AbFab's Revival: Still Fabulous After All These Years

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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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