Absolutely Fabulous is Absolutely Funny

Absolutely Fabulous - Jennifer Saunders as Edina Monsoon and Joanna Lumley as Patsy Stone

(L-R) Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders), Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley) (C) BBC Photographer: Jay Brooks

Picture two forty-something flower children that haven’t left the days of their youthful debauchery behind. In Absolutely Fabulous, that’s booze-addled best friends Edina “Eddy” Monsoon (Co-Creator/Writer Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley), who carelessly make their way through life looking for the latest fad or fix and the least amount of responsibility possible. Add in the straight-laced, disapproving daughter Saffron (Julia Sawalha), the blithely sarcastic grandmother (June Whitfield), the shockingly vacuous office assistant Bubble (Jane Horrocks), and you have the nucleus of one of the most uproariously hilarious British comedies of all time.

Eddy: “Inside of me there’s a thin person just screaming to get out.”

Mother: “Just the one, dear?”

Conceived and written by the award-winning comedy team, (Dawn) French and (Jennifer) Saunders, Absolutely Fabulous spiced up BBC watchers’ televisions over 37 episodes from 1992 to 2005. Touching on everything from substance abuse to celebrity obsession, AbFab leaves little unexplored when it comes to presenting taboos with a firmly planted tongue-in-cheek. The show’s unapologetic outrageousness doesn’t so much celebrate these things as it draws a bold line underneath them.

Eddy: “A mosquito’s never bitten you for God’s sake.”

Patsy: “The last mosquito that bit me had to book into the Betty Ford Clinic.”

Absolutely Fabulous - Cast - 20th Anniversary Specials

(L-R) Bubble (Jane Horrocks), Saffy (Julia Sawalha), Edina (Jennifer Saunders), Mother (June Whitfield), Patsy (Joanna Lumley) (C) BBC - Photographer: Jay Brooks)

Twenty years after they first stormed the small screen, Eddy and Patsy’s antics have only grown in their debauched scope. In 2011, the original cast got back together to film two specials celebrating the 20th anniversary of Absolutely Fabulous’ debut and the gut-busting chemistry is still there in spades. VisionTV has the Canadian Premiere of these two specials on June 28 and July 5.

In this excerpt from AbFab’s 20th Anniversary Special #1: “Identity”, Eddy and Patsy educate Saffy on the Kardashian Syndrome.

Absolutely Fabulous 20th Anniversary Specials - Joanna Lumley as Patsy, Jennifer Saunders as EdinaAbsolutely Fabulous 20th Anniversary Specials - Jennifer Saunders as Edina, Julia Sawalha as Saffy

 

The jaw-dropping antics of the neurotic, trend crazed Eddy and the narcissistic, morally-challenged Patsy are at the center of AbFab’s dark, yet delightful, comic heart. These two sharply drawn characters provide both the extreme and the absurd that pushed the boundaries of the small screen in the ‘90s. They happily take you along on their raucous ride as Eddie chases her lost youth and Patsy chases anything in a bottle or trousers. Whether they’re getting busted at customs on their way back from France or taking the Concorde to New York just to search for the perfect door handle, we can safely giggle at Eddy and Patsy’s misadventures from our couches and, while they likely pale by comparison, be reminded of a few misadventures of our own.

VisionTV presents the Absolutely Fabulous 20th Anniversary Specials on Thursdays, June 28 and July 5 at 8:30pm ET / 5:30pm PT. Following that, re-discover the landmark first season of Absolutely Fabulous every Thursday at 8:30pm ET / 5:30pm PT through August 16.

- Henry Lees

all photos (C) BBC 2011

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