By Jenny Brown
"Inside of me there's a thin woman trying to get out,"
complains the ever-suffering Edina. "Are you sure it's just the one,
dear?" asks her mother.
When anyone raves about Sex and the City, you need only to
remind her that the Brits did it first--and better--with the creation of
the brave say-anything show about sex, drugs, and the battle of the bulge.
Absolutely Fabulous is a groundbreaking, off-the-wall comedy from
the early 1990s, which began with a skit from The French and Saunders
Show, about a moral, uptight daughter and her extremely loose mother. Ab
Fab has taken this to the extreme. Edina (Jennifer Saunders) is the
queen of excess. Her clothes are outrageous, her attempts at weight loss
comical, and her efforts at motherhood (her daughter, Saffron--played to
perfection by Julia Sawalha--is a practical-minded, reliable teenager) are
uneven at best. Eddy's best friend is Patsy, a promiscuous Ivana Trump
look-alike who always has a cigarette between her lips, a drink in her
hand, and a fine-looking man (or boy) in her bed. The entire show lasted
for three seasons, and all are included in this set. From organizing an
orgy to a brush with poverty to the death of Eddy's father, nothing--and
we mean nothing--is sacred in this show. Without a doubt, Ab Fab is
one of the greatest television satires created, although keep in mind that
it's strictly for adults.
Episodes 1-6: "Fashion" - Edina and Patsy put on a fashion
show. "Fat" - Edina confronts the one trend she never followed:
fitness. "France" - The girls conquer France! "Iso
Tank" - Edina tries to get involved in Saffie's school project.
"Birthday" - Edina turns forty with her usual good humor.
"Magazine" - We finally see Patsy at work: "One snap of my
fingers and I can raise hemlines so high, the world's your
Episodes 7-12: "Hospital" - Patsy's upcoming photo spread
with Hello Magazine has her thinking face lift. "Death" -
Edina's father dies and we confront the eternal question ("Yes, but
is it art?"). "Morocco" - The girls travel to Morrocco.
"New Best Friend" - Edina's minimalist friends visit with their
maximalist new baby. "Poor" - Edina learns to economise when her
ex-husbands cut her off. "Birth" - Patsy nearly burns the house
The babes of boozeland are back and drunker than ever in the fourth
season of the Britcom Absolutely Fabulous. Even after a five-year
hiatus, the main characters are unchanged, and the only giveaway that
things are different is Eddy's defection from Lacroix to Burberry. Devoted
fans will appreciate that this season (which also has the usual dieting,
drinking, and manhunting) goes where no Pats and Edina have gone before,
from a PR gig with Twiggy to menopause. What's more frightening: Patsy
going through "the change" or the two dames dressed to the
nines... for a night of moshing at a Marilyn Manson concert? If you're new
to the series, have no fears; it won't take long to figure out that Edina
(Jennifer Saunders) is the queen of excess, an extraordinary drinker and
dieter but horrific mother. (Her daughter, Saffron--played by Julia
Sawalha--is the levelheaded one, although as a young adult, her character
has less purpose than in previous years.) Patsy (Joanna Lumley) is Eddy's
sidekick, with a figure to die for--or at least paralyze for, as her
experiences with youth-enhancing Parralox show. This is not a series to