EDINA MONSOON IS A FLAMING FIVE-CAR collision of a woman. She's an omniholic, a vain, lazy, trend-obsessed spendthrift, a cynical, selfish shrew and a manipulative, immature lush. Her inseparable best friend, Patsy Stone, has indulged in all these sins, plus one more: She is also a woman of spectacularly easy virtue. (At one point she brags about a quick tryst with one of those guys who loom over your windshield with a squeegee when you pull up to a stoplight.)

As the main characters in Absolutely Fabulous, Edina and Patsy are the most hilarious British TV imports since the innkeepers of Fawlty Towers. Their inspired, inebriate lunacy returns this week to Comedy Central (Mondays, 8 p.m. ET) for its third and final go-round of six episodes.

Absolutely Fabulous is the addled brainchild of Jennifer Saunders, who plays Edina, the flighty owner of a chichi London PR firm. Joanna Lumley is Patsy, a decidedly absentee editor at a fashion magazine. Patsy starts every day all frosted and flashy, her blonde hair swept up in a gravity-defying Ivana hive. By midnight, having consumed a hogshead of booze, two cartons of cigarettes and various illegal substances, she inevitably ends up looking like a collapsed soufflé.

Some of the wit is too Brit for American audiences to grasp, but the show's outrageous attitude translates perfectly. (In fact, Roseanne, who's pretty fabulous herself, has bought the rights to make an American version. Carrie Fisher and Barbara Carrera have been mentioned as possible stars.)

The final six episodes take in a New Year's Eve romp that never gets off the ground as well as a planned orgy for which Edina hires two athletic young men. All in a decadent day's work for AbFab, which along with The Simpsons, is television's most savage satire.

MTV (Weekdays, 7 p.m. ET)


What do you get when you cross Studs with The Dating Game? MTV's hormonally intoxicated game show. A young woman sits on a throne while 50 rowdy young men stand on a stage behind her woofing and whistling. During the first round, she selects archetypes from general categories such as weight, commitment, facial hair, dating style, etc. Each preference eliminates a portion of the crowd, and the losers file past our picky princess until only eight eligibles remain. Then, still sight unseen, they regale her with verbal enticements like "Yeah, wazup? You pick me, it's gonna be one hell of a night." She asks them contrived questions until only one lucky finalist remains and the couple is sent off, sans chaperon, on a wacky theme date. Then it is time to switch genders.

This is a sleazy and degrading enterprise, although the participants seem to be enjoying themselves. As for me, I'll stick with Chuck Woolery.

The Disney Channel (Sun., June 11, 9 p.m. ET)

B +

In this concert, taped at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles last fall, John takes to the stage sheathed in a gleaming red plastic suit. By his standards, that's understated. So is the show, which delves for the most part into the less-visited precincts of John's repertoire. Accompanied only by his piano, some subtle taped augmentation and percussionist Ray Cooper, Elton delivers simple, penetrating renditions of his anthems from "Your Song" to "Daniel" to his most recent single, "Believe." He even rearranges "Crocodile Rock" as a ballad. The spare setting showcases John's voice, a wonderfully nimble instrument that has often gotten lost in the mad shuffle of his flamboyant showmanship. The concert was a benefit for John's AIDS Foundation, a connection excised from this Disney special.

NBC (Sun., June 11, 10 p.m. ET)


Spun off from a TV movie that aired last year, this show stars Robert Conrad {Baa Baa Black Sheep) as a helicopter pilot who heads up a volunteer rescue unit in a sleepy mountain hamlet. Strike that—how about an emergency-infested mountain hamlet? In the first episode, a bunch of spoiled college brats go mountain biking, and one sails right off a cliff. Meanwhile an autistic boy gets lost in the woods.

In the second episode, as a forest fire rages, we learn that the nickname for Conrad's character is "Tooter" (because he plays the bagpipes). Whew! I had thought they were calling him "Tudor" because Conrad's imperious manner recalls Henry VIII.

Extreme, an ABC series with James Brolin, covered this territory far more colorfully a few months ago—and disappeared without a trace. That can't be a good omen for this mawkish, formulaic melodrama, which later this week will assume its regular slot: Wednesdays at 8 p.m.

>BY MORE THAN LOVE POSSESSED What has gotten into some of our favorite soap opera characters lately? Could it be...Satan? On Melrose Place, Kimberly (Marcia Cross) was never too balanced. But last month, every time she looked in a mirror, there was an evil apparition with wild hair and a Fu Manchu-mustache egging her on to murder and mayhem. (Remind anyone of Twin Peaks and its demonic spirit Bob?) In the season-ending cliff-hanger, Kimberly gleefully flicked the switches that would ignite a series of firebombs strategically placed around the show's eponymous apartment complex. Meanwhile, over on Days of Our Lives, saintly Marlena (Deidre Hall) seems to have had a change of heart. Or soul. As her blue eyes have turned green, yellow and finally Orphan Annie white, Marlena has spoken in tongues, levitated from her bed, dispatched a swarm of bees to sting someone and been transformed briefly into a jaguar. Now she is undergoing an exorcism co-conducted by John (Drake Hogestyn), her former husband who is now a priest. How have viewers responded to this supernatural story line? "Some deeply religious people have taken offense," says Hall. "At the same time, we have increased enormously in our young demographics. That tells me there are a lot of teenagers out there who are watching vigilantly every day and laughing their fannies off. Then there are my longtime fans who are simply watching and hoping that at the end of all this I wind up getting back together with John."

>TUBE: Absolutely Fabulous returns with more decadent escapades; MTV promotes young lust on Singled Out; Elton John's concert special strikes a surprisingly muted mood

SCREEN: Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep indulge in midlife lust; despite Keanu Reeves, Johnny Mnemonic crashes; Wigstock is a real drag 17

SONG: Cupid's arrow leaves Chris Isaak stinging; Catherine Wheel is on a roll; the Rembrandts discover the importance of Friends 21

PAGES: An ex-cop turned bookseller cracks a mystery in The Bookman's Wake; George Foreman looks back—with laughter; Patrick O'Brian hits the deck again in The Commodore 27