I was a latecomer to Fleabag. Put off by the hype and the unappealing name, I arrived about a year late to the party, where everyone was already putting on their coats to leave, eye-rolling at my snail-paced approach to one of the most popular comedies to have graced our screens in recent times. A similar thing happened with my intense love affair with Monzo (we are still happily together but I’m getting a bit sick of the notifications).
Anyway, I gobbled up the entirety of the first series of Fleabag without hesitation and, if you haven’t already, I would heartily suggest that you do the same. It is hilarious, evocative and I promise that you will cry, whether from joy or pain or both. There is no doubt that its writer and star, Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a genius.
The first series follows the protagonist Fleabag, portrayed by Waller-Bridge, whilst she navigates her life, romance, family and tragic death of her best friend. The comedy of the series is undeniable, but it is also inexplicably moving, capturing emotions of loneliness and heartache. It does this by dipping the viewer between moments of profoundly upsetting revelations, offset by ludicrously comical scenes.
Finally, it seems, someone heard my prayers and a glowing second season of Fleabag graced our screens. Six episodes aired (and are all available on iplayer) and I don’t think a single fan was disappointed. If anything, I would venture to say that this series is better than the first. This, alongside Killing Eve, demonstrates the infinite talent of Waller-Bridge.
The character of Fleabag, whose sense of humour, flawed character and painstaking social faux-pas, continue to epitomise both millennial angst and, that much-loved word, authenticity. Wonderfully relatable in a completely non-ironic manner, in breaking the fourth wall and talking directly to the camera, straight into the eyes of the audience, Waller-Bridge affirms us as friends of Fleabag. This is a fitting technique which furthers the extent to which we trust the protagonist, as it seems she confides really only in the viewers.
The ridiculously funny supporting roles include that portrayed by the Oscar-winning (thank God for that) Olivia Colman, who continues to be unrelentingly extravagant, with an outrageous lack of empathy which combines to result in some of the most hilarious moments in the series.
This series’ real show-stopper, however, is the sexy Roman Catholic priest. I will say no more. You will simply have to go and find out for yourselves.
If you haven’t watched Fleabag and, like me, are feeling like it might be a bit late to join the party, much like when you’re 17 minutes late to a tutorial and just past the point of acceptable tardiness, I gravely implore you to show up and join in. You will not regret it.