TELEVISION: CAROUSING WOMEN

THE FINAL EPISODES OF THE HIT BRIT-COM ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS ARE ABOUT TO AIR IN THE U.S.--NOT A MOMENT TOO SOON

Never far from a bottle of Stolichnaya or a discounted Vivienne Westwood frock, Edina and Patsy are without sitcom ancestry. They aren't scatterbrained housewives or ambitious careerists or sassy working-class women struggling to make ends meet. They're single, well-to-do best friends of unadmitted age, who drug, carouse and couture-shop their way through life. Hardly ever do they tend to the pseudo-glam, fashion-world jobs they inexplicably manage to keep.

Well-intentioned and likable they are not. And yet the selfish, slothful heroines of the hit British TV show Absolutely Fabulous have attracted a cult of admirers worldwide. Produced for the BBC in 1993,...

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