- 2 Seasons
Fleabag is a television series from Amazon Studios that follows the life of a young Londoner who is trying to navigate her way through love, loss, and family dysfunction. The show was created, written, and starred in by the talented Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who delivers an outstanding performance as the show's antihero.
The show revolves around the unnamed protagonist, a woman who simply goes by the nickname "Fleabag." Fleabag is a thirty-something struggling to find her place in the world after a series of setbacks, including the untimely death of her best friend and the dissolution of her own marriage. As she wanders through life, often getting into trouble and making questionable decisions, she also battles her own inner demons and tries to make sense of her past.
At the core of Fleabag is Waller-Bridge's remarkable ability to create well-rounded, complex characters. Fleabag herself is an incredibly flawed character, but her flaws make her all the more real and relatable. She is honest to the point of being brutal, and her quick wit and dry humor mask a deep sadness and loneliness. Supporting characters, like her sister Claire (Sian Clifford) and stepmother (Olivia Colman), are also fully fleshed out and add depth to the show's narrative.
The show's premise is simple, but its execution is anything but. Waller-Bridge brings a fresh, innovative perspective to the well-trodden territory of the romantic comedy, and the result is a show that is funny, heart-wrenching, and entirely unpredictable. Fleabag's unconventional storytelling, which breaks the fourth wall and uses flashbacks and nonlinear timelines, can be disorienting at times, but the show is all the more rewarding for it.
While Fleabag is often categorized as a comedy, it is far from a light-hearted romp. The show deals with heavy themes like grief, guilt, and trauma, and it does so with tremendous sensitivity and nuance. Fleabag's relationships with her family and friends are complex and often fraught with tension, but they are also deeply human and empathetic. The show's exploration of the intricacies of female relationships is particularly noteworthy, and Waller-Bridge's writing is both insightful and refreshing.
One of the show's greatest strengths is its use of humor to undercut the seriousness of the subject matter. There are moments of levity throughout the show, some of which are genuinely hilarious, but they never feel out of place or disrespectful. The humor in Fleabag is often dark and twisted, but it always serves a purpose, whether it's to provide a moment of relief or to highlight the absurdity of a situation.
Another standout aspect of the show is its visual style. Director Harry Bradbeer employs a variety of techniques to give the show a distinct look and feel, from hand-held camera work to surreal dream sequences. The show's use of close-ups and lingering shots on characters' faces is particularly effective in conveying the depth of emotion at play. The show's use of music is also noteworthy, with a carefully curated soundtrack that runs the gamut from classical to contemporary.
Fleabag is a triumph of television storytelling, a show that is both irreverent and poignant, hilarious and heartbreaking. At its core, it is a show about the messy, complicated nature of being human, and it does so with tremendous compassion and wit. Waller-Bridge's performance is a tour de force, and the supporting cast is equally superb. The show's unexpected twists and turns will keep you on the edge of your seat, but it is its emotional resonance that will stay with you long after the credits roll.
Fleabag is a series that is currently running and has 2 seasons (12 episodes). The series first aired on September 15, 2016.