reissue collects the whole spiel, er, schmiel, er… watch clips, below, as you
wait for the movie.
By A.D. Amorosi
With its big screen edition planned and a one of its
precious rare new shows aired in January (two more are planned for 2012) BBC
America have re-released the trashy girl-gab fest from its co-creator Jennifer
Saunders (“Eddy”) and Joanna Lumley (Patsy) that originally came out in 2008.
The 9 disc set contains Series 1 to 5 (that’s BBC 1 talk) plus the 2002 and
2004 Christmas Specials, The Last Shout,
The New York Special, and over 4
hours of extras.
Born of a sketch of (Dawn) French & Saunders’ called
“Modern Mother and Daughter,” the idea of immature adults supported
emotionally and financially by their children exploded hilariously to include
the British fashion biz and the Swinging London UK rock scene of the ‘60s and ‘70s
through which the pair (the slutty Patsy in particular) trafficked in. Like The Comic Strip Presents, The Young Ones and even the rougher
edges of Rowan Atkinson’s various Black
Adders in the wake of all things Python (Monty), there was/is a post-punk
new wave-y feel to the AbFab proceedings, a snarker’s slippery wit and an amphetamine energy – to say
nothing of the fast fashion – that made the Saunders and Lumley pairing
What doubled their efforts and made them hilarious is the
manner in which, not to sound sexist, they swung like the boys. The pair could
– and did – out swig, out snort, out screw, out spend and out finagle anyone
else in their professional endeavors (Eddy has her own PR firm, Patsy runs a
top British fashion magazine), to say nothing of their personal efforts. The
gals spent their considerable financial resources as indulgent roustabouts and leapt from bed to bed and trend to trend, each
co-dependent upon the other. The neurotic, jittery pair suckled on each others
foibles and nursed each others wounds while the ever-besieged bitter daughter
“Saffron Monsoon” (played with tireless aplomb by Julia Sawalha) is forced to
fend for herself.
Roll through the AbFab episode list, find “Fat France,” “Morocco,” “Schmoozin'” and “Gay” and you’ll hear and
see some of the finest comic writing Britain has to offer. The other
episodes aren’t half bad either.
–Seasons 1-5, plus The Last Shout, The
New York Special, White Box, and over 4 hours of DVD extras
1-3 and Specials: 1.33 aspect ratio
4-5 and White Box: 1.78 aspect ratio
season 5 English subtitles