Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013

It’s Absolutely Fabulous!

By David Luhrssen
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Part of the humor in the British TV series “Absolutely Fabulous” was its willingness to offend. “Ab Fab” was the middle finger wagging in the face of political correctness and the self-importance of the Baby Boomers. It was very much a women’s show—men were ancillary—and the high camp as well as the sheer outrageousness drew an avid gay audience. Popular in its homeland and a cult hit in the States, the long-running series is now collected in a handbag-styled package with a snap clasp, “Absolutely Fabulous: Absolutely All of It.”

Central to the dynamics are the fraught relations between mother and daughter, and the generation gap that occurred when yesterday’s young rebels sagged into middle age. Jennifer Saunders plays Edina, a drug-and-alcohol addled flower child-turned-PR flak, clashes daily with Saffron (Julia Sawhalha), her serious-minded daughter. Saffron is the responsible adult in a world where the adults never grew up.

The 10-DVD set includes many bonuses—deleted scenes and various documentaries, among them an interview with BBC producer Jon Plowman who links the often slapstick female hilarity to a tradition stretching back to “I Love Lucy.”

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