Series Review: Fleabag

fleabag.jpgI have a weakness for British humour. I love that it’s un-PC and that there’s pretty much nothing that Brits won’t laugh at. This is probably why I’ve REALLY enjoyed binging on two seasons of a British comedy-drama series “Fleabag”.

Fleabag (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) is a thirty something woman living in London. She has a bag of issues she’s trying to cope with by indulging in alcohol, cigarettes and casual sex. She also has an unsuccessful cafe and a guinea pig (yes, not even a cat!).
Her dad is in a relationship with a terrible woman (Olivia Coleman) who’s been after him since her mother’s death. Her sister, Claire is seemingly the sorted one but it’s all a facade.
In season 1 the story revolves around the death of the protagonist’s best friend she feels guilty about. In season 2 it moves on to her father’s wedding and her having or not having sex with a hot Catholic priest officiating the ceremony.
Interested? You should be!

Phoebe Waller-Bridge not only plays the main role but she’s created and written the series too. It’s pretty fresh and remarkable.
The main character may fit right in with the problems of forever young people of today but that doesn’t mean that the story lacks depth. There’s just the right balance of funny and sad elements to the story and it’s difficult not to occasionally shed a tear.
Most of the time Fleabag is just hilarious, though. This is partially because the main character has also a curious habit of occasionally commenting on events in her life straight to the camera. The series has certain theatrical quality to it, which may not be surprising given that that’s its makers background.

The creator is particularly brilliant in her acting but other actors do a great job creating a truly compelling series.
Olivia Coleman is absolutely fabulous as one of the most morally corrupt stepmothers ever shown on TV. Fleabag’s seemingly successful and levelheaded sister Claire (Sian Clifford) provides a great contrast to the impulsive protagonist, but her douchebag husband (Brett Gelman) reminds us that being married and a happily ever after are sometimes very far from one another.

In terms of the narrative I think many women in their thirties are able to relate to the main character. She’s certainly flawed but we cannot help liking it, in a similar way that we feel for
Bridget Jones and her questionable choices.
Even though Fleabag makes a bunch of terrible decisions, we can’t help but wish her the best. Her imperfection is what makes her real and I think people watching is can develop more compassion for their own sins of the past.
Speaking of sins, I obviously really enjoyed Fleabag’s new romantic interest in season 2, a Catholic priest. Apparently how you feel about the character nicknamed as a hot priest says a lot about you. Oh well, it’s not a secret that I consider the Catholic church to be one of the most terrible things that has ever happened to humanity.

I honestly have nothing bad to say about the series, apart from the fact that I’m jealous of the protagonist’s amazing legs that she keeps showing off in short skirts.
My only regret is that the series is short as it’s often the case with BBC shows. 12 episodes of more or less 20 minutes isn’t enough but that’s all we’ll ever get. Season 2 has been announced to be the last season. The series has been picked up by Amazon Prime so that’s the best place to watch it if you’re not based in the UK.
I may feel sad about it but it’s much better to end things on a positive note rather than give the audience so many seasons that they end up hating themselves for ever starting watching it (get it, Grace and Frankie‘s creators?).

Have you watched “Fleabag”? Why are we more compassionate towards flawed characters on screen than towards ourselves? Are flawed heavily drinking chain smoking single women truly the only (anti)heroines we can relate to these days, ladies? Let me know your thoughts! 

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4 comments

  1. I kept seeing this recommended on Amazon but have yet to watch it. This reviews of yours are making me add a lot of stuff to my watchlist! Without them, I can just say “I don’t know what this is” and never watch it but now it actually sounds like something I’d like, haha.

    I think part of the reason we’re more sympathetic to flawed characters in fiction is that we can see all of the events surrounding their flaws and gain more understanding. People aren’t as good at looking at the big picture of their own lives, probably a kind of tunnel vision. Plus when something happens to us it’s easier to think of what we could have done better and say “stupid, stupid, STUPID!”

    For example today I learned that my bank account is overdrafted $30 because I paid a bill ahead of time which I didn’t technically have to pay until next week. I could be benevolent and say “well, I was trying to get ahead and this isn’t that big of a deal… I’ll find the money somehow” but instead I’m saying “STUPID! Why didn’t you check your pending transactions first!? Why did you cut it so close to zero?!” Lol. Ah well, the human condition.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 😀 Sorry! I think you’ll enjoy Fleabag. It’s nicely bittersweet.

      I see what you mean, particularly when it comes to reacting to certain events in the moment, like in the overdraft example. What about later on when first wave of feelings subsides, though?
      I forgive Fleabag what she’s done in season 1 (don’t worry, I won’t give you any spoilers :p) but sometimes I have flashbacks and pangs of guilt about much smaller things that I’ve done ages ago that I doubt people who’ve been wronged even remember! I’m aware of the bigger picture but whenever I remember these things I still beat myself up.
      Now that I think about it I have no idea whether this is how it feels for other too, though…

      Liked by 1 person

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