was first broadcast in 1992 and became an instant hit. Originally a sketch on the French and Saunders Show
, Jennifer Saunders saw its potential and created one of the most ground-breaking and debauched comedies on British TV. Centred around the hip London fashion scene the series follows Edina (Saunders) and Patsy (Joanna Lumley), two women who refuse to grow up and are constantly on a mission to lose weight, gorging themselves with cocaine and/or champagne, endlessly throwing parties (or throwing up at parties), and sporting outrageous outfits, which were the height of fashion at the time--honestly sweetie! The superb comic performances reinvented the careers of Joanna Lumley and June Whitfield. Saunders meanwhile secured her status as one of Britain's top female comedians. Although its consciously chic clothing looks a little dated now, its mad characterisations endure and the jokes remain as hilariously slick and apt as ever.
On the DVD: Absolutely Fabulous DVD box set comes beautifully packaged in mock velvet, with each series individually packaged inside. The original sketch from the French and Saunders Show and the pilot episode, "Mirrorball", offers all you need to understand the show's origins The commentary with Jennifer Saunders and John Ploughman on Series 4 is refreshing, owning up to the mistakes they made and the jokes that didn't work. The outtakes are funnier than the usual Hollywood blips. The 4:3 transfer is standard for a television comedy. --Nikki Disney
All four series of Jennifer Saunder's Emmy and BAFTA award-winning television show. Joanna Lumley stars as Patsy, the Bollinger-swigging fashion writer; Saunders plays Edina, the terminally-adolescent magazine editor; and Julia Sawalha appears as Saffron, Edina's prudish daughter. June Whitfield also makes an appearance, teetering on the edge of dementia as Edina's mother.