AbFab's Revival: Still Fabulous After All These Years

By Seth Abramovitch

Jan 09, 2012

The whole AbFab gang is back for a three-episode mini-run in honor of the deliriously trashy sitcom’s 20th anniversary, the first of which aired on Sunday night. It’s remarkable, really, how Edina and Patsy -- caricatures meant to lampoon the gaudy and clueless nouveau riche who sprung out of Margaret Thatcher’s England -- still seem so timely in a post-Occupy Wall Street world. But some things just defy context entirely. A two-headed gorgon of unrelenting self-indulgence, the show’s best-friend leads -- played by Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley like some kind of coked-up, shopaholic Lucy and Ethel -- could literally hop in a time machine and land in any era, and amuse themselves with a pack of ciggies and their beloved liquid lunch.

In this case, however, we were smack dab in the present, and the surprise reveal was that it was Eddie’s goodie two-shoes daughter Saffy who spent two years in prison for falsifying passports, albeit unwittingly. The plot revolved around Saffy having been something of a prison “top dog,” and a friend from inside -- who wound up being Patsy’s former drug dealer -- made a housecall, leading to trouble for the Beehived One. Among the show’s highlights was Bubble, a.k.a. Jane Horrocks, performing the entire royal wedding for Saffy, including Princess Beatrice’s notorious hat (she made it out of pretzels).

For AbFab purists, this is going to be a no-brainer. It wasn't just a trip down memory lane -- it was a full-fledged new episode, and one that earned its laughs. For the uninitiated, however, it may be a harder sell, as AbFab’s format does seem a little clunky and quaint in the age of fast-paced, single-camera comedies and mockumentaries. Still, it's never too late for converts. There are almost certainly some budding young gays out there who will see the light for the very first time the instant they gaze into Patsy's dead, dead eyes.

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  • methadvocate Jan 26, 2012

    AbFab has always been the top of my comedy favorites, and I was thrilled to hear they were doing 3 more shows. I watched "Epi 1-Identity" and had a few good chuckles, but I spent most of the show trying to figure out if they were purposely looking the worst I've seen them since the "old-age spoof" they did at the end of their movie "The End", or if they really do look like they've aged 40 years in the last ten.

    Seriously, every cast member looks like they've had a REALLY ROUGH past ten years. I was humorously upset by this-reminding me of my own mortality!

    They did a good job catching us up on what the characters have been up to, but it still somehow lacked the "LMAO-style" humor I usually get from them.

    I also thought people watching it for the first time would be disappointed.

    IMO, if epi 2 isn't a LOT better, then it is true that all good things do come to an end.

  • JT_Kirk Jan 12, 2012

    It was a cute episode, felt exactly like it did before, but it really felt stuck in the past in terms of the writing, especially the lazy way it got the "problem" into the episode and then the quick "solution". That said, they were able to deal with new situations in their own unique way, so it wasn't all bad. But dang, I hadn't remembered how annoying that laugh track was.

  • SullenWhirlGirl Jan 11, 2012

    I'm loving it! I couldn't stop laughing!

  • rmewyf Jan 10, 2012

    OMG! So funny! Bubble's rendering about Pippa's bum and the Royal Wedding. Patsey giving Saffy props for her time in jail let alone Saffy doing fist bump back. I love the descriptionsof new disease The Kardasians! Want more!

  • LPHeadstrong Jan 10, 2012

    I actually didn't like it! I saw it at Christmas (Ireland) and for me it just didn't live up to the old episodes! I've episode 2 recorded so I'll keep going. I don't want to say it's bad because it's an awesome show but after all there years it just seems like they're trying too hard now!