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DVD Review: Absolutely Fabulous: 20th Anniversary Specials

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It’s been quite a while since I last treated myself to the comedic misadventures of Edina “Eddy” Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley). Not having seen the last couple of seasons of Jennifer Saunders’ cult favorite,  I knew it was going to be nothing short of hilarious to jump right back in to the thick of it. With her satiric pen as sharp as it’s always been, it is with great enthusiasm to say that the girls are back and as funny as ever in the BBC’s release of Absolutely Fabulous: 20th Anniversary Specials on DVD.

It’s interesting to note that these three specials are listed on the show’s IMDB page as “Season 6.” Each 30-minute special represents the best of what Ab Fab has always been. And while the girls may be ever older, thankfully they’re far from wiser. “Identity” is first and also the funniest. Saffron “Saffy” (Julia Sawalha) has just been released from prison and it turns out that her Longview BFF, Baron (Lucy Montgomery), also happens to be Patsy’s drug dealer to whom she owes a debt of £50,000. The only way Patsy can pay her back is to accept her own position as pensioner and face her real age — much to her chagrin.

In “Job,” Saffy berates Eddy about her choice of lifestyle and disregard of holding down what could be considered a real job. While out on lunch, Eddy and Patsy run into French film star Jeanne Durand (Lindsay Duncan) who convinces them to represent her and the Royal Albert Hall is booked at once. The stage is set for “Durand Sings,” and it turns out that even with the assistance of Emma Bunton and Lulu, things may be more disastrous than ever for Eddy’s career. Finally, we have “Olympics,” in which Eddy has rented out her house to Michael Douglas while he’s in London for the 2012 Olympics. Instead, Eddy serves as host to Bo (Mo Gaffney) and Marshall (Christopher Ryan), whom Bo thinks has acquired a sex addiction disease while caddying for Douglas. Meanwhile, Eddy continues to stalk Stella McCartney right onto the Olympic field on her never ending quest for designer gold.

Saunders and company are all in fine form and it’s hilarious to see the rapport still stands even with Mother (June Witfield) and Bubble (Jane Horrocks) as crazy as ever. Saunders has stated that in lieu of developing an additional full season she is currently at work on a full-length motion picture, which is pretty exciting. As if they don’t get away with far more on the BBC than we can here in the States, I can only imagine what Saunders has up her sleeve for the big screen.

On top of the three specials, clocking in at a rapid fire approximate 90 minutes, the two special features are as hilarious as the actual specials. It doesn’t hurt that one of them is a seven-minute Sport Relief sketch. Emma Bunton returns helping Eddy prove how out of shape she is while Patsy stands guard on the look out for Stella McCartney who’s brought along some surprise friends of her own. The only additional special feature is “Behind the Scenes at Sports Relief” which is exactly what the title says and runs 17 minutes. A code to download an UltraViolet copy is also included. The Absolutely Fabulous: 20th Anniversary Specials are available on DVD September 11, 2012.

Photos courtesy BBC Home Entertainment

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About Cinenerd

A Utah based writer, born and raised in Salt Lake City, UT for better and worse. Cinenerd has had an obsession with film his entire life, finally able to write about them since 2009, and the only thing he loves more are his wife and their two wiener dogs (Beatrix Kiddo and Pixar Animation). He is accredited with the Sundance Film Festival.