Monday, December 17, 2018

Ab Fab or Drab Flab? Dreadfully Embarrassing Methinks!

by Horatio Leadbelly (writer), Wrong side of the tracks, December 26, 2011

Credit: Drug Enforcement Administration employee
Ecstacy Pills - In relation to the time period the show was recorded.
watch the video

Set cringe factor to 11 and prepare to bite your knuckles.....

Being somewhat nostalgic, I decided to snuggle up with a bottle of red wine to see what the Ab Fab team had come up with because I was feeling down in the dumps due to financial stress and needed cheering up. Needless to say the first sip was astonishingly hard to swallow and as the situation unfolded I actually thought about beating myself over the head with the bottle in order to make the pain go away. This was going to be a very very very long hour.

Permit me to sidestep into different reality stream for a moment, where another aging diva has made a comeback but with greater ease and much more charisma. Like any show which breaks new ground "American Horror Story" with Jessica Lange has remained obscure but I can guarantee you that next season it will be all over Facebook. Seems that today it's not quality that counts but popularity. Anyway, for those that have seen the show they make it very clear where in time the story is unfolding in order not to confuse the viewer (i.e. "Spring 1977" or "The Roaring Twenties" or whatever). But it's done subtly in order to let those watching retain some feeling of intelligence. The Ab Fab team seem to be working on the assumption that their fans are somewhat brain dead from over consumption of Ecstasy during the 90's. Personally, I found it insulting and thought their "bull in a china shop" tactics way over the top. A little subtitle at the start of the show saying "Christmas 2011" would have sufficed or I would have pissed myself had Saunders come out with a screeching megaphone shouting "It's twoooo thousanddddd and eleeeeeven" but sadly they felt the audience mentally incapable of knowing the year through set furnishing alone.

From the opening scene with Jennifer fumbling for her Iphone alarm with matching Ipad in your face on the bedside table things quickly got out of hand. It was like being machine-gunned with helpful hints as to my present temporal location. Next came a Twitter reference (thrice I might add, just for those who had become deaf from standing too close to the bass speakers in House clubs) followed by a drive through Brixton while shouting out "Dubstep Dubstep" and when they finally got Saffron home they decided to discuss the this year's News highlights focusing on the London riots. Ok guys, we get the F?%§ing message!

What really made it irritating was that despite letting us know where we stood timewise the girls also felt it necessary to retain the same format which had made the earlier episodes such a hit (or maybe they were dummifying it for the American market) including outdated attire, slapstick pantomime humour and the obligatory over the top canned laughter (which I found too frequent and too loud, talk about leading the bull by the nose ring). I could easily have been watching "One foot in the grave" or "Father Ted" but would have accepted them as humorous in an innocent archaic sort of way. But comedy has changed while the Ab Fab team remain firmly cemented in the early 90's. Girls, you can't have your cake and eat it. Not even Doctor Who could fix such a paradox. The cast look withered and the lines seemed forced which is totally unacceptable for such talented artists. Move on , I say! There's flogging a dead horse and there's chopping it into pieces, putting it through a meat grinder, then a blender and finally trampling it with Dutch clogs. There comes a point when one should let a dead dog sleep. Hardcore fans may find my review unfair but hardcore fans of anything tend to be over-forgiving so I won't be offended. What's really sad is that I hear there are further episodes and a movie in the pipeline so the only advice I have to those involved come from the "Monty Python" crew; "Run away! Run away!".

About the Writer

Horatio Leadbelly is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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