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Friday, 31 August, 2001, 17:01 GMT 18:01 UK
Absolutely Fabulous: Your views
Edina (Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy (Joanna Lumley)
Is it as absolutely fabulous as the last series?
The successful sitcom Absolutely Fabulous is back after a five year absence.

Edina (Jennifer Saunders) is now a TV producer, Patsy (Joanna Lumley) is still in the pursuit of eternal youth and Saffy (Julia Sawalha) is trying to get a job with New Labour.

"It is nothing short of brilliant in how it yanks Edina and Patsy up to date while simultaneously making us feel that the previous episode was last week instead of half a decade ago, " wrote the BBC's William Gallagher.

But what do you think?

Is it as good as ever? Or does it seem dated? Should they have ended it when it was at its peak?

HAVE YOUR SAY

It's more of the same. In other words, exactly what I wanted. Superb!
Nick, UK

I had my doubts that they would be able to pull it off after so long a gap but they seem to have acquitted themselves admirably. Very funny!
Martin Harvey, UK

Did Apple happen to be advertising on Ab Drab tonight? It was like watching an American movie with the product placement.
Em, UK

Wow. The new series is great. It still has the Ab Fab ability to make fun of serious issues without offending anyone. Well done.
Mohammed Djavanroodi, England

Why should they ever end it? They are wacky idols to generations of women. They are legends! We should worship them through our TV screens forever! That would be the licence-fee money fabulously well-spent. Absolutely.
Mimi Lulu, UK


The magic is still there. The same themes prevail and yet have moved on with the times

Doug, The Netherlands
When will BBC America broadcast the new series? I ABSOLUTELY love this show.
Brian Thompson, USA

GREAT, GREAT, GREAT. Send it to the US. We've missed you.
Randall, USA

The magic is still there. The same themes prevail and yet have moved on with the times. Joanna Lumley as Patsy is just as much a vamp as ever! Wow!

I hope the rest of the series is just as good, although I hope they ditch the Smart!
Doug, The Netherlands

The return of another dull programme. So what's new?
Chris James, Belfast

Brilliant start to the series, I laughed out loud at least half a dozen times, so pleased to see the show back. Best part was Edina drunk and Edina paralysed!
James, England

Hit just the right note, brilliant!
Mark Butcher, UK

I thought the programme was great! June Whitfield just gets funnier and funnier. I thought the laptop sketch was brilliantly written and acted.

Please don't go over the top though with the canned laughter. This programme really doesn't need it. Good luck with the rest of the series.
Linda Timewell, UK


Tired. Lazy. Well past sell-by-date. Unfunny

Toby, England
As excellent as ever - Joanna Lumley was the star of the programme despite having the least lines, her facial expressions were hilarious (especially the eye movements following the injections of Parrolox and climbing up those stairs)! Can't wait till next week.
Matt, UK

Totally devoid of anything new with an over-reliance on repeated references to 'new' technology terminology in an attempt to inspire a sense of 'newness'. Saunders could definitely use an injection of ideas (not to mention another 5 years rest).
Kennie, UK

Funny, funny, funny; loved the cameos and socio-celebrity commentary. Looking forward to more.
David Darcy, UK

I watched it tonight, and I was suprised as it never seems that it went away. Edina and Patsy are even more crazy than they were before!
Jamie, Scotland

Tired. Lazy. Well past sell-by-date. Unfunny.
Toby, England

I was disappointed by the extreme storylines trying too hard to be clever. Result, a big yawn! Hope the rest of the series improves.
Sheila Khan, UK


The lines are so clever, they will be clever for the next 20 years

Simone, UK
I never really liked the last series. It had outstayed its welcome and the jokes were becoming repetitive. This series, however, uses all the cultural developments over the past few years to breathe some life back into the characters. It was very funny. I especially liked the higher profile of Jane Horrocks on tonight's show... the best bit? The "Carpet Madness" ad!
Nick Hardy, UK

I watched Ab Fab tonight and thought: "Thank goodness we're back to the comedy which the Beeb is famed for". It's in the same mould as Fools & Horses and Fawlty Towers. I heard that you were reviving Fools & Horses. True?
Clive Boltman, UK

Well, I'm a huge fan, so a return would be a hit regardless, I loved it, yet wasn't impressed with Patsy's hair, it has shrunk!
Ste, UK

AbFab? More like AbFlab if you ask me! Same old tired jokes reworked with a couple of (not so) current affairs references thrown in. John Cleese and Connie Booth had the right idea with Fawlty Towers - quit while you're ahead. And stay quit until you can think of a new angle!
Chazzmaster, UK

One word, rubbish.
Andrew, UK

I had to tape it and watch it twice. The lines are so clever, they will be clever for the next 20 years
Simone, UK


Absolutely dire

Tony Marturano, UK
Absolutely hilarious, I never got the chance to watch the last series, I now wish I had. Patsy is pure brilliance.
Paul Smith, UK

Watch it and don¿t try to analyse it. You will either enjoy it or be indifferent. If you do try to analyse it you will probably not get the point.
Barry, England

Well, we didn't think it was quite up to scratch, but it is only the first episode, I'm sure it will warm up. In saying that, Jane Horrocks was as utterly superb as she always is in any role!
Graeme, UK

Short on wit. Long on grossness, crassness.....and if it isn't even funny, just shout it anyway. Three talents wasting their time but no more mine.
Leslie Honeyman, Scotland

Absolutely dire! I was one of the most avid fans of the previous series but when Jennifer Saunders admitted that Ab Fab had reached the end of the road, I had to agree with her. The gags were old and bordering on the contrived. I couldn't believe they actually made another series! Which, in my opinion, was just more of the same with some modern buzz words and an absolutely bitter old daughter. What kind of a dysfunctional relationship do these two have anyway? Jennifer should have stuck to her guns, no matter what money was thrown at her. Absolutely Fabulous had its day and is now absolutely boring and unfunny.
Tony Marturano, UK

Oh dear! What a disaster. The old series still has me in stitches but during tonight's episode I was able to leave the room to make at least three cups of tea without feeling I had missed anything. It really wasn't funny. What a shame, I had been looking forward to this new series for weeks but I certainly won't be glued to future ones.
Tim Edgar, Belgium


Just as good as the first series

Phil, Scotland
Excuse the play on words, but in my opinion its still absolutely fabulous.
Carl, UK

Absolutely Fabulous The title says all.
Jag, UK

Dated? Dated, darling?! AbFab is the most "now" series ever created. I feel fantastic.
Juan Carlos Panagiotakes, Greece

I thought it was fantastic. Congratulaions to the girls on rekindling the magic and returning these cult figures to our screens. Keep up the good work!
Paul Lang, UK

Haven't laughed so much in ages. Jennifer and Joanna are definitely at their best and as for June, well, her one-liners nearly made me wet myself! Excellent, can't wait for next Friday.
Karen, UK

Nowhere near as funny this time round.
Alex White, UK

Superficially updated, yes. Imaginatively developed - no. If you really love the characters you'll probably enjoy it.
Peter Riley, UK

Just as good as the first series... can't wait for the rest of the series.
Phil, Scotland


Much of the success of AbFab was its timing, it sat well in the 90s

Andy Woodfield, UK
I think it says a lot that the BBC's star bill this season is a re-hash of the once funny Ab Fab. It's the same tired old characters using as many up-to-date references as they can, such as the dotcom fallout. Saffy was once named as a role-model by teenage girls - unfortunately she is now a parody of a sheltered middle-class female geek. This new series is just a chance for B- or C-grade "celebrities" to get more exposure.
Seb, UK

Ab Fab was excellent, just as good as last series. lt looks like my Friday night out has been put on hold until 9.30pm. So please barman, keep my beer on tab till then.
Sunjay BHogal, UK

Depressing! What hope for humanity if this is funny?
R Davies, England

Absolutely brilliant. We need more home-made funnies to combat the huge American pile of rubbish that's shoved at us.
Mike Chambers, UK

I eagerly awaited the start of this series but was quite disappointed. It seemed rather forced, as if they were trying too hard to fit into the old mould.
Paul Bignell, UK

Excellent - glad to see the girls back making fun of the PR world.
Lazy, Netherlands

With the exception of June Whitfield, this episode was not funny. The makeover of the kitchen was not sufficient to transport this comedy into 2001. Much of the success of AbFab was its timing, it sat well in the 90s.
Andy Woodfield, UK

Excellent comedy line-up for Friday night, first My Famly and then Ab Fab, both brilliant!
Kelvin Fagan, UK


Keep it up girls, this comedy series is head and shoulders above the rest

Debbie Lever, UK
AbFab is crass, ill-mannered and badly acted. It does none of the cast credit and that includes the writers.
Brenda, England

A neo classic. Better than ever and tactifully updated to include the latest insane fads that are plaguing society. Thank God we have AbFab to bring us down to earth.
Paul Pekar, UK

Absolutely Fabulous, welcome back!
Martin Valters, UK

Perhaps it was just me, but I really didn't find last night's episode all that funny. Actually, it seemed tired and lacklustre. The only half funny moment was Saffy slapping her friend's face at the table. There's usually a reason why successful series end when they do, and bringing them back in the hope that they'll rescue viewing figures isn't always a good idea.

I dread the return of Only Fools...in the same way I dreaded the return of Ab Fab... I'd rather watch funny repeats than new runs that only shuffle along. Still, last night's Ab Fab was ultimately more amusing than Chambers...
Lady Rae, UK

It started off a little slow, but it ended in the familiar anarchy we've known from previous series. It was full with worthwhile soundbites. I'm glad they are back, it is just as good as it was.
Martijn ten Napel, The Netherlands

I watched Ab Fab last night. Thought the new script has definitely moved with the times. No matter what press this series gets, I know there is a majority out there along with myself that find Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley very funny.

Not sure about the use of injections, perhaps this should have been controlled in a funny doctor's surgery.

The two characters that Jane Horrocks plays are fab, along with June Whitfield and of course grandaughter Saffy.

Keep it up girls, this comedy series is head and shoulders above the rest. Can't wait for the video release!
Debbie Lever, UK


This programme has the artistic integrity of Hello! magazine

Howard Bennett, UK
Well... I loved the kitchen. I want one like that. As for the show...hmm, it was okay, but I do think that they should have quit whilst they were ahead. I've seen far funnier episodes.
David Holder, UK

There was a time when this show was all about brilliant writing and performances, particularly from Lumley. Last night's episode had some of the old flashes of brilliance, but mostly relied on 'gross-out' visual gags and pointless walk-on parts for b-list celebs
Martin Kay, UK

It never has been funny and it still isn't. I can only think that my sense of humour is totally different because the show really is garbage but is over-hyped.
Chris, England

Brilliant...script terrific.....great acting.... It will get better and better I think.
Linda 0'Reilly, Ireland

Jennifer Saunders wrote one very good and one good series of Ab-Fab. I respected her for quitting while the show was still (reasonably) fresh. Aaah, look what money can do - new series, lots of celebrities (the programme now is part of the celebrity culture it once lampooned), very poor acting (Twiggy, oh dear - don't give up the day job, love!) and the same old ideas recycled for the undiscerning. This programme has the artistic integrity of Hello! magazine.

Jennifer, I hope you are laughing all the way to the bank - that's the only funny thing about your new series. No thanks.
Howard Bennett, England

Still absolutely fabulous, darling.
Karen, UK


More like a 6th form revue of AbFab. A pastiche of past greatness and nothing more

John Walliss, UK
What a massive disappointment! The same old joke continues to be recycled and it was funny for one series but for four is too much! It should be renamed the Jennifer Saunders ego club - no doubt she put a lot of effort into writing the series, pranced around falling down the stairs and did the same unfunny gags and acts as in the previous series. Shame as I was looking forward to it.
Shaun Biddulph, UK

Absolutely pathetic.
Roland Lewis, UK

The best just got better, I think Jennifer is an amazing person to bring the show back so well. Quite simply it is a huge success and should be welcomed with open arms.
Tom Hunt, UK

I must say that Ab Fab lived up to its name, it was brill and I hope there are many more series coming. Jennifer writes such fab comedy, it makes us proud to be British. I kind of wish that the celebrities were a bit more involved, like Lulu was in the last series, but you can't have everything. Sharp lines, brilliant wit and fabulous acting, all I can say is, keep them coming!
Kendal Love, England

If the new series continues in the way that the first epsiode did then Ab Fab series 4 was a brilliant idea! The cast is still superb and flawless, the writing is as sharp as it ever was, it's moved with the times and it's still just as funny. More, more!
Frances, England

Big mistake. The characters were funny before - now they are just pathetic and totally unlikeable.
Peter W, UK

They just get better - a drunk Edina challenging the staircase was one of the funniest TV moments I've seen for an age...
Allen, UK

It was fabulous!!! What else could it be???
Em, England

God, it was awful! More like a 6th form revue of AbFab. A pastiche of past greatness and nothing more. Celebs thrown in in a token manner.
John Walliss, UK


Last night's show was not up to the standard we had become used to

Brian, UK
Always Fab, this series should run forever, but with Saffy ageing at such a fast rate, maybe not.
R Hudson, Belgium

Whilst it was nice seeing the old team back again, I felt this episode was rather thin and felt the required laughs came more out of nostalgia for the previous excellent shows rather than from a lot of humour in this new one . Lets hope they get it together for the next show!
Steve F, UK

This smug, self-satisfied excuse for comedy was never funny in the first place. Any notion of it having any importance or timeless appeal is ludicrous. It is a classic example of the neo-British tradition of comedy without wit. Unappealing characters, unfunny dialogue and a complete lack of imagination. Its popularity says more about the ongoing wilderness years of British TV comedy than anything else.
Greg

Well, I sat down last night fully expecting to be able to moan about the BBC trying to re-vamp past glories and failing..... I was pleasantly surprised. After a few minutes I found myself laughing. Top banana! Roll on Only fools and Horses....
Ian Bradbury, Belgium

I think that the writers should have left on a high note, last night's show was not up to the standard we had become used to.
Brian, UK

Ah, the magic returns and it is as if they had never left us. The sheer artistry of Jennifer and Joanna is indeed nothing short of magnificent. Brilliant humour complimented by Jennifer's outstanding wit and Joanna's depth of character. Julia and June have also complimented their roles with devout consistency. Ab Fab has achieved what many other productions have not. It is like you have never left us...."darlings"! Hugs and kisses to you all.
Sandi Ashworth, UK - ex New Zealand


The first episode in the new series of Absolutely Fabulous showed that Jennifer Saunders is closer to Edina than she would like to think, by failing to know when to stop

Alan Simpson, UK
Unfortunately, quite unfunny with one or two moments of enlightenment. I think the BBC is desperate to try and be funny, they are using has-beens to try to rekindle their magic.
Sam Wren, England

I love Ab Fab and the longer it goes on the better.
Joan O'Shea, Saudi Arabia

It is great to see it back, it has lost nothing in its absence, the humour is as fresh as ever. Fantastic, can't wait for next Friday.
Richard Silver, England

The first episode in the new series of Absolutely Fabulous showed that Jennifer Saunders is closer to Edina than she would like to think, by failing to know when to stop. Modish rather than modern, old hat in new clothes, the programme wallows in up-to-date-isms for their own sake, as though simply featuring scooters, Beppe out of EastEnders and e-mail (and, like, how "now" are those!) is intrinsically funny.

It's only a matter of time before the programme descends to the Are You Being Served? level of padding it out with a round of applause every time Joanne Lumley enters. If this meandering, self-indulgent opening salvo is her best shot, then bring back Mrs. Slocombe's pussy.
Alan Simpson, UK

Brillant! The girls have definitely still got it. Cheers to Jennifer and Joanna for an excellent comeback! Really pleased to see the rest of the original cast still there. Great job everyone!
Gareth Evans, UK

The characters and scenario were as enjoyable as ever. I think a little more "placing" of the characters rather than the high profile they played in this first episode would have been even more enjoyable. Entry to the night club (or lack of it) would in my opinion have merited almost a whole episode to itself. I love the new Jane Horrocks character. She made a good foil for Eddie and Pats. I'd like to know what happened to Saffy's husband too.
Elizabeth Pentland, UK


It's only worth watching to see which desperate star is willing to do a cameo

G Simpson, UK
Still the same style and still the same joke constructs but it was nastier and darker than the fun loving originals. I thought that Saffy's fall into depression due to pyschological torment and her friend's mental treatment (due to Edwina scaring her for life) gave a disturbing edge to the episode. I had visions of Saffy going mad and killing her mother in a crazed bid to be rid of her. Otherwise, it was good to see the old characters back.
Martin Wells, Britain

Although it was slow to start, I thought this new episode was brilliant, and one of the few consistently funny comedies of British TV, along with The League of Gentlemen, Spaced, and Happiness. Rock on Patsy and Edina!
C Neil, USA/UK

Absolutely unconditionally fabulous Friday fun!
Dean Howard , UK

There were some very funny moments... but there's only so many times you can repeat the same genre of jokes over and over and over again. Perhaps Saunders could have spent her time writing a new sitcom instead of relying on the same old idea, which, quite frankly, is being done to death. It would be a shame to see such a flagship sitcom go completely stale. Bring back Lee and Herring!
Smess, UK

The first episode was very disappointing. Recycled jokes - we've seen Eddie fall down the stairs drunk before - and manic acting intended to compensate for a weak storyline and jokes that just weren't very funny.

I hope it improves later in the series, but the BBC should really be concentrating on fresh new shows instead of trying desperately to breathe life into past successes.
Steve Bassett, England

It was never good in the first place! The most over-rated sitcom ever. It's only worth watching to see which desperate star is willing to do a cameo. We all know it's a load of over-the-top nonsense and yet no one seems willing to speak out. We need more of The Office...that was proper well-observed comedy at its finest.
G. Simpson, UK

Blasphemy! That is all I can say to those of you whose sense of humours have been "paralloxed"! As a devoted fan, congrats to all on the Ab Fab team for your infinite genius! Encore sweeties!
Ellen, England

Pure brilliance, darlings! Jennifer Saunders is a legend, a comedy genius. The script is as good as ever, strong wit, sharp lines, and fantastic performances, especially the scene with the smart car and the scooter.

I actually attended two of the recordings, the laughter is completely natural, we were in stitches. So glad it's back. Break open the bolly!
Sarah & Sophie, UK

Utterly brilliant. Ab Fab is as great as it ever was.

Jennifer, don't listen to the people who don't understand Ab Fab. More please. Don't stop after this series. It's superb. I bow down.
Penny, UK

The beginning and end were up to the standard we have come to expect, but the middle (in the nightclub) did lag terribly - why allow C-list celebs who cannot act to spoil it and take the limelight away from the real stars of the show?

But overall, it seems better than the second and third series, although nothing can match the original first series. If only they would rely on characterisation more, rather than on trying to fit in every latest fad and starlet.
Paul, UK

Ab Fab is as good as ever, and I think it is unfair to slate it after one episode. The next five are pure hilarity, and caused loads of original laughter at the recordings. Give the girls a chance!
Charlie, England

The new series is shaping up very well. Oh, those of you that thought it was boring or not funny have to realise that it's meant to be like this! It's meant to be different and we have to expect the first episode to set the scene for the series to come. Come on, lighten up sweeties!
Mark, Scotland

A marvellous return for Ab Fab, the highlights including the wonderfully ruthless "Katy Grin" (Anthea Turner anyone?), as well as the drunken Patsy attempting to inject the Parallox to Edina's face. The show has lost none of its brilliance in the five long years it's been off our screens. Can't wait for episode 2!
Kenny, England

OK, maybe 'Parallox' wasn't the best Ab Fab episode ever, still, I did find it pretty hilarious! Great dialogues, witty oneliners, fabulous acting and some slapstick moments that made me pee my pants. I am so glad Eddy and Patsy are back, roll on Fish Farm Friday!

Ms Saunders, thank you for making me cry so much - from laughing that is!
Liselotte, The Netherlands

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