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Alan Partridge a failed television presenter whose previous exploits had featured in the chat-show parody Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge, and who is now presenting a programed on local radio in Norwich.
Gervais had a big task on his hands with this project- The Office has now entered into comedy history, and people had very high hopes for his follow-up. The documentary style has been ditched, and Gervais has given his character just a little more dignity than he gave David Brent, so the comedy is a little less squeamish. The changes in direction and style are daring and pay off- the show doesn't feel like a desperate follow up or imitation of The Office. In fact, it's highly original.
It's a pitch black satire, which follows the efforts of Gervais's character as he attempts to progress from being an extra to actually getting a real acting job, or at least a line. The shows also charts his female friend's unsuccessful love-life, his deadpan agent and parodies a celebrity every week. This week it was the turn of Ben Stiller, who was mocked as an evil dictator of a man, who constantly reminds those around him of the box office of his movies and insists that kissing Cameron Diaz "still counts", even though it was for a movie. Stiller is a good sport for joining in, and has fun messing with his image.
Overall the show is gently paced, well written and shows extremely high potential for character study. Definitely one to watch.
STILLER: DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM!? GERVAIS: Starsky or Hutch- I can never remember. STILLER: Was that supposed to be funny? GERVAIS: You were in it- you tell me.
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