Best Comedy TV (Part 8)

Absolutely Fabulous (UK)

Absolutely nobody I know likes this ridiculous, over-the-top, outrageous and over-acted series, but I absolutely fucking love it.  The fact that the show is based on an actual PR person (no names, no pack drill) makes it even more delicious.

The point is that from beginning to end, AbFab is not actually a comedy, but satire — and it lampoons everything, from the PR business to fashion to feminism to family relations and oh so much more.  Whether it’s the frantic, hysterical Edina’s latest fad diet, the feline Patsy’s fondness for Bollinger at 8am or insufferable daughter Saffron’s earnest espousal of everything PC, AbFab doesn’t so much skewer it as either a bludgeon it with a club or flay it with a razor.

Saffie:  I’m sorry, mum, but I’ve never seen what it is that you actually do.
Eddie:  PRrr.
Saffie:  Yes, but —
Eddie:  PR.  I PR things.  People.  Places.  Concepts…
Patsy:  Lulu.
Eddie:  Lulu.  I make the fabulous…  I make the crap into credible.  I make the dull into —
Patsy:  Delicious.

No better description of public relations was ever penned.  And as for PR awards:

Eddie:  They don’t matter, do they, darling?… Awards, Pats?
Patsy:  Oh, Eddy. We’ve been here before.
Eddie:  It’s just… you know… I WANT one. I don’t just want one, darling, I NEED one. My career is on a toboggan run of failure at the moment… I just need one. It’s the only thing that seems to mean ANYthing these days… I need one now before the menopause drags me into her gaping jaws. Before my creative hormonal oil-well dribbles to a halt. Before my bottom becomes just a patch-work quilt of monkey glands, darling.
Saffie:  But, Mum, menopause can be a very exhilarating and positive experience for a woman.
Eddie:  Oooh, yes.  And the curse is a blessing and childbirth is painless.  No.  Unless that gaping hole on my mantle piece is filled pretty soon, darling, I might as well… I might as well lick this light-switch and do us all a favour, darling…


[to daughter Saffron, after a heated argument]
Eddie:  With any luck we’d get Roman Polanski interested in you.
Patsy (snarling):  She was never young enough for him.

Not to mention the booze:

Patsy:  What will you drink if you stop drinking?
Eddie:  I shall drink water.
Eddie:  It’s a mixer, Pats.  We have it with whisky… I mean, you‘ve given up drinking before? 
Patsy:  Worst eight hours of my life.

Finally, there’s Eddie’s mother, played by the amazing June Whitfield:

Eddy:  Mother, are you still on the computer?
Gran:  Yes, dear.  Sometimes you get into a porn loop and just can’t get out.

And then of course there’s Patsy:

“The last mosquito that bit me had to check into the Betty Ford Clinic.”

Fabulous.  Absolutely fabulous.


  1. Hear, hear. One of the better shows to come out of Britland,
    Terrific cast, great writers.

    Over the top characters make the show.

    Ab Fab is on subscription TV here in Oz, it still rates its socks off despite being a bit dated after 20+ years.

  2. My wife adores AbFab, but when I tried to watch it with her a couple of times it didn’t do anything for me.

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