Archive for the ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ Category

absolutely_fabulousShow: Absolutely Fabulous

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.

Favorite Moments:

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.

Fabulous, sweetie:

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by Judi

Whenever a beloved TV show ventures on location, it’s a risky business. Aside from the shooting challenges as opposed to the safety of a soundstage, we ask ourselves questions like- do we really want to see Roseanne in natural lighting?

The answer, of course, is sometimes. Because when it pays off, you’ve got yourself a classic episode. And when it doesn’t, well, nobody but us remembers those episodes anyway so no harm, no foul.

So, without furder ado, Next Time On presents our Top 5 TV Vacations. And I get to go first this time.

1. Absolutely Fabulous– “France”

Being fabulous is exhausting, sweetie. So when the going gets tough and your prim mother keeps showing up and your insufferably uptight daughter is just always in the way of you popping another pill, the only recourse is to take your best friend and flee to the south of France. Of course, it would be helpful if you first learned the language. Otherwise, you might end up staying in the grody caretaker’s cottage instead of that swanky hotel where you made reservations. Luckily, a little cocaine goes a long way to improving a ping-pong match and nothing screams class like stumbling out of a vineyard, piss drunk and convinced that someone’s stolen your steering wheel.

2. Beverly Hills 90210– American Girls in Paris episodes

There that French language goes, getting in the way of our good time. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, you go to a swanky restaurant and order brain. Delicious. But hey, at least Dean Cain is there! And he’s dumb enough to actually believe you’re French! How do you say “score” in the language of love? Maybe we should ask Dylan and Kelly, who use Brenda’s time in Paris to get it on, the way only your best friend and boyfriend can (I’m still harboring resentment for this, apparently.) But hey, as long as it all leads to this memorable scene in 90210 history, the trip was totally worth it.

3. 30 Rock– “Cleveland”

It’s hard to decide which is better- the scene where Liz Lemon and her boyfriend Floyd decide to take a mini-break to Cleveland or the scenes where they’re actually in Cleveland. I’ll take all the scenes actually- from the guy on the New York City street who spits in Liz’s mouth and the skipping woman who gets shoved into a heap of garbage all the way to Liz revealing that she did some catalog modeling while in Cleveland, prompting Jenna to snap, “We’re all models west of the Allegheny.”

Be honest. After petting a real police horse, getting first pick at the hot dog cart, and lunch with Little Richard, wouldn’t you want to flee to the Cleve? Even movie stars like Tracy Jordan come to Cleveland to get away.

4. I Love Lucy– “LA at Last!”

This is the LA of my dreams, really. The kind where you might just run into Eve Arden or William Holden at The Brown Derby. While the rest of us suffer through the dregs of LA traffic, smog, and Paris Hilton haunting the IVY, Lucy gets to shove a pie in William Holden’s face and then form a disguise by fashioning a fake nose, only to set fire to it and put it out in a coffee cup. And that’s just the first day.

5. Samantha Who?– “Out of Africa” (And by Africa, we mean Miami)

I’m really, really going to miss Samantha Who?, tragically cut down before its proper time. And I really, really loved this episode. Amnesiac Sam decides that she’s “graduated” into her new life, her life as a good person, and once and for all has distanced herself from the slutty, selfish bitch she was before being mowed down by a car. Except, well, she gets super drunk with her friends celebrating said graduation and then sleeps with her ex-boyfriend. And then gets so freaked out that she decides to go to Africa and build something for children.

Except she gets freaked out by all the shots she needs for Africa and the bugs (“Have you ever seen a scorpion? They’re like spiders with KNIVES.”) and chickens out completely. And then goes to Miami with her friends instead. Except while she’s getting her tan on, there’s a violent outburst in Chad, where she’s supposed to be, and her mother (the incomparable Jean Smart) reacts in typical, deadpan fashion. “She’s dead. I know it. My little girl is dead.”

It’s a great episode.  Stupid network executives.

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by Judi

maryann Show: Cybil

Character: Maryann Thorpe

Played By: Christine Baranski

In a Nutshell: Maryann is Cybil (Cybil Shephard)’s best friend, a rich woman made only richer by her alimony checks from her ex-husband, who abruptly dumped her, earning himself the nickname Dr. Dick. Maryann loves drinking, shopping, and excels in The Art of the Prank, usually using her considerable talents to torment her ex-husband by ruining his dinner parties, dates and even his wedding. Terrible at men and dating, going so far as to drive away that guy from Newsradio by buying him six pairs of shoes after one date.

You Might Also Like: Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous, Edward from Dharma & Greg, Lucille Bluth from Arrested Development.

Why I Love Maryann (Essay Portion)

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Cybil here at TV HQ. The discovery of the defunct sitcom on Lifetime in the wee hours has prompted marathon viewings and ridiculous text-conversations between myself and Beal. The show has proved to be so much better than we remember that I’m not exaggerating when I say we will probably gobble up all 89 episodes more than once before this little phase is over.

Maryann, and Baranski, is key to the show’s success. Gone are the days when a character could booze it up on prime time and still be completely lovable. Now we have to temper such actions with words like “rehab” and “intervention.” Perhaps my favorite part of Maryann and Cybil’s relationship is the way Cybil embraces the fact that Maryann is basically crazy, even going so far as to use it to her advantage.  She encourages her drinking, begs her to do things like help her pull a pig out of a muddy canyon and destroy her rival Morgan Fairchild’s wedding and Maryann complies happily, with a martini in her hand and a bag of hot peppers in her purse.

Who else would think an appropriate seduction technique involves a little Bo Peep costume? Who else would crawl through an AC vent to plant stinky cheese and ruin Dr. Dick’s first party since the divorce? Who else would watch her best friend’s teenage daughter perpetuate a ridiculous charade involving a fake boyfriend only to murmur to herself, “She’s coming along nicely.”

Favorite Moment: Maryann walks into the Country Western establishment, clearly out of her element, Chanel suit and all. “Oh, look. A BAR.”

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UGH. Add FOX’s decision to create an American version of Absolutely Fabulous to my list of “If it ain’t broke, why remake it?” Otherwise known as “Are there REALLY no more original ideas out there, people?”

Here’s a little insight as to why this will fail miserably…namely, it is impossible to improve upon perfection.

Other titles that are going the way of “Why, God? Why?”

“Ten Things I Hate About You” into a TV series

“Footloose” with Zac Effron

“TEEN WITCH” with Ashley Tisdale (why don’t we just rerelease the original into theaters, like with Star Wars? How incredible would that be?)

“The Karate Kid” with Jaden Smith

“Logan’s Run”- oh my God, no one cares

– Judi

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