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Non-Review Review: Alan Partridge – Alpha Papa

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa successfully brings the BBC icon to the big screen. He’s come a long way from a sports desk persona on a BBC4 parody radio show, and modern British comedy owes a lot to Coogan’s creation. Partridge has been around for over twenty years at this point, in many ways becoming more recognisable than Steve Coogan himself. It’s surprising that it’s taken this long to shepherd Partridge to the big screen.

Partridge is the king of what might be termed “cringe comedy”, and is a clear forbearer of Ricky Gervais’ David Brent. As such, it’s possible to feel that Partridge is a little dated. Certainly, there are times when Alpha Papa plays out like it could be an extended holiday special featuring North Norfolk’s most famous radio DJ. To be fair, that’s not a bad thing. Coogan is on fine form here, the comedy is broad and the wit is quick enough that there’s never a dull moment.

It’s a giant-sized helping of the comedy character, one which stays true to his roots even if it does occasionally feel like it over-simplifies him a bit.

On the air, and on the line...

On the air, and on the line…

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The Thick of It – Series I (Review)

The wonderful folks at the BBC have given me access to their BBC Global iPlayer for a month to give the service a go and trawl through the archives. I’ll have some thoughts on the service at the end of the month, but I thought I’d also take the opportunity to enjoy some of the fantastic content.

The British sure know their political comedy. The Thick of It is something like a spiritual successor to the cult British political comedies Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister, from the mind of creator Armando Iannucci. Iannucci is perhaps best known for his work with Steve Coogan on the character of Alan Partridge, and there’s a lot of the same awkward comedy here. Perhaps it’s best to describe The Think of It as the ideological opposite of The West Wing, a bucket of cold British water chucked over America political idealism. It’s crass, profane, cynical, sly and absolutely brilliant.

Thick and thin...

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