"and still no matter what, you always end up being two stone
M. Hart | USA | 11/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The British TV sitcom "Absolutely Fabulous" first premiered on the BBC in 1992 and quickly became one of the most popular shows. Once people in the U.S. began to watch it, it's popularity spread rapidly. The show's plot centers around a twice-divorced, middle-aged woman named Edina 'Eddie' Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders), her drunken best friend Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley) and Edina's teenaged daughter Saffron 'Saffy' Monsoon (Julia Sawalha). Saffy, who is far more mature than her mother, has a difficult time coping with Edina's often-irresponsible behavior. Also, Saffy & Patsy hate each other with a passion. Edina's mother, Mrs. June 'Gran/Mother' Monsoon (June Whitfield), is a bit confused sometimes, but Saffy gets along with her far better than Edina. Then there are Edina's two ex-husbands who occasionally come to visit: Marshall (Christopher Ryan) who lives in Los Angeles and Saffy's father, Justin (Christopher Malcolm), who broke up with Edina to be with his gay partner Oliver (Gary Beadle). Edina hates Oliver with a passion.
The first three seasons of "Absolutely Fabulous" had the following 18 episodes:
1. "Fashion". Edina panics about a fashion show that she has procrastinated about for six months and has to bring it all together that night. Edina's dimwitted secretary named Bubble (Jane Horrocks) isn't much help.
2. "Fat". Edina faints when Bubble tells her that an old acquaintance, Penny Casper-Morse (Alexandra Bastedo), is coming to visit and Edina has gained a bit of weight since their last unpleasant encounter years earlier.
3. "France". In of my personal favorite episodes, Edina & Patsy travel to France where they are to spend a holiday in a luxurious estate. Instead, they find what looks like abandoned servant's quarters and stay there. While "dying of starvation", Edina & Patsy get Saffy to come all the way from London to bring them food. Bubble unexpectedly comes along too.
4. "Iso Tank". In another classic episode, Edina tries out her new isolation tank and believes that she is adopting numerous Romanian babies because Saffy wouldn't let her come to one of Saffy's school presentations.
5. "Birthday". Edina refuses to get out of bed on her birthday, but Saffy has a surprise luncheon planned for her that includes Marshall, his girlfriend Bo (Mo Gaffney), Justin, Oliver and Gran.
6. "Magazine". Patsy actually pays a visit to her employer, a fashion magazine where some unusual people work. When Patsy can't find models to show off some odd clothing, she manages to get Saffy & Gran to appear on a morning TV show hosted by Kathy (Dawn French, of "French & Saunders").
1. "Hospital". When Edina stubs her toe, she insists on being taken to a hospital. Patsy comes along too after deciding to get a facelift when she's hounded by reporters & photographers for having an illicit affair with a member of Parliament.
2. "Death". When Edina's father dies, Saffy insists that she not come to the funeral; so Edina proceeds to purchase thousands of pounds worth of bizarre modern art so that there won't be any money for Saffy to inherit.
3. "Morocco". In another classic episode, Edina & Patsy decide to travel to Marrakech where Patsy is planning a fashion photo-shoot, and Edina wants pictures taken of her "pop-speck" sunglasses. Saffy wants to go too because she's studying the indigenous people of Morocco, so Patsy manages to sell her as a slave in an open-air market.
4. "New Best Friend". When Edina's old friends Bettina (Miranda Richardson) & Max (Patrick Barlow) come to visit, they have apparently abandoned their minimalist lifestyle for being very nervous parents to a young baby; but Patsy's jealousy of them puts a temporary rift between herself & Edina.
5. "Poor". After Justin & Marshall successfully cut off Edina's alimony payments, Edina is forced to listen to an account manager (Mark Wing-Davey) who tells her that she needs to cut her expenses, but ends up having to spend a lot more after getting in trouble with the police and an unsympathetic judge.
6. "Birth". After Patsy falls asleep in Edina's kitchen with a lit cigarette and burns down the kitchen, Edina, Patsy and Saffy are accidentally locked into Edina's sitting room by Gran where Edina tells Saffy about giving birth to her.
1. "Door Handle". With the kitchen still needing to be finished and unable to decide how to decorate it, Edina & Patsy fly to New York where Edina saw a door handle that she liked. By the time they return, Saffy and her friends finish the kitchen themselves.
2. "Happy New Year". To bring in the new year, Saffy wants everyone to spend a quiet night at home with Gran and Justin, but Patsy & Eddie have been invited to a big party. When Patsy learns from Bubble that her sister Jackie Stone (Kate O'Mara) is coming to visit, she gets very excited until she sees what her formerly wild sister has become.
3. "Sex". After breaking into her son's locked bedroom (her son left years earlier), Edina & Patsy come across some of his adult magazines, which inspires Patsy to have her & Edina to pay to have two men come over for a bit of fun. Unfortunately for Saffy, a VHS tape that Patsy has gets accidentally switched with a science tape that Saffy needs for a presentation at school.
4. "Jealous". When Edina doesn't win a prestigious PR award, she comes up with a completely new PR idea, but loses her speech beforehand. In the meantime, Edina also helps Saffy fend off a married man who is one of her teachers at school. (This is only episode in which Saffy is really happy with her mother.)
5. "Fear". After Saffy moves into college dorms, Patsy moves in with Edina; but when the fashion magazine where Patsy works folds and Lulu (herself) ends her PR contract with Edina, Patsy decides to go to New York.
6. "The End". With Saffy & Patsy both gone, Edina joins a commune, but isn't happy there; so she flies off to New York to find Patsy who hasn't been doing too well there. Reluctantly, Saffy moves back home and a glimpse of what life is like with the three of them 25 years later is shown.
Overall, I rate the first three seasons of "Absolutely Fabulous" with a resounding 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend them."
"Why Not Just Have A Stupidity Tax"
Godwhacker | Florida | 01/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This package contains the first three, indispensable seasons of the best British comedy since Monty Python. Writer/actress Jennifer Saunders has a razor wit to rival Dorothy Parker and a sense of physical comedy that rivals Lucile Ball. The humor is distilled down to a potent proof. There is no filler. The lead characters, Edina Monsoon (Saunders) and Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley), are atrocious, gaudy, middle-aged, drugged out, perfidious, pretentious, lovable, codependent wrecks who in the throws of their debauchery are able to touch on poignant truths about life in the modern world. These episodes chronicle their adventures through everything from birth and death, to fashion shows and plastic surgery debacles.
This is take no prisoners comedy. There isn't anything that they will not do and no one that they will not offend. Julia Sawalha is brilliant as Saffron, Edina's abused, uptight, straitlaced daughter. And June Whitfield elegantly completes the generational triangle as Edina's batty, kleptomaniac mother.
The magic here is that all of the characters can be both endearing and horrible at the same time. "I know I might seem selfish, but its me me me!" I believe her!
This dvd has excellent audio and visual quality and a nice package of obligatory special features. These episodes stand up to repeated viewing. I put them on any time I need to feel "Absolutely Fabulous"."
Laugh out Loud Funny
Sigrid Macdonald | Ottawa | 04/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Who could be more talented than Jennifer Saunders? She not only stars in but also writes this hilarious British comedy about two women approaching 40 who refuse to grow up. They are contrasted well against a ultra-straight 16-year-old daughter who plays a parental role with her mom.
At times this series is over-the-top; it reminds me a bit of Faulty Towers in that respect. But like FT, you simply can't find better British humor than this.