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October 20, 2014

Fox says "no, sweetie darling" to US AbFab

by Allison Waldman, posted May 14th 2009 5:27PM
ab fab duoRemember that American version of Absolutely Fabulous that Fox was so high on? Well, they are high no more. Fox has passed on AbFab after viewing the pilot. Now while I am not the kind of person to be happy about someone else's failure, this is an instance in which I'm thrilled that this show is going nowhere.

After seeing how some UK shows have been mangled in the American adaptation -- Life on Mars (although it had its fans), Worst Week, Coupling, Eleventh Hour -- I am glad that the only Ab/Fab I will ever have to savor will be the original.

The fact is that even with Jennifer Saunders on board to work on the American version, Absolutely Fabulous was an essentially British show. It was also a show of its time, the '90s. Eddy and Patsy's antics were outrageously topical, including all the arcane British references to pop culture, drugs, booze, fashion, PR and cosmetic surgery.

Updating it for now and adding American stars, even someone as terrific as Kristen Johnson playing Patsy Stone, was never going to capture the magic of the original. No actresses were ever going to match the career best performances put in by Jennifer Saunders (Edina Monsoon), Joanna Lumly (Patsy), Julia Sawalha (Saffy), June Whitfield (Grandma) and Jane Horrocks (Bubble).

Now, I know someone out there is going to tell me that I'm wrong. It's okay, we're allowed to disagree. And it's true that a great UK comedy like The Office has managed to find its own excellent comic vibe after NBC gave it some time to grow, but the odds were against AbFab. So, today I'm just as glad to check out the BBC America schedule and watch the original in reruns, because there, sweetie, darling, those laughs will never fade away.

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Continuum

It would be impossible to repaint a masterpiece. A remake of the original show would be like a fake Beatles group. They may know all the songs, but it just ain't quite the same performance.

June 14 2009 at 12:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hannah

I disagree that it was a 90's show i can watch it now and still be nearly dying with laughter! I loved the UK AB FAB and i am a long standing fan Jennifer Saunders and will follow what ever she does, i was a little anxious when they announced they were going to try a US version, to be honest the only reason why many would have watched because Jennifer Saunders was behind the production and writing! I am now glad that the UK version will be what i can remember from this wonderful show as it will never be beaten no matter how many times they try to remake it you cant beat the truley wonderful work on Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumely!

June 11 2009 at 10:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
d miller

Ack! Agree that a remake would have been impossible. Totally disagree about it being a product of the '90's only because Saunders once said it had actually been conceived as a very 80's type show (over-the-top fashionistas, etc...) and she didn't understand why it had been so big in the nineties (and beyond). Besides which, the most recent past bling era (remember the one before the crash where eveyone was getting granite tops put in their kitchen and "madeover" on tv?) was even worse than the eighties (or nineties)!!!

June 08 2009 at 4:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chuck

Well that is Fox's loss, this show was hilarious.

May 28 2009 at 10:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pearwater

Oh please! This wasn't first attempt and this won't be the last...so even thought I sorta bummed out it won't be made. It will get made at some point. Maybe not today, tommorrow...but it will....because you know there is a Producer thinking....I can do it! So there maybe a clooective sigh of relief...this is a business....Money Talks.

May 24 2009 at 6:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dena Binoche

Hello,
I commented on the article titled....Us AbFab, written by Allison Waldman. I stand by every word in my rant, as what was written comes from my heart. However, I regret writing the little bit. It is very negative and degrading to those struggling to produce material in such a difficult, reality TV based media atmosphere. I am studying to be a journalist and would like to build a reputation of positive writing in a negative world. Please, if you would be so kind, remove my comments from your blog. If you don't, lesson learned. "SELF CONTROL IS TRUE POWER".

Dena B

May 21 2009 at 11:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dena Binoche

As a huge and longtime fan of anything written or starring Jennifer Saunders, especially UK AB FAB, I did not hold much faith in the American version of AB FAB. I was happy to hear that Jennifer Saunders was added as a producer on the show and I still intended to watch in support of her efforts. But frankly speaking, I can't think of anyone, of ANY nationality, especially American, who could step into the shoes vacated by Ms. Saunders and Ms. Lumley. I will catch flack for what I am about to write next but WHAT THE HELL! America is in a slow process of ridding itself of the George W. Bush (DO WHAT I SAY, NOT WHAT I DO) era. America's sense of humor is rather dull, careful not to offend, written and delivered by untalented people. Thank heavens, UK AB FAB will remain untainted by American hands!
Dena B.

May 18 2009 at 7:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
njjoenj

OH THANK GAWD..

May 15 2009 at 12:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rick cokely

Mitch Hurwitz, Jennifer Saunders and Kristen Johnson. I just don't see how this could end up badly.

May 15 2009 at 9:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jim

I'm sad but I hope it gives Mitch Hurwitz more time for the Arrested Development movie

May 14 2009 at 10:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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