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5.0 out of 5 stars Saunders & Lumley still Fabulous? ABSOLUTELY!
The team of Brit-Broads out for lavish living on other people's dime are going stronger than ever. With nothing to stop them, their daily trivial ticks keep viewers in stitches. Whether dealing with Sapphie's secret pregnancy or other socially rlevant issues (like passing for 37 when you're way into your 50s), the dynamic duo meets all challenges of life with a toast, a...
Published on July 10 2004 by Michael Mathena

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars unforgivable......
I am not as forgiving as the previous reviewer who, while upset that the 'Chicago' parody is excluded from the disc, can easily overlook it.
It was bad enough that "The First Cut is the Deepest" was removed from all video releases of 'The Last Shout," and nearly unforgivable that this box set loses the Debbie Harry vocals from the theme song (replaced...
Published on March 17 2004 by William R. Krupp


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars unforgivable......, March 17 2004
By 
William R. Krupp "wrk6539" (Boston, MA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I am not as forgiving as the previous reviewer who, while upset that the 'Chicago' parody is excluded from the disc, can easily overlook it.
It was bad enough that "The First Cut is the Deepest" was removed from all video releases of 'The Last Shout," and nearly unforgivable that this box set loses the Debbie Harry vocals from the theme song (replaced by an instrumental version) but to lose the SINGLE best moment of the fifth series, and one of the highlights of the ENTIRE run is just beyond the pale!!!!!
I cannot fault Warner Home Video, who merely distributes BBC product in Region 1, but I wonder why the BBC has such difficulty with "music rights" issues. Considering the amount of money that French and Saunders fans have spent on their products over the years, I do not accept that the BBC can't afford to clear these issues prior to (inevitable) video releases.
It galls me that the horribly presented Oxygen versions are more complete than the dvd but, we consumers are just the folks who hand over our money.....we don't really matter.
On the plus side, the dvd series is otherwise flawless.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Series Five, May 26 2004
By A Customer
Hi,
I love Ab Fab but I am mixed about this season. I think many of the skits were mean with no real humor.
There were some fun parts in the Christmas skit like when we meet Bo and Marshall again-their new line of work is so fun-and when we see Jackie for the last time! Buy if you love Ab Fab, but I fear in the end you will be left with one thought: mean.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tarnishing a brilliant legacy., April 8 2004
I've been a longtime Ab Fab fan but Series 5 is dire. One of the first things I noticed was the high-contrast harsh studio lighting, it looks horrible. Secondly the script has few laughs and lots of dialog that just sounds like gibberish. I sat patiently waiting for punchlines that never arrived. The ratio of meanness has also increased to a level that overrides any heart that the show had, Patsy is shrill and hateful without the humor of earlier episodes to balance her character.
All of the characters have been pushed to such an extreme that they no longer have any humanity to them, they're cartoonish. I found watching these episodes to be quite depressing, not a feeling you want from a comedy series.
The celebrity cameos are pointless and painfully unfunny, particularly Kristin Scott Thomas. Their presence seems to weigh down the comedy rather than enhance it. There's simply too much going on in each episode, remember how funny the earlier episodes were with fewer characters? Most scenes of this series seem crowded with needless characters that are more annoying than funny.
It's time for Ab Fab to be put out to pasture before it goes any further downhill than this.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear, oh dear..., July 12 2004
I'll never forget the first time I saw 'Absolutely Fabulous'. I was 15 years old and Series 2 was re-running on BBC One. It was the episode 'Death' and from the second Eddie's recurring oddball Jamaican Nurse bandaged her for her mud wrap to the close with Patsy falling into an open grave, I laughed deepr and harder than I had in a very, very long time.
Sticking with the buzz, I treated myself to Series One on VHS - excellent - and was duly rewarded by Series 4 after a very lacklustre Series 3. Inbetween, the almighty 'Last Shout' tided me over, and thanks to those interminable re-runs, even Series 3 grew on me after a while.
Which brings me full-circle to this, the complete series 5.
Now, oddly enough, this isn't available here in Region 2 on DVD just yet, so I am prepared to put up with minor (yet completely unforgivable in terms of necessity) flaws like the absence of Debbie Harry's vocal on the opening credits, and the lack of the 'Chicago' scene from the 'Birthin' episode (I did catch that one on TV, and believe me, American buddies, you're missing nothing. In vulgar parlance - it SUCKED), but what I was not prepared for in the slightest is the total lack of laughter, smiles and general Humour that made the first four series such a wonderful thing to watch.
For every decent, solid joke (Bubble's New Duchess persona, Patsy's recurring collagen disasters, Eddie singing Christmas Carols) there are three or four totally humour-free incidents (Eddy and Patsy worrying Saffy about post-pregnancy womanhood, preditable and tired Liza & David jokes, Bo and Marshall's infomercial, all appearances by TitiCaca, the entire 'Huntin', Shootin', Fishin' episode, etc etc etc). Laugh-For-Laugh, it's not great, and a feeble second even to the rushed, gimmicky 'Gay' TV Special.
One reviewer here levels a criticism at the studio lighting, and he/she is completely, 100% correct on this score - the harsh, high-contrast key-lighting ratio makes for a cheap and tawdry-looking Monsoon household, and, rather than looking like their fabulous selves, Eddy and Patsy now look like scary old has-beens. Even at DVD quality it's difficult to see detail sometimes, and the whole visual quality is very amateurish - NOT the Thing, sweetie.
Worryingly, Sauders seems to be taking parts of her writing into a 'Surreal' and decidedly less funny area - what works for Britcoms like 'The League of Gentlemen' and 'The Fast Show' most certainly does not work with Eddy and Patsy - case in point, the opening 1940's sequence of 'Huntin', Shootin', Fishin', the Patsy voodoo doll and the 'Boobarella' skits, while solid surreal comedy ideas, are not well-suited to a show where the whole raison d'etre is to keep one's finger on the pulse.
For all the bad points, however, there are some classic moments - Katy Grin and the Tank, 'Big Mother', "Is he from a-Gabon?", and Patsy & the pheasant - but these moments of true Ab Fab glory are few and far between, and I, for one, can't force a smile for that length of time while waiting for them to appear.
DVD-wise all is good, the outakes are plentiful (if bog-standard, most outtakes from everything seem to be people getting the same line wrong ad nauseam) and the presentation and audio are top-notch.
Sadly I cannot recommend this DVD to anyone but the most avid of Ab Fab completists. It's rare that I consider an Amazon purchase a waste of $40, but there it is.
Not Good.
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2.0 out of 5 stars meaner than all the other seasons, Oct. 1 2005
By 
Luke (Chilliwack, British Columbia Canada) - See all my reviews
This season has a meaner tone to it that all of the others, the episode book clubbin' especially, before when they insulted each other it was funny, but in this episode it went from funny to mean VERY quickly, the best episode from this season was panickin' but even that ain't saying much, the first episode was pretty good, but the others weren't up to par of the other seasons
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5.0 out of 5 stars Saunders & Lumley still Fabulous? ABSOLUTELY!, July 10 2004
By 
Michael Mathena "Michael Mathena" (Valley City, Ohio) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The team of Brit-Broads out for lavish living on other people's dime are going stronger than ever. With nothing to stop them, their daily trivial ticks keep viewers in stitches. Whether dealing with Sapphie's secret pregnancy or other socially rlevant issues (like passing for 37 when you're way into your 50s), the dynamic duo meets all challenges of life with a toast, a snort, and a late breakfast (around 2 pm).
The incredibly talented cast of "characters" include Edina's long-suffering 20-ish daughter, the gave-up-on-Edina-long-ago elderly mother, Edina's dipsy secretary with ESP (she knows someone is about to ring the door bell -- because they sent a telegram announcing their visit), Edina's estranged ex-husbands and their new spouces (one female, one male), and a line of celebrities playing themselves.
Absolutely Fabulous is the "hippest" show on television, ridiculing society's conventions and focusing on "living" at all cost. The "who cares?" attitude, which seems to always drop the lead characters down on the ground in the end, nonetheless gives the Ab-Fab Duo a false sense of victory. One "last line" says it best: "In the end it was all good, though, wasn't it?" Good? It was FABULOUS!*****
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5.0 out of 5 stars Oh, sweetie!, June 21 2004
By 
J. Kelley "dahozho" (Mid-Atlantic coast) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Season five is *happenin'* babe! With that 2-3 year break, Jennifer Saunders gets these characters back to where she intended-- a comedy with unsympathetic characters. As usual, a tremedous cast of regulars, with some really *fun* guest appearances!! Jane Horrocks really cuts loose with both her Bubbles and Katy Grin. Julia Sahwala is very good at the martyered daughter and new mom. Jennifer and Joanna are excellent-- both in the physical humour and etc.
Yes, it isn't 'nice' comedy (perhaps Jennifer & Ade have moved Richie and Eddie (Bottom) up several social rungs and made them women?), but it is wickedly funny, and good escapism. This is definitely not for a younger crowd.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Eddy and Patsy are back!, April 16 2004
By 
Byron Kolln (the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood) - See all my reviews
ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS returns for a fifth series of unbridled fun and hilarity, with 8 superb new episodes. Join Eddy and Patsy as they sink even lower into the abyss...
"Cleanin'" - With Saffy gone on a long-overdue holiday, Patsy and Eddy have the house to themselves, though curiously it isn't everything they imagined it would be. Eddy has moved her PR business into her living-room, with several high-profile new clients on the books including Emma Bunton. Suddenly Saffy returns..with an announcement that will send Eddy's world into a tailspin.
"Book Clubbin'" - Eddy and Patsy's little book club meets to discuss their latest selection, an abridged mini version of 'The Picture of Dorian Gray', though Mariella Frostrup fails to bring her celebrity pals. Meanwhile Saffy invites her boyfriend around to break the big news.
"Panickin'" - Eddy installs a panic room, whilst Patsy tries to get chummy with Minnie Driver. Real panic ensues when a lockdown occurs leaving Eddy and Patsy trapped in the high-tech fortress, leaving Minnie in the 'capable' hands of Bubble.
"Huntin' Shootin' Fishin'" - Eddy is doing some Royal PR so she and Pats decide to travel down to the country to see how the other half live. Saffy holds her baby shower with Emma Bunton and her ever-bizarre old school friend Sarah (aka 'Titty KaKa')
"Birthin'" - Saffy has gone into labour, ruining Patsy's expensive outfit when her water breaks. Marshall and Bo stop by for another strange interlude, whilst Katy Grin has been cast as Roxie Hart in 'Chicago'.
"Schmoozin'" - The lost Beatle tapes have been found, and Eddy's in love again, this time with an old school flame. Patsy's old sex films get released by a Japanese company including 'Boobarella'.
"Exploitin'" - Patsy has signed up baby Jane (or Lola) with an infant modelling agency, and a job has come up for a Jean Paul Gautier photo shoot at the zoo. The only problem is getting around Saffy...
"Cold Turkey" - Christmas has come again, and this time Eddy's staying home with the family. Patsy, in a moment of sheer rage, finally lets Eddy have it before mysteriously passing out. In the hospital, Patsy is told she is dying. Her wayward sister Jackie comes to visit, but does she have a more sinister motive? Is this really the end for Pats....?
AB FAB finally raises the bar after the lacklustre Series 4. Once again Jennifer Saunders has given us a hilarious, laughter-filled ride. Longtime fans rejoice: Series 5 is one to treasure!
Starring Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha, Jane Horrocks and June Whitfield. Guest starring Kate O'Mara as Jackie, Elton John, Clarissa Dickson Wright, Kristen Scott Thomas, Mariella Frostrup, Emma Bunton, Minnie Driver, Jean Paul Gautier and Naoko Mori as Sarah.
'
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bollocks!, April 8 2004
By 
Daryn Malof "darmal5" (Cincinnati) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The fifth season of AB FAB was far zanier than the previous seasons, followed more of a plot throughout the entire season (to a degree), and was overall more hilarious. Tons of guest stars too!
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5.0 out of 5 stars FABULOUS SWEETIE!, April 7 2004
By A Customer
Why is the first review a one star review?!? Are you crazy? Season 5 is ABSOLUTELY on par with the rest. Try watching all 5 series (+ the special) DVD in their broadcast order and you'll see series 5 fits in great. I hope Jennifer Saunders will keep producing the series. It's great to see the characters grow from season to season (love the new 'John Johnson'). I highly recommend series 5 for any true Ab Faber. Definately worth checking out.
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Absolutely Fabulous: Complete Series 5
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