The ads promoting the new six-episode season of Britain's campy comedy import Absolutely Fabulous (Monday, 9 pm/ET on Comedy Central) proclaim that "Sin is in, Sweetie." But as the show's creator and star tells it, two of Patsy and Edina's favorite bad habits are out.
"I just didn't have quite the desire to smoke as much," writer-director Jennifer Saunders (Edina) tells TV Guide Online. "People kept saying to me, 'Do you want a cigarette?' In the last [season], I remember being desperate to smoke all the time, and this time I just felt, 'I can't be bothered to smoke anymore.' Also, the same with the drinking. The drinking is kind of 'By the way' instead of so highlighted."
Fans of the man-hungry, pill-popping misfits need not worry: The tag-team addicts didn't lose any of their trademark edge during AbFab's five-year hiatus. Patsy (Joanna Lumley) and Edina just realized that there are more satisfying things in life than fags and booze, Saunders reasons. Selfishness, for starters. "I think there's no worse vice," she says. "They can never empathize with anyone else. They never feel for anyone else."
"[After] five years, you have different issues," she adds, "and I think that was sort of reflected in Patsy and Eddy."Of course, the more things change, the more they stay the same. For example, Edina's perpetually put-upon offspring, Saffron (Chicken Run's Julia Sawalha), continues to shop at Modern Uptight Woman. "It's just the worst clothes that I've ever seen," groans Saunders, who says Sawalha insisted that Saffy remain a fashion victim. "I've tried my best. I've said to Julia, 'Please, God! I don't know where you buy clothes that are so bad!' They're like people have died in them. They're tragic clothes."