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The smashing misadventures of fashion femme fatales Edina and Patsy remains one of the most popular and talked about comedies in BBC history. The New York Post called it "Utterly original, utterly hilariousone of the best television comedies ever made." Episodes 7-12: "Hospital" - Patsy's upcoming photo spread with Hello Magazine has her thinking face lift. "Death" - Edina's father dies and we confront the eternal question ("Yes, but is it art?"). "Morocco" - The girls travel to Morrocco. "New Best Friend" - Edina's minimalist friends visit with their maximalist new baby. "Poor" - Edina learns to economise when her ex-husbands cut her off. "Birth" - Patsy nearly burns the house down.
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Everyone knew that Jennifer Saunders was funny from her years of comedy specials with Dawn French as French & Saunders; but who would have thought that Joanna Lumley, previously best known as Patrick Macnee's girl-spy sidekick on The New Avengers, was such a bang-on comedienne? In the second series of Absolutely Fabulous, every appearance of human gargoyle Patsy Stone (Lumley, looking like the mutant love child of Keith Richards and Ivana Trump) is a comic tour de force--she slumps into a room like a marionette with its strings cut, unleashes a rotting-corpse grin or a reptilian scowl, supports Edina in every half-wit scheme and leaches off of her like an intestinal parasite. Series 2 is pretty bang-on throughout and manages to give the characters--Patsy, infantile p.r. agent Edina Monsoon (Saunders), Edina's long-suffering daughter Saffron (Julia Sawalha, Chicken Run), Edina's mother (June Whitfield, co-star of many Carry On movies), and Edina's dimwitted assistant Bubble (Jane Horrocks, Life is Sweet)--greater emotional range without losing an iota of scathing humor. Face-lifts, Morocco, alimony, rebirthing, and the death of Edina's father are all fodder for sharp, unflinching satire. But the core theme of the season is the unhealthily enmeshed friendship between Edina and Patsy, which sparks jealousy and backbiting but, when the chips are down (or the champagne and diet pills running low), an undying loyalty. Truly one of the richest and funniest Britcoms of all time. --Bret Fetzer
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