Surviving the Lockdown: Play Ping Pong With “Absolutely Fabulous”

Patsy Ping Pong

First, I want to say that I take this situation very seriously and worry about all those affected health-wise and also economically. But for those of us lucky enough to still have work plus be able to do that work at home, or for those who have no choice but to self-isolate, I want to provide some ideas to survive the lockdown.

You could exercise – do some situps and pushups or use your home elliptical – or write that novel or have some deep conversations or clean Marie Kondo-style or obsessively watch news porn about the virus. Or binge on TV shows.

I vote for TV! No surprise.

What to overdose on first? What else? “Absolutely Fabulous”.

The main cast, whose first names all start with “J”, is peerless: Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Jennifer Sawalha, and June Whitefield. The writing is perhaps the best of any series, ever. Although each season was six episodes (sometimes less), Jennifer Saunders packed 24 episodes of great writing into just six.

There is one episode that’s particularly apt to our current situation. In the Season One episode “France”, Patsy and Edina go on holiday but end up somehow in the French countryside in what they think is a hovel. Unable to feed or entertain themselves, Edina compels her daughter Saffron who comes with food – and Bubble. Saffy finds the tranquility and beauty of the “hovel” quite relaxing, wondering why her mother can’t enjoy it. There’s so much do, she says, such as read a book, take a walk, or play…ping pong.

All four get involved in a table tennis match, although Patsy refuses to enjoy it, preferring her wine and cigarettes. That is until she has a toot-toot and comes back, traces of powder under her nose, all juiced-up and ready to play.

Of course (SPOILERS) at the end, she finds out her precious stash of white powder is not cocaine and is horrified to find out she was sober all the time and actually enjoyed something as common as ping pong.

Not that I advocate having to resort to coke to enjoy your time in lockdown. “AbFab” is enough of an addiction for me.

All in all, there are 39 episodes, which include seven specials, all of which spooled out over a 20-year period. This does not include the 2016 movie version, which may be the end, unfortunately. I think you can watch all of it within 24 hours, not that you should. Better to savor it. We could be under lockdown for awhile.

Here’s a clip reel, enjoy!