Absolutely Fabulous: Series 1 (1992)

SEASON:

Series 1
Absolutely Fabulous

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Episodes

Air date: Nov 12, 1992

In the inaugural episode of popular Brit-com Absolutely Fabulous, a drinking binge and a fashion event provide the framework in which to introduce several of the show's primary characters: slothful forty-ish PR exec Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders); her caustic, no-nonsense daughter, Saffron (Julia Sawalha); her hard-drinking, coke-snorting, sexed-up best friend, Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley); and Bubble (Jane Horrocks), her intellect-free personal assistant. As the show begins, Edina is nursing yet another hangover -- until she realizes that today's the day the firm she owns is throwing a great big fashion show. After trading barbs with Saffron (or "Saffy") and lunching with the chic, disdainful Patsy, Edina finally drags herself into the office for a few hours of frantic activity. Bubble reports that big draw Yasmin LeBon has dropped out of the runway ranks and that Princess Anne has replaced Princess Diana on the guest list. Vowing to get the frumpy, fashion-challenged royal into a designer gown if it's the last thing she does, "Eddy" rushes around at the last minute to fill her event with such B-list celebrities as Betty Boo and Danni Minogue. After the event, Eddy proceeds to get utterly smashed with her perennial partner in crime, Patsy, much to the disgust of an unsympathetic Saffy, who locks her mother out of the house. Absolutely Fabulous: Fashion was originally broadcast on BBC 1 on November 12, 1992. In a flashback sequence, the episode introduces Edina's mother, June (June Whitfield), who will become a regular guest-star in subsequent episodes. Several other characters and plot threads are introduced obliquely, including Eddy's relationships with her ex-husbands and her long-lost son, Serge. Absolutely Fabulous: Fashion also includes countless jokey references to minor British celebrities whose names may mystify American audiences.

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Air date: Nov 19, 1992

After struggling unsuccessfully to fit into a variety of unflattering outfits, Edina (Jennifer Saunders) tries to cook up yet another quick weight-loss plan, much to the annoyance of Saffy (Julia Sawalha), who points out that her mother eats, drinks, and smokes incessantly and takes no exercise, therefore guaranteeing a continued weight problem. The issue takes on a degree of urgency when Bubble (Jane Horrocks) reveals that Penny Casper-Morse (Alexandra Bastedo) -- a rail-thin old nemesis of Eddy's from the old days -- will arrive in a few days to talk about a possible business deal. Patsy (Joanna Lumley) advises emergency liposuction (with a bit of collagen injection for good measure), but a nightmare in which her body is vacuumed away to a wisp convinces Eddy that exercise is the real answer. However, after a workout session with Patsy's new beau, the fit and fabulous Georgy (Anthony Asbury), Eddy is ready to go under the knife -- especially when she learns that Penny will be arriving early. Originally broadcast on BBC 1 on November 19, 1992, Absolutely Fabulous: Fat marked series one, episode two of this popular Brit-com. June Whitfield makes her first non-flashback appearance as Mother/Gran, while Christopher Malcolm provides his first of many guest spots as Justin -- Edina's gay ex-husband and Saffy's father.

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Air date: Nov 26, 1992

Although she's trying to launch a new interior decorating venture, Eddy (Jennifer Saunders) decides to take a vacation in the French countryside with Patsy (Joanna Lumley). The pair become lost in Provence, then must suffer through their holiday in a second-class cottage, bored out of their minds. Unable to speak French -- or to find provisions in the nearby town -- they become convinced that the old Frenchman who keeps knocking on their door means no good. The terrified, hungry women soon summon Saffron (Julia Sawalha), who arrives with supplies and Bubble (Jane Horrocks) in tow. In the haze of long walks, table tennis, and cocktails, the dim-witted PA quickly forgets about the papers that Edina needs to sign in order to save her decorating scheme. When Bubble finally presents the papers to her employer, Edina loses it, rushing back to London just in time to get nabbed by customs for the suspicious white powder stashed in Patsy's purse. Originally broadcast on BBC 1 on November 26, 1992, Absolutely Fabulous: France marked series one, episode three of this popular Brit-com. Eddy and Pats would take several more holidays in subsequent installments, including Absolutely Fabulous: Morocco and Absolutely Fabulous: The Last Shout.

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Air date: Dec 3, 1992

Saffron (Julia Sawalha) meets at home with her fellow students to plan a school report while her mother, Edina (Jennifer Saunders), floats upstairs in the new aquatic isolation tank she's ordered from Los Angeles. This being Edina, of course, she doesn't brave the iso tank alone; best pal Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley) is also there, chain smoking as usual. After the gruesome twosome crash Saffy's study session to coo lasciviously at Danny (James Lance), an uncharacteristically cute new addition to the girl's nerdy social circle, Patsy heads off after the young lad. Edina then throws a typical tantrum in order to elicit an invitation to attend Saffy's presentation at the school. Threatening to adopt a Romanian baby if she doesn't get her way, Edina even goes so far as to phone her usually empty-headed personal assistant, Bubble (Jane Horrocks), who has become a crisp, efficient force of nature ever since meeting with an occupational hypnotist. When Bubble vanishes, leaving word that "the goods" from Romania are on their way, Eddy shrugs it off and heads for the school, which Saffy has graciously allowed her to visit. Whisked off for a school tour with the headmaster, Patsy and Eddy flash back to their own school days, when Eddy got Pats in trouble for getting it on with a male student named Tony (Tim Woodward). When the headmaster of Saffy's school turns out to be the very same Tony, the old flames get hot and heavy -- right in the classroom where Saffy is giving her presentation. Meanwhile, a woman from the adoption agency arrives, several dark-haired orphans in tow. But with all of this going on, who could that be floating in Eddy's isolation tank? Originally broadcast on BBC 1 on December 3, 1992, Absolutely Fabulous: Iso Tank marked series one, episode four of this popular Brit-com.

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Air date: Dec 10, 1992

On the morning of her 40th birthday, a sullen Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders) resists daughter Saffron's every attempt to cheer her up. Lashing out monstrously at Saffy (Julia Sawalha), Eddy is disappointed to learn that instead of a star-studded surprise party, the girl has planned a quiet lunch with family members. Both of Eddy's ex-husbands will be there, but long-lost son Serge, of course, is busy in a Hawaiian volcano. After grudgingly accepting a pair of Christian Lacroix earrings and abusing Saffy to the point of domestic violence, Eddy retires sullenly to her room, where she remains even as the guests arrive. When sidekick Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley) fails to return from a champagne-foraging mission, however, Eddy makes an accidental splash entrance into her own 'do. As she grows increasingly drunk and belligerent, Eddy insults her gay ex-husband, Justin (Christopher Malcolm); his lover, Oliver (Gary Beadle); her recovering alcoholic ex-husband, Marshall (Christopher Ryan); Bo (Mo Gaffney), his controlling, New Age girlfriend; and perennial targets Saffy and Mother (June Whitfield). Along the way, the party guests learn the long-hidden secret that Edina is receiving double alimony from her exes -- a revelation that will come back to haunt her during the second-series episode Absolutely Fabulous: Poor. In the meantime, Patsy and Eddy get down with the help of Justin's gift: a karaoke machine programmed with the most obvious '60s hits. Originally broadcast on BBC 1 on December 17, 1992, Absolutely Fabulous: Birthday marked series one, episode six of this popular Brit-com.

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Air date: Dec 17, 1992

When Edina (Jennifer Saunders) takes up with her first boyfriend in ages, Patsy (Joanna Lumley) finds her role in her best friend's life suddenly reduced even though she's recently moved into the Monsoon household. Even worse, she actually has to show up at work for once -- to attend a meeting with fast-talking editor Magda (Kathy Burke); dim, ornamental staffers Catriona (Helen Lederer) and Fleur (Harriet Thorpe); and the ridiculously erudite gourmand Hamish (Adrian Edmondson). Suckered into giving a pair of fashion nobodies a makeover on a chat show hosted by unassuming everywoman Kathy (Dawn French), Pats makes a Faustian pact with Saffron (Julia Sawalha): If Saf and Gran (June Whitfield) will become her sartorial guinea pigs, she'll move back into her own flat and she won't try to destroy Eddy's new romance. Originally broadcast on BBC 1 on December 10, 1992, Absolutely Fabulous: Magazine marked series one, episode five of this popular Brit-com. French, who co-created the original sketch on which "AbFab" was based, appears as cheerful TV host Kathy. Acclaimed comedic and character actress Burke makes first of several appearances as the no-nonsense Magda. In a flashback sequence, Eleanor Bron also appears as Patsy's mother; Bron would appear again in Absolutely Fabulous: Birth.

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Absolutely Fabulous: Series 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

Patsy (Joanna Lumley) and Edina (Jennifer Saunders) smoke, snort, and swill their way through life in this acclaimed British comedy series. Series one sees the ladies arrange a fashion show, try to get fit, and go to France. Edina also celebrates her fortieth birthday, AbFab-style, and Patsy bravely attempts to go to work.

Critic Reviews for Absolutely Fabulous Series 1

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (5)

Jennifer Saunders, who writes the show and plays Edina, can evoke both laughter and sympathy just belly-sliding down a flight of stairs.

Sep 18, 2018 | Full Review…

Once past its shock concept, however, Ab Fab (as its overseas fans call it) simply doesn't have the punchlines to match the wonderfully over-the-top performances of Saunders and Lumley.

Sep 17, 2018 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

What's best, even now, is the physical comedy.

Sep 14, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Saunders and Edina are forces to be reckoned with from the very beginning of Episode 1, when Edina wakes in her fashionable bedroom well after dawn has cracked.

Sep 18, 2018 | Full Review…

But the characters are originals, and "AbFab" has the courage of its convictions, encouraging audiences to find humor in such recent comedic taboos as substance abuse or mistreated offspring.

Sep 18, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Occasionally you get a genuinely fearless woman or two, like Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French, and they proceed as if there were no weight of history on them as they write uncompromisingly accurate comedy like Absolutely Fabulous.

Oct 31, 2018 | Full Review…

Hilarious in jokes and off-the-wall observations on life from the two opinionated, amoral main characters top off this riotous show.

Sep 17, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Absolutely Fabulous is exactly what it is titled as, and that's no hyperbole.

Sep 11, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Absolutely Fabulous: Series 1

  • Dec 27, 2018
    Ab Fab gets off to a great start with this fantastically funny first series.
  • Nov 28, 2018
    Absolutely Fabolous. Even though I’m not native english speaker I find this show hilarious. Patsy and her lines are just incredibly funny. Totally love it! ??
  • Dec 12, 2017
    This show is hilarious. I love them.
  • Dec 24, 2016
    omg loved it, very funny
  • Nov 08, 2016
    YES the beginning of brilliance.
  • Aug 25, 2014
    The most intelligent, witty, funny and still actual texts ever written to a TV show. By Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French.
  • Apr 30, 2014
    A great start to a fantastic series!

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