1) Jennifer Saunders is and will forever be the only Edina Monsoon.
The track suits, the LaCroix fixation, the narcotic upper-class drawl and the effortlessly arch humor ... Saunders literally invented the character, and as its progenitor is truly the only one who can play her to her full potential. Kristen Johnston is great and all, but her mannerisms are too abrasive to temper Eddie's venal tendencies with the necessary droll flippancy.
2) Joanna Lumley is and will forever be the only Patsy Stone.
On American TV, we only ever tolerate one trainwreck per show. There has to be a foil for the character who embodies all moral failings (think of the Odd Couple). There have been plenty of other high-maintenance, lascivious lushes in TV comedy over the years (Christine Baranski's character on Cybill, Karen on Will & Grace), but they're hardly ever the main event, and generally function merely as a scrim against which the morally upstanding lead acts out his or her foibles. As Patsy, Joanna Lumley takes her job as Eddie's slightly manly partner in crime seriously. Even with her ridiculous blonde updo, vaguley mannish looks and ever-present cigarette and Stoli bottle, Joanna Lumley played it straight. No small feat given the character's pedigree.
3) The Brit humor won't translate.
I'm beginning to think that The Office is the exception, not the rule, when it comes to British imports. Even in cases when the basics of the material can be translated, the humor needs to be tweaked to tickle American funnybones. The core of Michael Scott is the same here and across the pond, but Ricky Gervais' version is vastly different from Steve Carrell's goofy reading of it. In this case, an Americanized version of Eddie and Patsy would transform them into unrecognizable, intolerable middle-aged hags. Without the dry, deadpan wit that cuts their over-the-top antics, they'd come off like aging Bridget Jones wannabes.
4) We don't need another Kath & Kim, thanks.
I'm one of the few who actually liked NBC's remix of the campy Aussie comedy starring two self-obsessed fashion victims. But even my tolerance has started to wear a little thin, and if we crowd the market with another sitcom that's so similar, what little patience I have left for such TV trends will fizzle down to nothing.
5) Think of the children.
I don't know about you people, but in my Hope chest, there's a baby blanket, a couple of Twinkies, and several DVD sets of Absolutely Fabulous. I was raised on AbFab and I like to think that it was somehow essential to my development and tastes. I always thought I'd pass along these embodiments of my values and desires to my daughters and (gay) sons if I had them as a testament to a time when hilarity and high fashion and expensive vodka was given pride of place. But if this show goes forth, it will shoot my legacy all to hell. Thanks for ruining my unborn childrens' lives, Fox.
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