Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Savoring "Absolutely Fabulous" While There Is Still Time

by Pa Rock
BritCom Fan

Absolutely Fabulous, affectionately known to its millions of fans worldwide as "Ab Fab" is a British television comedy series that ran on the BBC in fits and spurts for twenty years, from 1992 until 2012,  The writer and star of the show is Jennifer Saunders, one half of the famous comedy team of French and Saunders.  Her partner in comedy, Dawn French (star of another BBC hit comedy show, The Vicar of Dibley) was a guest star in one of the early Âb Fab episodes.

Saunders' character in Ab Fab is a self-absorbed perpetual party girl named Edina (born "Edwina" - but called "Eddie") Monosoon who, even though she has a grown son and daughter and a bevy of adult responsibilities, manages to spend her days shopping and doing lunch with her best friend, Patsy (Joanna Lumley), and her evenings partying with the same accomplice.  Patsy is an aging blond-bombshell and maneater who claims to have slept with all of the major male rockers of the 1960's and also claims to have not eaten since the 1970's.   Both women have important jobs (of a sort) in the fashion industry - and Eddie also functions as an agent to a couple of fringe over-the-hill stars like Lulu.  In addition to questionable 'salaries," Eddie also lives on alimony supplied by two colorful ex-husbands.

Eddie and Patsy's swinging lifestyles are complicated by Eddie's young adult daughter, Saffron "Saffie," who still lives at home, and her mother, Saffie's "Gran," who always seems to be present.  In a stark reversal of roles, it is Saffie who actually does most of the mothering of Eddie, and a standard scene is for the housecoat-clad Saffie to be waiting up impatiently for her coked-up mother to return from a late-night of partying - with mother trying to sneak in unnoticed.

One of the running gags of this series is Eddie and Patsy tumbling drunk out of their hired cars, often landing sprawled out on the curb.  That is the manner in which they arrive at the funeral of Eddie's father, uninvited, before proceeding to stumble into a couple of open graves.

Eddie also has issues with her weight, a subject which plays out over the course of the series as she struggles to remain "one of the beautiful people."  Whenever anyone inquires of Patsy as to how she is doing, the sidekick's stock reply is "I'm fabulous!"   Lots of the show's emphasis centers on what is and is not trendy and cool in the modern world.  Some of the social references in the earlier shows include remarks about Ivana and Ivanka Trump.

Eddie and Patsy are very self-absorbed, as well as shallow and narcissistic, but they are also very funny - allowing us to laugh at not only them, but ourselves as well.  Netflix has thirty-seven of the thirty-nine original episodes available for binge-viewing, each and every one a guilty pleasure worthy of hiding from the nosy neighbors- or the contemptuous stares of grown children!

Enjoy this show before they haul you off to the home - and the sixties end for real!

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