Absolutely Fabulous Page 5

Absolutely Fabulous. Image shows from L to R: Edina (Jennifer Saunders), Patsy (Joanna Lumley). Copyright: Saunders And French Productions / BBC.

Absolutely Fabulous

Public relations maven Edina and best friend Patsy drive sensible daughter Saffron up the wall with their self-absorbed, substance-abusing escapades

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Peter Brouhaha

  • Monday 26th December 2011, 8:36pm
  • England
  • 319 posts
Quote: sootyj @ December 26 2011, 8:16 PM GMT

Isn't an anticlimax what you get when you shag your mums sister?

:D

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ToddB

  • Tuesday 27th December 2011, 2:59am [Edited]
  • Townsville, Australia
  • 563 posts

Saunders does something that I think really works. When this show returns after a long gap - as it did in 2001 and as it is now - she creates the series anew - kind of like a 'sequel series'. Like Grace & Favour after Are You Being Served? or "The Golden Palace" after "The Golden Girls". The characters and the feel are there, but time has passed, things have changed and she introduces new elements to keep it fresh. She keeps it Absolutely Fabulous - however - and by keeping the core the same, she avoids the failings of many actual 'sequel' series.

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Nogget

  • Wednesday 28th December 2011, 2:58am
  • England
  • 6,617 posts

AbFabin! It's so nice to see pantomime returning to our screens at this time of year, the children love it. Oh look, it's the ugly sisters in their outrageous costumes, hooting and mugging! Why do they give poor Cinderella such a hard time?

Abfabin is, of course, much like any other panto this season, deeply rooted in tradition, serving up good old-fashioned farce to an undemanding audience. There's no place here for anything radically "clever" (huh), "witty" (tut), or actually "good", just lovely, old, creaking "oops I've lost my trousers" farce, just like we like!

(Horrocks was good though}

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ToddB

  • Wednesday 28th December 2011, 3:07am
  • Townsville, Australia
  • 563 posts
Quote: Nogget @ December 28 2011, 2:58 AM GMT

AbFabin! It's so nice to see pantomime returning to our screens at this time of year, the children love it. Oh look, it's the ugly sisters in their outrageous costumes, hooting and mugging! Why do they give poor Cinderella such a hard time?

Abfabin is, of course, much like any other panto this season, deeply rooted in tradition, serving up good old-fashioned farce to an undemanding audience. There's no place here for anything radically "clever" (huh), "witty" (tut), or actually "good", just lovely, old, creaking "oops I've lost my trousers" farce, just like we like!

(Horrocks was good though}


I think that the genius of Ab Fab is that it mixes the broad elements of low humour and farce with satire that is genuinely clever and witty. It was cutting edge when it arrived in the nineties and it still is, comparatively, cutting edge now - it certainly stays on the money with all of the trends.
The problem now is that satirists are quite willing to scrape the bottom of the barrel and be outright distasteful and offensive. This is what is now mistaken for wit and cleverness - when in fact these shows just bring up an 'issue' and draw vulgarity or stupidity from it with little exploration. If Ab Fab is deemed to have lost its edge for not jumping on this bandwagon - well.. that is a pity.
More power to them for staying the course - I look forward to the next episode! :)

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Nogget

  • Wednesday 28th December 2011, 7:07am [Edited]
  • England
  • 6,617 posts
Quote: ToddB @ December 28 2011, 3:07 AM GMT

...It was cutting edge when it arrived in the nineties and it still is, comparatively, cutting edge now

Image

Eddie and Patsy in "cutting edge" mode.

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ToddB

  • Wednesday 28th December 2011, 7:19am
  • Townsville, Australia
  • 563 posts

Panto can be brilliant in the right hands... and (while not conceding that Ab Fab is panto) Jennifer Saunders's are definitely the right hands. ;)

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Nogget

  • Wednesday 28th December 2011, 8:24am
  • England
  • 6,617 posts
Quote: ToddB @ December 28 2011, 7:19 AM GMT

Panto can be brilliant in the right hands... and (while not conceding that Ab Fab is panto)


"Oh no they're not!"

Quote: ToddB @ December 28 2011, 7:19 AM GMT

(while not conceding that Ab Fab is panto) Jennifer Saunders's are definitely the right hands.


"Oh yes they are!"

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ToddB

  • Wednesday 28th December 2011, 9:53am [Edited]
  • Townsville, Australia
  • 563 posts

Very glib - yes - I am familiar with the conventions of panto - one that I've written is published, in fact.
A quick look over the series of Ab Fab, however, will reveal the characters to have a lot more depth and damage both in writing and performance than most panto characters. Both panto and Ab Fab (and its kind) have their roots in a tradition of British comedy that pre-dates even Shakespeare - so it is a tribute that Jennifer Saunders can find a way to keep that tradition, and her own creation, fresh.

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chipolata

  • Wednesday 28th December 2011, 10:53am
  • England
  • 29,789 posts
Quote: ToddB @ December 28 2011, 9:53 AM GMT

Very glib - yes - I am familiar with the conventions of panto - one that I've written is published, in fact.
A quick look over the series of Ab Fab, however, will reveal the characters to have a lot more depth and damage both in writing and performance than most panto characters. Both panto and Ab Fab (and its kind) have their roots in a tradition of British comedy that pre-dates even Shakespeare - so it is a tribute that Jennifer Saunders can find a way to keep that tradition, and her own creation, fresh.

Laughing out loud I admire your fanatical devotion to all things Saunders, Todd, but you do read an awful lot into what is essentially just an ordinary sitcom that is sometimes pretty good and sometimes a bit shit. Great art it is not.

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ToddB

  • Wednesday 28th December 2011, 10:59am [Edited]
  • Townsville, Australia
  • 563 posts
Quote: chipolata @ December 28 2011, 10:53 AM GMT Laughing out loud

I admire your fanatical devotion to all things Saunders, Todd, but you do read an awful lot into what is essentially just an ordinary sitcom that is sometimes pretty good and sometimes a bit shit. Great art it is not.


I read a critic once that suggested Fawlty Towers was nothing more than under-graduate farce that was rather reactionary and brought nothing new or interesting to comedy. I, myself, find no great laughs or witticisms in the much hallowed Dad's Army. Such opinions are subjective - and the longevity or the material itself is a kind of proof of its worth... Another review I read recently claimed that Edina's kitchen was as iconic as the Fawlty's reception and the Dad's Army town hall. :)
Incidentally, Chip, I would appreciate any feedback that you have on my Christmas special, if you have a few moments to read it!

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Wednesday 28th December 2011, 11:43am
  • Aldershot, England
  • 5,940 posts

Have just watched this and found it very funny in that loud and very overdone way they have perfected. It always entertains but often makes me want to sit in a dark room in silence afterwards.

And I can't remember a more garish, loud and artificial AF episode than this one, but I suppose that as a special after a long absence they have a lot to fit in. They certainly crammed a lot in here. It has become a bit of a cartoon though, hasn't it?

Two mainstream female based sitcoms on TV and there isn't a gram of subtlety or depth or complexity or quietness in either. Tell you something? ;) Very good viewing figures though, that tells you something more. ;) ;)

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ToddB

  • Wednesday 28th December 2011, 12:33pm [Edited]
  • Townsville, Australia
  • 563 posts
Quote: Alfred J Kipper @ December 28 2011, 11:43 AM GMT

Have just watched this and found it very funny in that loud and very overdone way they have perfected. It always entertains but often makes me want to sit in a dark room in silence afterwards.

And I can't remember a more garish, loud and artificial AF episode than this one, but I suppose that as a special after a long absence they have a lot to fit in. They certainly crammed a lot in here. It has become a bit of a cartoon though, hasn't it?

Two mainstream female based sitcoms on TV and there isn't a gram of subtlety or depth or complexity or quietness in either. Tell you something? ;) Very good viewing figures though, that tells you something more. ;) ;)


Loud and over the top - yes. Garish - I should hope so! Cartoonish - alright, particularly Bubble.
But you miss the subtle nuances in the larger than life portrayals, the depth of these characters that need artifice to cover their damage and the complexity of the co-dependent relationships between characters with years worth of mutual injury and neediness.
It is a proudly loud and campy comedy - yes - but it is the above things that drive every bit of the tension.
And a tilt at female sitcoms, really? I think we've had this discussion before... :D

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Wednesday 28th December 2011, 1:05pm [Edited]
  • Aldershot, England
  • 5,940 posts

A tilt with a wink and bit of respect though Todd, because they clearly work very well! They are both getting way more viewers than the much hyped Mr. Gervais at the mo, using a much simpler, more direct, more old fashioned sitcom style and format. If I were a female wannabe sitcom writer with a new female based studio sitcom on offer I'd be expecting the TV sitcom commissioners to be taking me very seriously right now.

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happychef

  • Wednesday 28th December 2011, 1:46pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 124 posts

Just watched this; can't say I was disappointed as my expectations were quite low. I found it fairly entertaining and it raised a couple of chuckles.

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Fazza

  • Thursday 29th December 2011, 10:40pm
  • Northamptonshire, England
  • 146 posts

I wasn't expecting Saffron to be the one coming out of prison! I enjoyed the show, it wasn't non-stop laughter, more of a catch-up on who everyone is. I'm looking forward to the next episode as hopefully there'll be more laughs in that one.