Ah, British television comedy. Not enough of it makes it over here stateside (legitimately, anyway), so you know that what does meander its way over here must be pretty choice, which these two latest BBC Home Video releases are.
Steve Coogan is Alan Partridge in our first selection, the complete series of Knowing Me Knowing You, which contains all six episodes and the Xmas special across two discs. Sadly, his most memorable exploit, at least for us Americans, is playing the lead in the ill-fated Around the World in 80 Days. But here, Alan Partridge is the phoniest, most shameless and all-around worst talk show host you’ve ever seen. He even has to make do without celebrities of any note, and has one of his lowest points when Roger Moore gets tied up in traffic and calls into the show from the road.
The delightfully twisted show is backed up by a plethora of goodness. First up, there’s commentaries for all six episodes (and the special) with both cast and crew, and Alan is at least, well, scheduled to appear on them. There’s also test footage, Alan on a jaunt through the countryside, Alan’s appearances on Comic Relief, and various bits like promos and bios and such. Delightfully twisted.
And of course, there’s Peep Show, which everywhere I’ve seen identified as Series 1 except for the DVD artwork. Go figure. Regardless, it’s the touching story of Jeremy and Mark, dysfunctional roommates who go through life with their heads as an open book…at least to you, the audience. Their innermost thoughts are subject to your perusal as they go through their mayhem. And of course, hijinks ensue. For extras, you’ve got six standalone scenes featuring the characters plus audio commentary on two of the episodes with writers and actors.
Grab them and laugh. It’s good for you.