Gay Wired has a photo from the set of the Americanized Ab Fab, which I am extremely skeptical about – even with the inspired casting of Kristen Johnson and Kathryn Hann and original Ab Fab star Jennifer Saunders heavily involved. I realize The Office worked out just fine, but it is a rare, rare example (think another iconic gay series – Queer as Folk – the UK version of which was one of the most poignant and realized television series of the past 25 years; the US version of which was a poorly written, uninspired garbage). And as great as the original Office was, Ab Fab is a fucking institution, and it shouldn’t be messed with. I’ve probably seen every episode 10 times, and it will take some mighty creativity for me to warm up to anyone – even Saunders herself – trying to recreate it. Don’t get me wrong, I hope they succeed (but Johnson’s below noted fact that the “new Eddy” and the “new Patsy” are non-smokers is not a good sign). I just wish that this wasn’t going on network television so it could take the risks it needs to take to come out on its own. Had this been an HBO project, I’d be (slightly) less apprehensive.
Agrees Gay Wired:
The unspeakable has begun. FOX has started filming the pilot for its American remake of Absolutely Fabulous, a favorite show of nearly every gay man living today. For years now there has been talk of an American re-imagining, but for some (good) reason, the project never came to fruition.
The two leads were announced last month, mostly to public dismay. The role of Edina (Eddy) Monsoon will be played by Kathryn Hahn, known for her role in Revolutionary Road and as a co-star on the series Crossing Jordan. And the role of Eurydice Colette Clytemnestra Dido Bathsheba Rabelais Patricia Cocteau (Patsy) Stone, everyone’s favorite chain-smoking boozehound, will be played by Kristen Johnston, famous from her role on the series Third Rock From the Sun and a few guest spots on Sex and the City.
Candid photos of the pilot’s filming show the two actresses in crazy designer outfits, which means at least the writers got something right. Of course, it will take a lot more than kooky outfits to appease the crowd and critics come the show’s airing date. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as if the remake is going to meet those requirements. Johnston had this to say in an interview last month:
“I think they captured the exact amount of sweetie-darling,” she says. “I mean, it’s a totally different element, it’s a totally different show. We don’t smoke, we are hungover all the time, we chew Nicorette, we’re trying to be more PC, but I think it really works. It’s one of those scripts that’s like my favorite kind because on paper you’re like, Oh, this is funny, but when you read it out loud with two actresses, it’s, like, the funniest s— ever.”
Even with Jennifer Saunders (executive producer, star and creator of the original Ab Fab) at the helm of this remake, the whole thing still sounds like a huge mistake, sweetie darling.