never had canned laughter. It had a laugh track, recorded from an audience either present in the studio, or viewing recordings of the location shoots. But it didn't dub on pre-recorded artificial laughter of the sort heard in The Flintstones.

 

Sorry, mixing up the terms for sitcom laughter is a peeve of mine!

 

Back in 2002, one of the big criticisms of IAP series 2 was the laugh track - and people kept getting the term wrong (kept getting Bond wrong...) there, too:

 

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2002/nov/12/broadcasting.bbc3

 

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11 hours ago, BitterToad said:

 

Nah you’re talking old money partridge.

 

Maybe. I didn’t watch much of Mid Morning Matters, but what I did see I enjoyed, more or less. I loved the movie. I even have one of the books, which is brilliant. 

 

Lets be clear, the high watermark of IAP has never been bettered, but having watched the retrospective the BBC put out a while back and having seen how painful and frustrating a process it was to create it, I don’t think we’re ever going to see that again. But I don’t think the modern era is bad at all. 

 

I really hope I’m able to get more enjoyment as the series progresses. I also acknowledge that I watched it in the presence of someone who’s never seen Alan Partridge before and strenuously didn’t get it, which doesn’t really work with this kind of comedy. 

 

And it was peppered with individual moments and gags that worked well - chinaman square, the awkwardly long walk to the interview, the way he pretended to out the used paper towel in his pocket but actually dropped it on the ground - but as a piece, the whole thing sadly didn’t work for me. 

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40 minutes ago, JML said:

I think there should have been a One Show-type mini audience in the studio (not as in a KMKY audience to laugh at what's going on). Being as it is, the set feels unnervingly empty for its size. 

 

It did initially feel weirdly dry and cold without a laugh track or any kind of on-set reaction, especially with the way it (at least at first) was completely rooted to the studio, but I think having an audience would be equally weird as they wouldn’t react in the way they probably should. In terms of style and feel, it’s really different to any other Partridge project. I can see the quietness and space needing a bit of getting used to.

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11 hours ago, Rudderless said:

 

You know when people say "I was watching through my fingers" but they never actually mean it, they just mean it made them cringe a bit? Well, I was genuinely watching that bit through my fingers. It was so brilliantly done, but just too painful. When he hit the home button I burst out laughing while turning away from the screen. 

 

Loads of good bits, but Alan muttering about "creamy hands" during the hygiene bit was incredible. 

 

Tim Key's performance was incredible. He gave the impression of utter, mind-destroying turmoil without being excessively flustered. And such a familiar combo of inner panic at a public speaking engagement, and trying to shepherd a relative through some unfamiliar technology.

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1 minute ago, JML said:

Every single commenter on The Guardian seems to have despised the whole thing.

 

I saw that, very depressing comments.  I know the show has had a lot of hype, but a lot of folks seem to be expecting every line of the show to be the 'best partridge ever' now that it's on the BBC.  

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21 minutes ago, K said:

 

It did initially feel weirdly dry and cold without a laugh track or any kind of on-set reaction, especially with the way it (at least at first) was completely rooted to the studio, but I think having an audience would be equally weird as they wouldn’t react in the way they probably should. In terms of style and feel, it’s really different to any other Partridge project. I can see the quietness and space needing a bit of getting used to.

All of the Partridge projects have been wildly different to each other when you think about it. Constantly changing the formula is what has stopped it getting old. Is there any other British comedy character who has been going for so long and is still consistently excellent? Across books, film, talk shows, 'reality' formats and specials?

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The user interface bit was the highlight for me. Tim Key is so good. I agree that the live to-camera bits were hard to get used to and much preferred the bits when a guest was brought in or they cut to a pre-recorded segment.

 

I remember back in uni thinking that everything after the 'smell my cheese' episode of season 1 of IAP was a disappointment after KMKY but of course repeated viewings showed me to be bang wrong.

 

After the touch screen sequence, the bit that made me laugh the most was a well-timed nose-blow during a bridging shot as he walks into the BBC building.

 

"Swindon"

*parp*

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Agreed @Capwn, and this must surely be just an opening act - at the end of the first episode he says the usual presenter will be back next week, and his performance was so dismal as to never be invited back to the programme (within a programme) again. I’m sure there’s going to be some interesting way they work Alan back in that ends with him presenting solo with complete creative control, culminating in a moment where he realises he’s finally got his second series and shouts “A-HA!!” at the audience before it all goes horribly wrong. 

 

The ultimate irony would be another fatality, but this time it’s Alan who dies. 

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4 hours ago, SM47 said:

Is Armando Iannucci not doing anything Partridge related anymore? I can't remember if he did MMM and the film. 

He did the film and MMM

 

I thought this was a good start, but it was deinfitely lacking something

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I sort of get the mixed reactions but given the pedigree I also think the cringe factor will develop as the show goes on. Alan is always at his best when he's utterly desperate and pathetic and we start to feel a bit sorry for him. I hope that aspect eventually flourishes.

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1 hour ago, Anne Summers said:

All of the Partridge projects have been wildly different to each other when you think about it. Constantly changing the formula is what has stopped it getting old. Is there any other British comedy character who has been going for so long and is still consistently excellent? Across books, film, talk shows, 'reality' formats and specials?

 

Yeah, that's true. I guess the biggest difference is around tone - we've seen Alan on TV before, but it was softened a bit by the laugh track. On this, the dead air just hangs there. Alan's out there on his own, without any of the distance that you get with an audience. It was funny, but I found it really quite stressful to watch.

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Predictions for the end of the series? Most Partridge series end with some kind of disaster or (occasionally) moment of growth for Alan. 

 

I wouldn't be surprised if Alan's co-host is unable to present at some point, handing the reigns to Sidekick Simon, who does a better job of presenting than Alan.

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3 hours ago, K said:

It was funny, but I found it really quite stressful to watch.

 

Haha yes. I'm not used to this level of tension in a Partridge thing. Which is good I suppose as near-unbearable tension is what I experience any time I attempt to watch The One Show.

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put me in with the guardian lot - this didn’t do it for me - me and mrs a were noticeably not laughing that much throughout. will repeat watch to give it another go but i feel a bit sad by the situation.

feel like he needs to be put in a greater range of locations and situations, following the i’map episodes.

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4 hours ago, NickC said:

Predictions for the end of the series?

 

The really cliche obvious one is that his female cost will have a very genuine/awkward outburst, sort of a classic 'Fuck Off!' moment.

 

A more bolder prediction is that the main presenter comes back, Alan gets a smaller role (Perhaps a replacement for Sidekick Simon's feature) and will use it to make the presenter look stupid. Pointing out all his errors etc. He'll be trying to sabotage the show, pointing out how fake it all is but ultimately gets fired again.

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