Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Feeling Absolutely Fabulous about the return of the AbFab gang

This was a very British weekend for TV viewers in the U.S., as not only season two of Downton Abbey premiered on PBS but both Logo and BBC America aired the first of three anniversary specials for Absolutely Fabulous,the cult comedy classic from the 1990s.

All of the regular cast was on deck and the humor was,as always,spot on with Edina and Patsy bemoaning the current state of celebrity along with aging less than gracefully,plus a hilarious take on last summer's royal wedding by Bubble,with Jane Horrocks giving her best wacky performance on this series to date:

As a fan who happily discovered this show on Comedy Central back in the day,it's wonderful to welcome back those awfully charming reprobates,Edina Monsoon(Jennifer Saunders),the desperate to be trendy party girl and Patsy Stone(Joanna Lumley),her zonked out catty companion. It also gives me a chance to go over some of my favorite things about Ab Fab and relive some of those laughs again.

To start with,my favorite character is Saffron,Edina's long suffering somber daughter who has had to put with both Eddy and Patsy's flamboyant approach to life and been made the butt of many jokes(not to mention a pawn in various schemes). One of the delights of any AbFab episode is seeing Saffy go off on her mother and/or Patsy(who hates her especially)and giving out as much grief to them as she gets in return.

It's also fun to see Julia Sawalha in a very different mode from her role as the flirty Lydia in Pride & Prejudice. In some ways,she's a lot more like Mary Bennett when playing Saffron,only without the attempts to sing in public(that bit of public embarrassment gets left to Eddy):

The writing on this show is what made such horrible selfish people a joy to be around. Jennifer Saunders was a well established comedienne before she created Ab Fab,with her success on the Saunders & French skit series(teaming up with fellow comedy writer Dawn French).

Saunders has appeared on other shows,including a guest appearance on Friends, and done voice work for animated features such as Coraline and Shrek 2.She's been the sole writer for the Ab Fab series and clearly her knack for snappy one liners and daffy dialogue has paid off brilliantly.

Despite the golden opportunity to turn the show into a one woman affair,her scripts have handed out plenty of scene stealing goodies for all of the cast to share at one time or another:

The true silliness spine of the show,however, is the friendship of Eddy and Patsy who bring out the best and worse in each other,more times the latter than the former. What makes this gruesome twosome stick together is their mutual love of glamor,fashion,getting wasted and social climbing. Quite a shallow foundation for a long lasting relationship but fortunately,neither of them are ones to look too deeply into anything.

You could drop Eddy and Patsy down in just about any corner of the world and they would manage to find the trendiest people to mix and mingle with. The gals even made an appearance on the last season of Roseanne and rather easily stole the show from the regular leading ladies,which shows their satirical strength there:

The return of Ab Fab to our shores is a glorious sign of greater things to come this year and goodness knows we are in dire need of some solid laughs. Not all blasts from the past are worth reliving but in this case,Edina,Patsy and the whole wacky crew are gifting us with a bubbly breath of fresh air:

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