So I was on a flight, and the flight offered access to free TV shows and movies, so I wanted to watch a show that I hadn’t seen before. I wanted a comedy because I saw the film Judy while on my trip and it was really sad and made me cry, so I wanted to watch something that would make me laugh. For the first flight I watched Black Lady Sketch Show, which, if you haven’t seen it, is so funny I had to literally clamp my hand around my mouth to suppress all the giggles that threatened to rush forth and disturb my fellow passengers on the plane. Then since there were only three free episodes I could watch (although I’m grateful I even got it for free at all), I moved on to another show in the comedy section. Parks and Recreation was an option but it only showed Season 2 and I assumed that I’d get lost if I didn’t watch Season 1. Then I saw Fleabag, and I remembered it won quite a few awards recently, and I checked Rotten Tomatoes and it got 100 percent So I took a chance. And I’ve never looked back since. Once you go Fleabag, you will never go back.
Why, you ask?
Fleabag is a comedy-drama about a young woman living in England (we don’t know her real name, we just know she is named Fleabag), and she really doesn’t have her life together. She runs a cafe but is in a lot of debt, and she goes through a series of boyfriends who end up thinking she’s too sarcastic and weird for them. In addition to being dumped by numerous bad boyfriends, her overachieving rich sister, Claire, and her are not on good terms. Things get even weirder when she goes by her dad’s place (her mom died) and meets her godmother, who is dating her dad. When I first saw the show, it reminded me of the film Frances Ha. If you haven’t seen Frances Ha, it is starring Greta Gerwig as a young late-20 something-old woman named Frances who, like Fleabag, is trying to figure her life out. Unlike her friend, Sophie, Frances cannot afford to move to Tribeca, a more expensive neighborhood of New York, and doesn’t have financial assistance from anyone, so she moves to a less expensive neighborhood with roommates. I thought about this movie because both Frances Ha and Fleabag are so relatable for every woman (or person of any gender really) in their late 20s who sees everyone else has their life together and, well, they feel their lives just don’t measure up.
I binge-watched Season 1 (just finished it). One thing that I find unique about Fleabag is that Fleabag always speaks to the audience, aka breaking the fourth wall. Not since the Disney Channel Original Movie Quints have I seen the protagonist break the fourth wall. It just makes you feel like you’re actually meeting Fleabag in real life. And honestly, I wouldn’t mind meeting Fleabag, because she says what is on her mind and I find her awkwardness totally relatable, even though I can’t relate to her situation totally. She kind of reminds me of a combination of not just Frances Halladay in Frances Ha but also Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm because Larry is always brutally honest with people even when it often gets him in trouble with others. Fleabag also reminds me a lot of the web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, which stars Issa Rae as J, who is, as the title says, an awkward black woman. There is one guy that asks Fleabag out on the subway who is this really annoying character who ends up dumping her, and he reminded me a lot of A, a character who constantly is trying to hook up with J even though she doesn’t like him. J and A hook up after J gets drunk on too much punch at an office holiday party, and after that A is constantly assuming that J wants to be his girlfriend because they slept together.
Even though Fleabag is a comedy, it also has its sad moments. Early in the show, Fleabag reveals that her friend, Boo, killed herself after she found out Fleabag slept with her boyfriend. The two of them were the best of friends and they started a gerbil-themed cafe together. But now that Boo is gone, Fleabag becomes depressed and flashes back frequently to memories of her and Boo when Boo was still living (I got really sad each time she flashed back to Boo when she was happy and then Boo when she was about to commit suicide). Fleabag’s godmother has the nerve to tell her one time at dinner that she should give up running the cafe since she has no money left to run it, but then an investor who at first declined Fleabag a loan for the cafe (after she flashed her bra at him during their meeting), sees her in tears and she tells him about Boo’s suicide and how she feels like she is always ruining things for people. He then has a change of heart and goes over the process of getting her a loan again. This ending gave me hope because I was so stressed out whenever Fleabag and her godmother interacted since the godmother was treating Fleabag like she was a nobody and her father felt embarrassed by Fleabag’s behavior towards her godmother.
I am getting tired now, so unfortunately I cannot write any more. However, I am pumped to watch Season 2 and tell you more about it!
Fleabag. Rated TV-MA: Adult Language, Sexual Situations, Some Nudity