Absolutely Fabulous Review: Absolutely The Same

December 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Reviews

ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS: Sunday 25th December, BBC1, 10pm

Casual drug taking? Check.

Champagne-swilling? Check.

Completely insane peripheral characters? Check.

Laughs? Well after a few dismal specials which tarnished the show’s reputation somewhat, Absolutely Fabulous seems to be back on fine, if predictable, form. Not much as changed in the world of Ab fab. Edina is still a fashion victim, Patsy still exists on a diet of drugs and booze and Gran is still a kleptomaniac. The only real change is that Saffy is now an ex-con (the episode’s big ‘twist’) with an adopted African baby. However, despite some hard prison time (she helped people get into the country illegally or something – the finer details really don’t matter) she is still the same quiet and meek girl that puts up with her mother’s antics in a futile and muted rage.

The plot revolves around Saffy’s prison buddy terrorising the family because, through an unlikely coincidence, Patsy owes her a considerable amount of drug money. Luckily, Patsy is owed years and years worth of unclaimed pension and uncashed pay cheques from her magazine job. She pays off the dealer and everything goes back to normal. Thankfully, the plot is pretty much inconsequential, as the main reason to watch this Christmas special is for the reliably superb performances by Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley.

While the whole episode does have an air of déjà vu, it is still very funny. Notable moments include Edina attempting to talk slang to Saffy’s ‘prison buddy’, Patsy’s beehive of drugs and a surreal dream sequence starring Sarah Lund from The Killing. Yes, that’s actually Sofie Gråbøl from the properly good Danish version, wearing the infamous hideous jumper and all. As ever, Bubbles begins to grate after only a few minutes on screen, despite Jane Horrocks putting in an energetic turn and June Whitfield’s Gran straddles the line between normal and unhinged delightfully. Saffy’s friend Sarah (Torchwood’s Naoko Mori) also makes a return appearance, and is now a fully-fledged paranoid-schizophrenic after her emotional unraveling in season five (it’s still a comedy I promise – She’s a funny schizophrenic).

While the show does lack the energy of its early years, the episode does seem like a return to form for the sitcom. Festive specials can often feel lacklustre in comparison to the originals series (The Royle Family being a prime disappointing example), however Ab Fab seems to avoid this by making the nonsensical plot the backdrop and pulling focus to the characters we know and love. It was (and I hate myself for typing this) fabulous.

John Hynds says:

Just watched 1st episode of the New AbFab. Like the New Avengers of the 70s I got the feeling this is the swan song of a very successful & entertaining creation – from the brilliant, scathing mind of Jennifer Saunders, she’s certainly paid her dues. As always what would the show be without Eurydice Colette Clytemnestra Dido Bathsheba Rabelais Patricia Cocteau Stone! The audience applauded Joanna’s inspiring entrance, she is that revered & she didn’t disappoint, the stash of class A drugs in her bee hive was hilarious – where ever doe’s Jennifer think these things up? June, Julia & Jane were as comical as ever & I’m waiting in antici pation for the next installments. Jennifer, if by some chance you’re reading this comment, thank you so very much, you & Joanna are by far the best thing since the classic UK tv comedy of the 70′s

pennswoodsman says:

Seriously. Saffy’s adopted baby??? I don’t even watch Ab Fab all the time, and I knew she gave birth to the kid. I mean, it was part of the plot for the whole series 5.

Zac says:

Good review….but I will forgive your lack of background knowledge regarding Ab Fab. Saffy’s “adopted daughter” is actually her biological daughter (Jane aka Lola) that she carried and gave birth to during Series 5.

AGS says:

If Liam Murphy can’t be bothered researching the show, then perhaps he shouldn’t be reviewing it. I stopped reading after Saffie’s adopted baby.

richard says:

I’ve laughed more during root canal surgery.

What can I say? These ladies are BRILLIANT! I have ADORED them from before the first episode! Love that Ab Fab is back! :)

Dubstar84 says:

I totally agree with this review, they have seamlessly returned with the fabulousness we all know & love.
By the way, Saffy’s baby is not adopted. She gave birth to it in the last series, ‘Lola’ is just living with her dad in Africa.

nickrhodes says:

Love Jennifer
Love Lumley
Love AbFab….forever!

dylan leon-davies says:

i read the first part of this review and couldn’t continue due to the fact of the lack of knowledge of the show and the christmas special. first off saffy has not adopted an “African baby” she gave birth to a girl (who eddie calls lowla) in series 5. that girl is now living with her dad in Africa. i can’t be bothered to correct your other mistakes

Tom says:

Hi all!

Well, we were treated to a real piece of comedy Gold! It was glorious to see that after all these years, AbFab was absolutely bang on and in fabulous form! I genuinly feel this episode was a blast back to the 90`s brilliance with such a very up to date feel along side it! I was so, so laughing hard it was laugh out loud funny again! Lot`s of cleverly inserted nods to old jokes included to please old fans and make new ones laugh for the first time. Ace!! ‘Are you staying for Munch? I mean LUNCH!!’ a nod to the pr pr awards person of the lunch munch! in the out takes she Kept on getting it wrong! I love it!

Thank you Jenn, it`s good to laugh again :) And your health is BACK :)

Tom Xxx