Absolutely Fabulous: It’s the Olympics, Sweetie Darling
While the rest of the world watched the spectacular opening ceremony for the London Olympic Games, Out There was watching a screener of the new Absolutely Fabulous episode that takes place during the London Olympic Games. Fans of the classic British sitcom greeted the U.S. premiere of the third new 20th anniversary Ab Fab special on Logo this week with laurels and hosannas. If OT could afford Bollinger champagne on our B.A.R. salary, we’d have popped it and poured ourselves a Bolly-Stoli.
Eddy (Jennifer Saunders, also the series’ creator) has rented out her house to Hollywood royalty Michael Douglas during the Olympics, but she and best chum Patsy (Joanna Lumley) plan to stick around and glom onto MD’s pile of A-list invitations. Daughter Saffron (Julia Sawalha), just back from her new life as part of a polygamous marriage in Africa, and Mother (June Whitfield) complete the domestic picture, with Eddy’s assistant Bubble (Jane Horrocks ) just about stealing the show in a series of Olympic athlete outfits. Truly, Bubble does a wicked Nadia Comaneci .
Instead of Douglas arriving, however, Eddy’s guests turn out to be her diminutive ex-husband Marshall (Chris Ryan ) and his American girlfriend Bo (Mo Gaffney), who have been given his London stay as a gift. Bo claims Marshall has "caught" sex addiction from MD. Even playing an annoying, shrewish character, Gaffney stays her inimitable buoyant self.
Eddy and Patsy are grappling with their status as seniors (has it really been 20 years since E. made off with the "P.R. P.R. award?"), and they’re determined to remain party girls to the last. Eddy lends Patsy her "control body" hose, which is a mistake as they wind up "crushing whatever organs she has left." Feeling for Patsy’s pulse, Saffy remarks with horror that she doesn’t have one. Eddy: "She’s never had a pulse, sweetie darling!"
Eddy manages to insult and alienate celebrity designer Stella McCartney and 2004 gold medal winner Kelly Holmes in cameo appearances. But despite their contempt for the Olympics - "bloody sport!" - the Ab Fab gals end up with a private preview of the Olympic Stadium, where they indulge in a fantasy sequence about winning the gold. Ceremoniously, Edina lights the Olympic torch - from which Patsy promptly lights her cigarette. Just like old times.
In a lead-up to the special, Logo ran a marathon of the Top 10 most popular Absolutely Fabulous episodes, as voted on by viewers. We don’t know which ones reaped the honors, but we hope they included OT’s favorite Ab Fab ep, "Morocco." This is the one where Pats and Eddy take a trip to the Casbah, where they carouse, smoke hash ("It’s legal here, so you can’t disapprove," Eddy tells Saffy), ogle young men, and yes, sell Saffy off to white slave-traders. Rationale: "She said she wanted to see how the real people live!" Classic. We don’t know how we’ll get through another AbFab drought.
Anyway, preparing for the onslaught of Olympics media coverage, Out There watched a series of YouTube videos of famous fiascos that transpired during opening ceremonies. Perhaps the most can’t-watch-it, can’t-look-away of them all was the footage of the Seoul Olympic Games opening ceremony, which began with the launching of hundreds of white doves to symbolize peace, a worthy gesture. But not all of the doves flew away, and some chose to perch on the rim of the Olympic Torch - so that millions of viewers watched in horror as the Torch was lit and many unfortunate birds were flame-roasted alive. Tastes like chicken.