If someone asked me what my favorite sitcoms were, "Absolutely Fabulous" would definitely be near the top of the list. The brilliantly written British series was unfortunately short-lived, only boasting 18 episodes. Unlike some sitcoms though, there's not a really bad one in the bunch of 18.
The show aired in Britain in 1992, the creation of comedian Jennifer Saunders (previously of "French and Saunders"). Eventually coming overseas when Comedy Central aired it, it gained further popularity in America. Roseanne was actually planning an American version of the show, but none of the networks would go for the sex and drug content of the series.
The show stared Saunders as Edina, a fashion-world publicist who attempts to re-live her youth with best friend Patsy(Joanna Lumley) by taking massive amounts of drugs and drinking. Meanwhile, they keep running up against Edina's daughter Saffron, who is the exact opposite, remaining politically correct and dissaproving of her Mother's actions. A fantastic supporting cast of characters adds to the entertainment. Not helping Edina is her idiotic assistant Bubble, who is played by Jane Horrocks of "Little Voice".
There's so many great things about the series; hilarious jokes and references to pop culture and society, brilliant writing and comedic timing and fantastic actors. The two leads wonderfully play up their bad behavior, obviously having fun playing the characters.
"Absolutely Fabulous" is being released in a 4 DVD box set from Warner Brothers, with the first three DVDs offering the 6 episodes that made up the 3 seasons of the show and a 4th DVD of extras. All of the other DVDs in the series will hopefully be reviewed closer to the release date. Season 2 offers some hilarious episodes, including:
Hospital: Edina has minor surgery that she makes into something more major.
Death: Saffron learns of her Grandfather's death and takes it badly while Edina and Patsy ponder the meaning of life.
Morocco: In a classic episode, Saffron, Patsy and Edina go to Morocco for a fashion shoot that never happens, while Saffron gets sold off by Patsy.
New Best Friend: Patsy and Edina compete over their other friends.
Poor: Edina finds out that she doesn't have as much money coming in as she thought and a trip to the grocery store leads to some unexpected problems.
Birth: Patsy's smoking habit ends up destroying the kitchen and later, Patsy, Saffron and Edina get locked in the living room and discuss their lives.
VIDEO: All of the episodes are presented full-frame, as they originally were on television. All of the episodes generally looked slightly better than they did when originally broadcast on TV. Sharpness and detail are generally fair; there's a bit of a soft look to many of the episodes, although certainly the image never looks hazy or blurry.
I didn't notice much in the way of problems - just some very slight shimmering and a couple of minor instances of pixelation. This didn't cause a distraction, and there weren't any other problems that were apparent. Colors are generally strong and well-defined, looking natural and without any problems.
SOUND: Certainly the most important thing in a show like this one would be the dialogue, and every line remains clear and easily understood. Clarity between the background laughter, dialogue and any other ambient sounds is fine, and nothing gets overshadowed.
MENUS:: The main menu is great, with background music and animation. Sub-menus contain ab-fab themed images, but no animation.
Outtakes: All of the discs offer about 15-16 minutes worth of outtakes. The outtakes here are the funniest with some great moments of the cast forgetting their lines or breaking out laughing. Definitely worth a look.
Also: Trailers for BBC America & "French and Saunders" as well as a photo gallery.
Final Thoughts: Such a funny show - I've been looking forward to its DVD release for ages and I'm happy that Warner Brothers has done a nice job, if this disc for season three is any indication. If you haven't seen the series before, it's very highly recommended.