Character: Edina Monsoon
Played By: Jennifer Saunders
In a Shot Glass: PR to the Stars Eddie lives in a trendy flat in a trendy area in trendy London with her dull, wet blanket daughter Saffron. Her long-time best friend is magazine editor and former model Patsy Stone (age unknown). Eddie and Patsy spend their days shopping, drooling over high fashion (“Lacroix, darling, LACROIX!”), popping pills and guzzling champagne and vodka whenever they can. Occasionally, they go into their respective offices but Eddie only likes her job when she’s organized a “fabulous” PR event that’s brimming with models and celebrities. The rest of the time is spent battling with Saffy, who finds her mother’s behavior ridiculous and appalling given her “advanced age” and the fact that she’s never stopped rebelling against her dotty, old-fashioned mother who honestly is oblivious to Eddie’s rebellions in the first place.
Why We Love Her: The first time I saw Absolutely Fabulous, I was a teenager and home sick from school. Comedy Central used to play AbFab in two hour blocks and after the first half hour, I remember being completely confused about this show. British humor is a lot to get used to and there’s a manic energy to Eddie and Pats as they whiz around the kitchen on their rollerblades or drunkenly drive the car into a fire hydrant while trying to go to the supermarket, as if the whole show is on speed. By hour two I was in love.
You can tell that playing Eddie and Patsy is just pure fun, with the drinking, the lewd behavior, the rants and raving. Eddie, squeezed into absurd fashions like a Dior sausage casing, is caustic and cold to her daughter, able to switch into the role of “poor, put-upon Mummy” when Saffy’s had enough of her behavior. After all, she NEEDS Saffy. She needs someone to rebel against at all times. And her friendship with Patsy makes perfect sense- Patsy was the cool, effortlessly beautiful one, hip because of her stature (“What makes her think she could talk to people that way?” – “She’s THIN. All right?”) and her cool disregard of everyone around her. Eddie wants to be Patsy and Patsy just wants another quaalude.
The first couple minutes of the first episode describes Eddie better than I ever could:
Drunk driving, screaming at the cops to pass them. Brilliant.