Absolutely Fabulous 20th Anniversary Special

Posted on January 09, 2012

It’s a bit of a cliche, but the return of Eddy and Pats to our screens with the American debut of the Absolutely Fabulous 20th Anniversary Special was like seeing old friends again. Any scene with Pats, Eddy, Saffy and Mum sitting around in that gorgeous kitchen (we don’t know many gay men who weren’t envious of that space) and chatting would be enough to thrill us; the fact that the writing was crisp and funny was an almost unexpected bonus. Uncomplicated and straightforward, the special got us jumping right back into the highly dysfunctional lives of these characters, only to reveal, in a roundabout way, that the rest of the culture has finally caught up with the hedonistic duo. You can point to hundreds of red carpet outfits in the last year alone that are equally as eye-searing and unflattering as any getup Eddy ever wore. You can look at the irresponsible, pleasure-seeking lifestyle of Patsy play itself out over and over again in your Lindsays and Amys.

[Read the rest of this post here, on the Huffington Post. You heard us.]

[Photo Credit: BBC]

    • Anonymous

      Wonderful written assessment.

      • Anonymous

        I agree.  Very thoughtful and insightful.

    • Sam Corbett

      “Why pay less, isn’t that what they say?”

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kyle-Henry/12461714 Kyle Henry

      In  my teenage years I was introduced to Patsy and Eddy.  Now, 10 years later, it’s an absolute thrill to even capture three new episodes (and a movie?!) from Jennifer.  My only request?  A Dawn French cameo!

      This fulfilled all my expectations plus some.  Thank you, Abs Fab cast!

    • http://twitter.com/RobertSanchez36 Robert Sanchez

      I enjoyed the special a lot. Of course, Patsy and Edina are fictional characters, so it’s sad that the real world seems worse in comparison now. It’s a bit like when the accepted level of vulgarity in the world caught up with John Waters’s movies.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2KFUWGF4TRK4IF6ADQ6IK2GHCQ CH

      Tom & Lorenzo, share your favorite quote from any season of the show; mine is ‘You can never have enough gloves, hats, & shoes.’

      • Anonymous

        Eddy: “Inside me is a thin women screaming to get out!”
        Mother: “Just the one, dear?”

        • Molly OBM

          E: I shall drink water 
          P:*blank look*E:It’s a mixer Patsy, we have it with whiskey. 

      • Anonymous

        Magda “If the models get any younger Pats, they’re going to be chucking fetuses down the runway.”

      • Anonymous

        “You only work in a shop, you know.  You can drop the attitude.”

        • Anonymous

          Can’t wait to use that line.

      • Anonymous

        Patsy: ”One snap of my fingers and I can raise hemlines so high that the world’s your gynaecologist.”

        • Anonymous

          This is my all-time favorite in a sea of great quotables.

      • Anonymous

        Eddie (to Patsy, who is rubbing her stomach and grimacing): Have you eaten something?
        Patsy: No, not since 1973.

      • http://twitter.com/ILikeShiny Cindi Williams

        I like it if it’s La Croix.

      • Anonymous

        Patsy: “One more face lift and she’ll have a beard.”

      • Anonymous

        It’s like living with a chronically depressed budgerigar with you around

    • Anonymous

      One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jacob-Marek/696640989 Jacob Marek

      did we ever figure out why saffy went to jail?  or did i miss that?

      • Anonymous

        Something about passports and immigrants. I think it was meant to sound like she was a do-gooder caught up in a scam.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jacob-Marek/696640989 Jacob Marek

          thanks!

      • Patricia Biswanger

        She was helping refugees obtain British passports fraudulently.  (Lucky for her, Britain doesn’t have a Patriot Act, or she’d be in prison for a lot longer than two years!)

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jacob-Marek/696640989 Jacob Marek

          thanks, patricia!  i must have been laughing too loudly to have heard the explanation.

    • Tara Burkholder

      I’ve been watching AB FAB all day, re-acquainting myself with Eddy & Pats. Oh how I’ve missed you bitches!

    • Anonymous

      Watching Bubble reenact the Royal Wedding had me crying with laughter!

    • Anonymous

      Bubbles’ reenactment of the Royal Wedding should already be considered and AbFab classic. 

      • Anonymous

        “Great big fat arse, swizz, swizz, swizz. No knickers. Rear of the year. O, guess who I am, come on guess!” :)

        • Anonymous

          And the pretzels!

    • Anonymous

      Haven’t seen the anniversary show yet but I did see the scene you refer on YouTube. Hilarious! God I laughed so hard. Time to catch up with the old girls.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1129137319 Paula Pertile

      “Hi Stella”. :~)

      • Anonymous

        Best line of the show, right at the very end. I’m sure it’s a hundred years old but just perfect.

    • Anonymous

      It’s great to have them back.  This is also a very quotable episode. “O, guess who I am, come on guess!” http://t.co/wGW9Y8i0

    • http://profiles.google.com/grandiva1968 e jerry powell

      A couple more weeks and we’ll be getting the New Year’s episode!

    • Anonymous

      Damn, I missed it!  But it’s on iTunes…Yay!  Downloading now..

      I just love the way Saunders is so completely committed to her characters’ flaws, that she is never going to let them grow, learn a valuable lesson, change, gain insight, improve …. but she also plays with us, getting our little sentimental hearts to buy in for a bit (“Oh, look, Eddy and Saffy are actually bonding on their trip to Paris”) and then, BAM!  (Nope, she was just setting Saffy up to expose her breasts for the photographers!).  Just brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

    • Anonymous

      It still blows my mind that the starchy postmistress on Lark Rise to Candleford is Saffy.

      • Anonymous

        For me, it’s her being Lydia Bennet on the Colin Firth Pride & Prejudice. Insane.

    • Jessica Goldstein

      Just want to say THANK YOU for covering this in addition to Dowton Abbey. I love Ab Fab and appreciate the long day you two must have put in to get both reviews up the day after airing.

    • https://profiles.google.com/104791269167429064986/ Judy S

      Well said. Thanks.

    • MilaXX

      It was good to see them back. Can’t believe it’s been 20 years and they are still funny as ever. Loved Bubbles telling Saffy about the Royal Wedding.

      • Anonymous

        No tongues!

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1046681022 Paula Berman

          Rear of the year!

    • Anonymous

      going back to dinasour time, just kidding!!!  so many great lines!!!

      • Anonymous

        YES! That woman in the pension office was HILARIOUS. Even the supporting characters on this show always do some pretty heavy comedic lifting. (Think of the Eddie nurse when she had toe surgery, or Magda and the magazine staff)

    • http://www.facebook.com/djkomisar DeDe Jacobs Komisar

      I missed the special. Why was Saffy in jail??

      • Patricia Biswanger

        Fraud — helping refugees obtain fraudulent British passports.

    • Anonymous

      Oh Sh*t – I missed it! Is it going to be on BBC America again?

      • Anonymous

        I watched it online at Logo TV..it’s there, and the new ones will be too.

      • Patricia Biswanger

        If you have Comcast, it’s on demand.

    • Anonymous

      I actually think it’s even funnier now. But that could be because I was a kid when Edie and Patsy first surfaced out of their Champagne glasses in their special Venus de Milo way.

    • Anonymous

      Do you know the Cotswolds?

    • Anonymous

      I’ve watched the first two episodes and it’s still sooo good. Your evaluation of it is spot on. Eddie’s mother is one of my favorite characters. She’s such a bitch.

      • Anonymous

        June Whitfield is looking pretty good for 86 too!

        • Anonymous

          I agree! What a badass.

    • Anonymous

      Loved seeing Pats & Eddy again (Bubbles, too!). I’m actually happy to see they haven’t changed a bit. I’ve been a fan since day one and have all the videos, dvds and books. So thrilled to see you boys including our favorite ladies of fun and fashion to the lineup.

    • Call me Bee

      I never caught most of Ab Fab–just a few episodes here and there.  But gentlemen, this is an outstanding bit of writing.  And so true.  Even though Pats & Eddy were drunk, irreverent and had no regard for anyone but each other, they represented a more innocent form of debauchery.  No internet, publicists nor spin doctors.  They were allways true to themselves and never apologized.

      • Anonymous

        Eddy is a publicist.

    • Anonymous

      I get your point entirely, but I personally don’t think the Kardashians or any of their ilk are fit to shine Eddy and Patsy’s Louboutins.

      • Anonymous

        You can find a little clip of the show on YouTube. In it Eddie and Pats give their opinion of the Kardashians.  =)

        • Anonymous

          Thanks, I found it.  Hahahahaha…”There’s a new disease called the Kardashians.”  Yep, that’s about right…add in some Snooki fever and the cultural landscape is becoming as much fun as a nasty case of the crabs, except for the part where you can’t rub an ointment on the television to make them go away!

      • Anonymous

        I have to agree.  Eddy and Pats, for all their irredeemable awfulness, at least had going for them their sharp and devastating wits.  The Kardashians and their ilk aren’t even half-wits.

        • Anonymous

          Exactly!  They may be vain and shallow, but at least they’re not brain dead whores.

          Eddy and Pats represent a contradiction – they’re total slaves to fashion and trendiness, but they’ve always marched to the beat of their own drummer.  Like a bird on a wire, like a drunk at a midnight choir, they have tried in their way to be free.

          • Anonymous

            They even had their own moments of shrewd social criticism.  They kind of divided the world into those whose asses they wanted to kiss and those they didn’t, and if you fell into the later category you were dispatched with brutal efficiency:  Hollywood producers, American religious nuts, New Age hucksters*, gay cult followers of Judy/Barbra/Cher (“God, any bitch with a drug problem, and she’s yours!”), daytime television hosts, snooty food critics…

            Look all good narcissists, they combine a predatory talent for finding other people’s weak points with an absolute zero ability to self-assess.

            *(I know Eddy fell for every New Age workshop out there, but there was nobody less suited to the group-grope communalism of it all.  She and Pats were both eat-or-be-eaten kind of gals.  Classic contradiction from the sixties, actually.)

    • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

      You know, I was never able to get into AbFab and reading this, I now understand why for the first time: I grew up with these women — shallow, self-absorbed, party whores — though distinctly less well-dressed.

      • Anonymous

        As a comic parody it’s a scream. In real life it would be utterly tragic. 

        • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

          That’s why I moved as soon as humanly possible:) 

      • Anonymous

        My experience is similar to your own but that’s a big part of why I always loved AbFab.  My mother is a poorer, less well dressed version of Eddy – a suffering artist type who still clings to her youth even as I let go of my own.

        There’s an episode from way back where Saffy sarcastically tells Eddy she’s a lesbian.  Eddy is thrilled until Saffy tells her she was just kidding, responding with “I knew there wasn’t anything interesting or exotic about you!”  I fell to the floor laughing until my sides hurt because my mother and I had that same exchange almost word for word years earlier!

        Everyone responds differently to seeing aspects of their own life played out for entertainment.  For me, it’s therapeutic to laugh at the absurdity of what it was like to be raised by a full grown child.  But I’ll admit that sometimes the laughter cuts like a knife.

    • Patricia Biswanger

      As usual, profoundly insightful and dead-on.

    • Anonymous

      “Corpse, corpse”.  Oh god.  So funny.

    • Anonymous

      What?  When? Where? 

    • Anonymous

      “I invested in ACCESSORIES, darling”

    • Anonymous

      TLo your assessment is brilliant. And so is Jennifer Saunders – luv huh! I have always thought she is so spot on, loved the part about the Kardashian ridiculousness. Would love to see her take on reality show tv for Ab Fab, perhaps Eddy and Pats try to get a tv show, and we get to see all the maneuvers they go through trying to do it.

    • Anonymous

      Swoon. Awesome analysis. I loved this show, though the self-centered approach to mothering (sic) that is passed down in Eddy’s family was sometimes hard to take. I say hard to take but I did almost always laugh.

      And I’m in awe of those of you who can actually pick a single favorite quote.

    • Zeeshan Ali

      Guys, like always – BRAVA. Extremely well written.

      BUT why oh why you had to throw Amy’s name in there? I’m not arguing that she wasn’t “irresponsible, pleasure-seeking” – but is it really fair to drag Winehouse among the talent voids Lohans and Karadashains? Weren’t you the ones who declared Amy ‘once in a generation’ talent in one of your last In/Out post on her?

      My point is that Amy was a troubled soul, as the likes of Piaf and Garland (let the hounds loose on me for making the comparison). She had more talent in her one toe nail than the all the real life Patsys’ & Eddys’ of our time combined.

      Again brilliant article :) xo

    • Anonymous

      I haven’t seen it yet. I only had time to watch Downton on Christmas night and I hadn’t got round to looking on iplayer for it. I’m a bit lukewarm about Ab Fab. I liked the earlier series at the time, but it kind of wore thin for me. I did mean to watch this though to see if it had returned to form. Your review is encouraging :)

    • Anonymous

      Wow, what an inisghtful review. I might have to go back and watch it again.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=558631967 Ivona Foster

      That write up gave me goosebumps. Love these two, they were my teenage drug… cannot wait

    • Anonymous

      The attention is almost always on Eddie and Pats, but Bubble (Jane Horrocks) is an absolutely brilliant comic actress. 

    • Anonymous

      What, when, where…can I find it??

    • Anonymous

      Oh, I am SO HAPPY you blogged about this ! I watched it this morning on demand. Just as hilarious as the original (uneven in spots, but even the best episodes were as well, back in the day). It’s still funnier and more incisive than 90% of what’s on TV today. When Patsy had her little truce with Saffy I lost it! Jennifer Saunders is a genius. Cheers, sweetie darlings!

    • bloodshothalfblind

      the only thing i dont like about the new series is that it will end.  i want a constant stream of new abfab forever.  

    • marilyn

      Great show!! I just don’t understand why Bubbles is there.  She is an incongruous distraction.

    • http://twitter.com/rmcgrudiva RL McGruder

      What an insightful essay.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GQIN74TNNQROY5JFPOWWBGJWEM andy

      They don’t wanna know your mum’s your best friend! Do they! They want
      her to be some one-armed lesbian asylum seeker! They want the full
      cellulite shots! They want a 40-in-the-bed perv orgy with your spice
      mates! They want you mainlining, arm-jacking, smack crack nightmare,
      darling!
       – Eddy to Emma Bunton

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GQIN74TNNQROY5JFPOWWBGJWEM andy

      M.P. in drug-crazed sex romp shock with fash-mag slag.

    • Anonymous

      Congrats on the Huff Post gig!!! Will we be seeing more of your posts there? Regularly? That’s awesome! 

    • Anonymous

      Finally got around to watching this. So hilarious! “Have you seen the price of methadone? It’s cheaper to smoke crack!”

      They haven’t missed a beat.

      Great write-up, T Lo.

    • Anonymous

      Shazzzzam!!!!  The Huffington Post…why didn’t I think of that???  Well done, well done!!