Possibly one of the funniest shows I've ever seen, this British sitcom ran for several years before starting up again recently when creator Jennifer Saunders found that she just kept coming back to the characters when trying to write other projects. For those unfamiliar with the series, it focuses on Patsy (Joanna Lumley) and Edina (Jennifer Saunders), two women who take nearly every drug known to mankind, have bottles of alcohol at the ready whenever possible (in one of the episodes included, Edina takes the last bottle of champaigne out of a cooler and then three more bottles drop down and take their place), sleep around, and try their hardest not to be passed by by fashion trends.
Their polar opposite is Edina's daughter Saffy (Julia Salwaha), a hard-working, hard-studying young woman who finds herself playing mother to a mother that acts more like a teenager. This particular DVD offers two "special" episodes, "Absolutely Fabulous in NY/Gay" and "The Last Shout". "NY" offers a couple of sections - Edina finds that her long-lost (over the years, she's been told that he's done things like studying in the Antarctic) son is gay and living in New York City. She's thrilled, because it's trendy (she screams, "a personal shopper for life!"). However, the first half of the episode is dedicated to Patsy's new job putting together a store that has only a few, very expensive things that she'll find at Fashion Week in NY. Some of the riffs on the fashion world in this episode are hilarious, especially one stretch where Edina talks about how Donatella Versache is so tanned that looking at her is a potential health hazard. It's a good episode that really hits some great jokes and reaches that classic chemistry that Lumley and Saunders have in the best episodes. "The Last Shout" has its moments (it starts off with Edina swimming with a dolphin in a tank - in her room), but it's not one of the stronger episodes in the series, focusing on the engagement of Saffy; while that idea had great potential, the jokes are somewhat hit-and-miss at times.
While fans of the series might want to check out this disc, those who haven't seen the show should start with the season sets currently available.
VIDEO: Both specials are presented in 1.33:1 full-frame, despite the fact that "Absolutely Fabulous in NY/Gay" was apparently originally shot in widescreen; due to this unfortunate choice, some cropping is noticable. Sharpness and detail are acceptable on both presentations, although the "NY" presentation seemed to be filmed with better equipment and maintain a sharper and crisper appearance than "Last Shout". No edge enhancement or artifacts were shown, while colors appeared natural and accurate. Still, it's too bad that one of the episodes has been cropped for this release.
SOUND: The stereo soundtrack provides clear dialogue, an annoying laugh track (this show doesn't need a laugh track) and minimal ambience.
EXTRAS: Outtakes, about 14 minutes worth.
Final Thoughts: This disc is simply for fans. Those who have never seen the show should absolutely start with the actual seasons, which are available separately.