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Absolutely Fabulous: Series 4 (2001)

Seasons:
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Season Info

Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley return to create more excessive substance and human abuse in another season of "Absolutely Fabulous." Edina's attempts to delay the aging process go horribly wrong, when she injects a dangerous weapons-grade chemical into her face. Later in the season the women travel to France for a mother/daughter photo shoot, dragging Saffy along with them.

Genre: Comedy

Network: BBC

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Episodes

1
Air date: Nov 11, 2001

Parallox

Five years after the events of Absolutely Fabulous: The Last Shout, Edina (Jennifer Saunders) has remodeled both her kitchen and her office, the former into a sleek modern room with a convenience-store freezer full of champagne, the latter into a paperless virtual meeting space. Partnering with manic TV presenter Katy Grin (Jane Horrocks), Eddy has also morphed her PR firm into a multimedia empire. Patsy (Joanna Lumley), meanwhile, has begun receiving injections of Parralox, a beauty treatment that paralyzes the facial muscles. Still living at home, but chasing a New Labour job so she can escape, Saffron (Julia Sawalha) dismisses Patsy's treatments as self-entombment, to which Eddy replies, "She still has emotions -- she just doesn't have to pay for them in wrinkles!" Later, at a hip club called Gate, Eddy and Patsy sneak in to hobnob with their new pal Lady Candida de Benison-Bender (Tilly Blackwood), but all three women are snubbed by the various celebrities on display. Eddy does chat a bit with Twiggy, who's now on her PR roster, about the pair's upcoming appearance on Richard and Judy (the British equivalent of Live With Regis & Kathie Lee). At home, Patsy convinces Eddy to prepare for her TV spot with just a few quick squirts of Parralox -- with disastrous results for both Eddy and Saffy. Originally broadcast on BBC 1 on August 31, 2001, Absolutely Fabulous: Parralox marked series four, episode one of this popular Britcom. Michael Greco of British TV soap Eastenders, Stephen Gately of teen group Boyzone, models Twiggy and Lady Victoria Hervey, and TV presenters Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan all make cameo appearances as themselves. The character Katy Grin is revealed to be the cousin of Eddy's assistant, Bubble; both characters are played by Jane Horrocks.

2
Air date: Nov 19, 2001

Fish Farm

After attending a Marilyn Manson concert, Edina (Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy (Joanna Lumley) terrorize Saffy (Julia Sawalha) with their drugged-up behavior. Gran (June Whitfield) is also on hand to add to the chaos, along with fellow septuagenarians Dolly (Dora Bryan) and Brice (Tim Wylton). When Saffy hires a gardener to redo the back yard, he turns out to be Jago (Crispin Bonham-Carter), younger brother of one of Patsy's one-time drug buddies and scion of a very wealthy family. When Patsy goads Eddy into throwing herself at Jago (and his fortune), he seems to reciprocate. The two arrange a dinner date, much to Saffy's consternation. When they return from supper and things start to get physical, Patsy's presence under the living-room couch complicates things. Eddy and Jago smoke some grass and get into bed, but Eddy's only memory of what follows is a vague druidic fantasy. The romance seems to be a success, but it turns out the hunky outdoorsman's lifestyle might not be as rich or glamorous as Pats and Eddy suspected. Originally broadcast on BBC 1 on September 7, 2001, Absolutely Fabulous: Fish Farm marked series four, episode two of this popular Britcom. Bonham-Carter's cousin, Helena Bonham-Carter, previously appeared in Absolutely Fabulous: Hospital. Although the episode features a running joke about Roger Daltrey, the British rocker does not appear.

3
Air date: Nov 26, 2001

Paris

Edina (Jennifer Saunders) is set to appear in a mother/daughter fashion spread to be shot in France for a glam magazine; after she fails to secure Chloe Sevigny, Kate Beckinsdale, or Liv Tyler to play her daughter, she faces the realization that real-life daughter Saffy (Julia Sawalha) will have to do. Patsy (Joanna Lumley) also plans to pose, with "face of the moment" Erin O'Connor as her fashion "daughter." Bubble (Jane Horrocks) tags along, but editor Candida de Benison-Bender (Tilly Blackwood) has to bail, leaving the gang in the hands of Dazed and Confused photographer Rimmer (Dave Gorman). After a quarrelsome ride on the Eurostar, the group arrives in Paris, where it turns out that Rimmer plans a generation-spanning neo-punk group fashion spread; Annegret Tree, on whose coattails Patsy briefly trod in the '60s, is one of the models. As Pats disrupts the proceedings and annoys Rimmer, Eddy and Saffy quarrel in a nearby café. After Eddy unflatteringly compares Saffy to Mother (June Whitfield), the previously guidebook-bound Saf agrees to do Paris her mum's way. The pair shop, dine at tony eateries, and head to the Eiffel Tower to flash their breasts at the world; Saffy, however, fails to realize she hasn't completely escaped her obligation to appear in print. Originally broadcast on BBC 1 on September 14, 2001, Absolutely Fabulous: Paris marked series four, episode two of this popular Britcom. Models Tree, O'Connor, and Daphne Selfe appear as themselves, as do jazz musician Sacha Distel and designer Christian Lacroix; Lacroix previously appeared in Absolutely Fabulous: The Last Shout. Hermine Demoriane sings a French version of the theme song "This Wheel's on Fire" over the closing credits.

4
Air date: Dec 3, 2001

Donkey

Edina (Jennifer Saunders) launches an all-out offensive on her body fat by prying the champagne glass out of her hand, adopting a boot-camp fitness program, and engaging in an intensive detoxification program -- all because of the shrewish comments of girlfriends Patsy (Joanna Lumley), Katy Grin (Jane Horrocks), Fleur (Harriet Thorpe), and Catriona (Helen Lederer) at a luncheon that resembles a scene from The Women more than it does a Sex and the City episode. Patsy, too, experiments with her appearance, foregoing her blond forelock for the first time since the '60s. In a terrible fit of the munchies, Eddy chomps down on candle wax, then endures torment from God (Marianne Faithful) and the Devil (Anita Pallenberg) as she sleeps. Eddy does cheer up a bit during a second luncheon at which she gets to show off her new, trimmer figure, but she soon sinks back into old habits -- as does Pats, who feels naked without her signature coif. Meanwhile, on a lunch date of her own, Saffy (Julia Sawalha) finds that old school chum Taylor Johns (Julian Rhind-Tutt) is more interested in an acting role in her upcoming play than he is in getting reacquainted with her. Originally broadcast on BBC 1 on September 21, 2001, Absolutely Fabulous: Donkey marked series four, episode two of this popular Britcom. Rock diva Faithful reprises her role as God from Absolutely Fabulous: The Last Shout, while Pallenberg -- ex-girlfriend of several Rolling Stones and, allegedly, Faithful herself -- appears as the Devil.

5
Air date: Dec 10, 2001

Small Opening

During a drug binge, Edina (Jennifer Saunders) commiserates with Patsy (Joanna Lumley) about her lack of fame. Soon, though, notoriety comes knocking in the form of Saffy's debut as a playwright: "Self-Raising Flower," an autobiographical drama about the girl's troubled relationship with her mother. Eddy argues savagely with Saffy (Julia Sawalha), who recalls, in flashback, her neglected childhood. Back at rehearsals, Saffy's lead actress seems to have a bit of a crush on her writer/director. Meanwhile, members of the family begin arriving, including Bo (Mo Gaffney) and Marshall (Christopher Ryan), who have converted to Judaism in order to become kabbalah-studying Hollywood insiders. Eddy tries to launch a PR campaign against Saffy's play, but the offensive fails to get off the ground because opening night is nigh. Soon, the budding auteur is off to the theater with Gran (June Whitfield), Bubble (Jane Horrocks), Sarah (Naoko Mori), Bo, Marshall, and Justin (Christopher Malcolm). Edina and Patsy, of course, can't stay away, but they're shocked at the accuracy of Saffy's portrayal of their lives. Originally broadcast on BBC 1 on September 28, 2001, Absolutely Fabulous: Small Opening marked series four, episode five of this popular Britcom. The scenes -- and even the costumes -- in "Self-Raising Flower" are all lifted more or less directly from earlier episodes of "AbFab." Gaffney, Malcolm, and Ryan all make their Absolutely Fabulous series four bows with this episode.

6
Air date: Dec 17, 2001

Menopause

Edina (Jennifer Saunders) suffers a professional crisis while Patsy (Joanna Lumley) begins menopause in the final episode of Absolutely Fabulous series four. After Bubble (Jane Horrocks) accidentally emails Eddy's address book to rival PR impresario Claudia Bing (Celia Imrie), Eddy's client roster is reduced to Twiggy -- until even the waifish supermodel abandons ship. Soon even Edina's new TV partnership with Katy Grin (Jane Horrocks) is in question, and Eddy must think on her feet if she wants to retain any sort of career. Meanwhile, Patsy's brittle bones begin cracking like matchsticks, and it's up to Saffy (Julia Sawalha) to educate her about menopause and osteoporosis. Saffy organizes a Menopause Anonymous meeting to help Patsy and Eddy get in touch with their inner crones; Bo (Mo Gaffney) crashes, adding her distinctively New Age touch to the proceedings. Ultimately, hormone patches effect strange changes in Patsy's behavior, leaving Saffy with horrific visions of a lifetime spent caring for the old hag. Originally broadcast on BBC 1 on October 5, 2001, Absolutely Fabulous: Menopause marked series four, episode six of this popular Britcom. Celia Imrie reprises her role as Claudia Bing from Absolutely Fabulous: Jealous. "AbFab" script editor Ruby Wax, a longtime collaborator of writer/star Jennifer Saunders, plays one of the menopausal masses; Wax previously guest-starred in Absolutely Fabulous: The End as one of the snooty New York fashion editors who snubs Patsy.

7
Air date: Dec 27, 2002

Specials (2002) - Gay

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