Ab Fab (the review)...
You know that feeling you get when you tune in to The Simpsons and it's an episode you've seen a dozen times before. Or when you turn on Frasier and you realise it's one from years ago that you know backwards - but you watch it anyway just in case there's a 'good bit' that you'd forgotten. Sure, you see that these repeat shows are still funny. Sure, you're in familiar surroundings and you know the characters so well as to get even the slightest subtly in the performances - you don't miss a single joke. But there's still this underlying disappointment that you've seen it. This feeling of: Why aren't I watching a new one? Why do we get repeats all the time rather than brand new funny episodes that we will love and cherish and repeat the lines endlessly to our friends? The sad fact of these old episodes is that we feel a bit cheated. We see that they were (and still are) good but we want the 'new stuff'. The funny 'new stuff'.
So it was with last night's Ab Fab. OK, it was a new episode but it could have been a episode from seven years ago in a mid-season run. I kept thinking we had seen the show before. Lots of the lines had been recycled. In fact at times the script was all but writing itself. Such a shame as Jennifer Saunders (Edina) has such a gift for reinvention and plot development.
Allegedly the characters had all moved on - but there was precious little evidence of this in last night's show. Jane Hollicks (Bubble) has a new character to play though called Katy Grin. She's Edina's new business partner and presenter in her TV production company, Radical TV. Hopefully Katy might develop into something new and exciting as the series unfolds. Evidence is that she appeared in last night's show on a TV ad for a discount carpet store endless repeating variations of the phrase, "It's carpets, it's madness! Carpets! Madness! It's Madness, it's carpets!" which was very funny.
But the other more established characters were essentially unchanged.
Saffy (Julia Sawalha) is still at home - only older and more frumpy. The mother (June Whitfield) still lives with them though she actually has some rather spiteful lines about how fat Edina is/was. Patsy is completely the same. Sadly she did nothing in this first episode but looks glamorous and help to develop a plot line about anti-aging Parallox facial injections. Was it me or were the references to ME a bit tasteless?
So in summary I would say that it's good to have them back. But I hope the series gets better. Otherwise I'll be looking forward to those familar Ab Fab repeats rather the ‘new stuff'.