Absolutely Fabulous Olympics Episode: It’s great to have Eddie and Patsy back but they could’ve made more of the theme
It’s amazing how popular Absolutely Fabulous is on both sides of the Atlantic, and while the resurrection of other classic sitcoms hasn’t been as successful the characters of Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone still seem relevant. We saw them twice over the Christmas period, but the third and final episode of this short run, which is also possibly the last episode ever, focuses on the run up to the Olympic Games however its main theme is how our two central characters aren’t as young as they used to be.
Obviously the running joke throughout Ab Fab is that PR executive Eddy isn’t nearly as well-connected as she used to be, and as the years progress, she’s becoming less relevant as is evidenced in this episode’s earlier scene in which she tries to get at appointment with Stella McCartney only to be snubbed which leads to a very obvious if still very funny A Streetcar Named Desire reference.
This snub doesn’t really get to Eddy too much though as she was more obsessed with the fact that Michael Douglas was going to be staying at her house over the Olympic period, only she hasn’t realised that the games start this week as it has been on the way for the last five years.
To prepare for the arrival of Michael Douglas, who both Eddy and Patsy want to ensnare, they dress to impress however, due to their increasing years, clothing doesn’t fit in the way that it used to, so when Patsy is squeezed into Eddy’s body stocking, she briefly stops breathing. The most compelling part of the episode was Eddy worrying that she is getting old and all the old doors are shutting behind, never really realising that the doors weren’t open in the first place.
Though Ab Fab is generally very funny, it is the more tender moments that are the backbone of the show such as Saffy’s return from Africa without her daughter Jane who has been left with her Ugandan father. A rather touching conversation between Saffy and her grandmother results in Saffy saying that Jane is better off with her father, but you can see behind her eyes that she doesn’t really believe it as she secretly wants to be close to her daughter at all times.
Saffy’s return from Africa does create some comic moments as well, due to the fact that she comes home wearing multi-coloured African attire, which causes her gran to remark that she has a tea-towel with that design. One storyline strand that doesn’t sit right is Patsy’s ex-husband Marshall’s supposed sex addiction, which may or may not be caused by his wife Bo’s menopause. I personally felt that these two characters didn’ really need to be part of an episode which had more than enough going on without their appearance.
The only reason Marshall is in the UK is that he has taken Michael Douglas’ plane ticket, as he is his golf caddy, leaving Eddy once again heart-broken. Thankfully she ends up finding two tickets for her and Patsy to go to the Olympic party which in turn allows for some brief cameos from Dames Kelly Holmes and Tanni Grey-Thompson.
Eddy’s ejection from the party leads to the pair accidentally ending up in the main Olympic arena and briefly running around it before they are escorted off by security guards. It is also revealed that gran has Olympic Tickets, but prefers to watch the events from the comfort of her own home, however it seems Eddy and Patsy are still nostalgic for their time in the arena. The only other references to the Olympics come from Bubble who appears throughout the episode in a vareity of sporting attire, of which the cyclist is possibly the funniest, though this is a joke that gets old quite quickly and I do feel sorry for Jane Horrocks as she is someone who should be given a lot more to do.
As this was an Olympics themed episode of Ab Fab, I was expecting a lot more than just a final five minutes, which featured a couple of quick cameos and some shots of the arena. I have to say, if the show had access to the track, then I think they wasted their time as there was plenty more Olympic-related gags that could’ve been written about the pair’s exploits in the empty arena. Personally, I would’ve cut all of the stuff about Marshall and Bo from the episode and replaced with more time at the Olympic party which in turn would allow for another few cameos. Indeed I feel this episode was far too short and could’ve benefited from being 45 minutes or even an hour long as I’m sure everybody would’ve been fine with staying with these much-loved comedy characters for a bit longer.
Overall, there was much to like about what could well be the final ever episode of Ab Fab, though there’s almost definitely a film arriving at some point, which to me didn’t feel like a proper conclusion. Most of the good in the episode comes from the themes of Eddy and Patsy getting older, and not being able to fit in the clothes they once did this allows for both some tender moments as well as some brilliant physical comedy. All the central five actors played their parts with vigour, with June Whitfield’s gran stealing the show, as ever, while Joanna Lumley’s performance here was the best one she’s delivered out of the three specials we’ve recently been treated to.
There were enough jokes to keep us going while the aforementioned physical gags, which included an extended sequence of Patsy trying to fit into a dress, were a joy to watch. On the other hand, I don’t think much was made of the Olympics theme while I could’ve done without the stuff with Marshall and Bo. I do think though this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Eddy and Patsy and I wouldn’t be surprised if we got another full series in a couple of years time.
Are you glad to have Ab Fab back one last time? What did you think of the episode? Leave Your Comments Below.
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