DVD review: Ab Fab at 20TV and Radio
Feeling fabulous ... Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders.
It's been a long time in between drinks for Eddie (Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy (Joanna Lumley), but the whole fabulously dysfunctional clan are back for three special episodes to celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of the biggest cult hits of Britcom to date.
The craziness we have come to love and expect from writer/creator Saunders ensues, as Eddie picks up her daughter Saffy (Julia Sawalha) from prison in the first special, Identity. Saffy's cell mate is none other than Patsy's drug dealer, who has also been released and is after the money owed to her from Patsy's lifetime drug habit.
In Job, Eddie attempts to prove her daughter wrong and complete an honest day's work. She hires Saffy's favourite French film star, Jeanne Durand, to sing at the Royal Albert Hall, but things go pear-shaped quickly when she can't in fact sing a single note.
In the last and best episode, Olympics, the London Games presents the perfect opportunity for Eddie and Patsy to continue their never-ending quest to be cool. They hit the party circuit, where Eddie throws herself - literally - at Stella McCartney, as desperate as ever to be accepted as part of the 'in' crowd.
Despite the brilliance of the Saunders-esque cringeworthy satire, and a few cultural references to the Kardashians and dubstep thrown in, there's a certain spark of that old magic that's missing here. It produces a smile and a chuckle rather than the infectious giggle-fits inspired by classic Ab Fab episodes.
Having finished writing the Spice Girls musical, Saunders has confirmed that she is working on an Ab Fab adaptation for the big screen. Let's hope she can get find the right formula and return to form to bring us more of the outrageous romps we love.
Ab Fab at 20
Rated M, 113 minutes
Special features: Ab Fab does Sports Relief; Sports Relief - behind the scenes