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Older But No Wiser: Three Specials Reuniting Our Boozy, Bawdy Broads
on July 25, 2012
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Anyone who has ever enjoyed the exploits of Patsy and Edina will surely be happy to know that the pair are still thriving! Twenty years after the 1992 debut of "Absolutely Fabulous," Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley return to their iconic roles for these three short form specials. And it's a reunion well worth taking. Boozy, bawdy, and wildly inappropriate--I think that it's fair to say that the gal pals still exist in a universe of their own devising. That's good news for the viewers, but not always a pleasure for the others in their midst. In addition to Lumley and Saunders, many of your favorite original characters also return (in some form or another) and you just might be surprised to learn what they've been up to!
The three specials are Identity, Job and Olympics.
Identity: Kicking things off, this special has to reintroduce the cast in a rapid and effective manner and it succeeds tremendously. Saffron (Edina's usually sensible daughter) returns home after a long absence and welcomes another unexpected guest in the process. Not to ruin the surprise, but it's not quite the homecoming you would anticipate. Saffron's visitor has past ties to Patsy and, in a word, the situation is complicated. To extricate herself from this difficulty, Patsy must face her biggest demons--her age and her vanity. And Saunders, as usual, is terrific!
Job: A hilarious spoof on celebrity, hype, and public relations, Edina decides to represent and promote French Film star Jeanne Durand in a one night only can't-miss concert performance. Needless to say, things do not go smoothly! Lindsay Duncan is spot-on as the aging star, but the hero of this piece is a familiar and welcome face. Bubble (the wondrous and hysterical Jane Horrocks) plays a big part in keeping this sinking ship afloat. Some great physical comedy is utilized in the resolution as they ladies attempt to pull off a great con.
Olympics: What better way to honor "Absolutely Fabulous" than to have the ladies skewer the 2012 Olympics! With madness overrunning the city, only Edina could be completely oblivious to the event. When hearing, however, that one of her idols is close at hand--she hatches another harebrained plot that involves plenty of Olympic intrigue. Silly and over-the-top, this caper is a great capper with plenty of slapstick and surprises. Seeing Lumley and Saunders struggle through the difficulties in this episode, it's like bringing back two champions committed to absolute lunacy.
Are these three specials the best that "Absolutely Fabulous" have to offer? Maybe not, but they are inspired madness. I'm just happy to catch up with old friends (even ones with as much baggage as these two). It's also great to visit with Mother (June Whitfield), Saffron (Julia Sawalha), and Bubble (the previously mentioned Horrocks). A lot of fun and a definite must-own to complete your collection (oh no, does this mean another Complete AbFab DVD collection is around the corner)? KGHarris, 7/12.