I watched Fleabag five times in January (i'm fine, promise)
I'm late to the Fleabag party.
I don't mind being late to the party, unless the party happens to be my period or a job interview. In the case of Fleabag, the hype surrounding this particular party (the hype usually manages to ruin it altogether) allowed it to shine even brighter - more than a box of Cruisers and a plate of party pies.
Fleabag is the best show I've ever seen. Goodbye Game of Thrones. See you never Chernobyl. I would lick in between each of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's toes if she asked. That's how strongly I feel.
So, WHAT is it that sets Fleabag apart?
1. Not sexually trailblazing, but definitely sexually honest
In the last five years, every person on the progressive earth has created sexually explicit material on the premise of engaging with *taboo topics*. To say that Fleabag broke through the ceiling would be a lie. However, Fleabag is undoubtedly one of the first to do it well.
Fleabag transforms the landscape of sex onscreen. One of the most notable moments is the run-in between the priest, Fleabag and the nine-gasm lawyer in episode five of season two. In most shite sitcoms, the sheer existence of two sexual partners at a woman's house would be the fight/breakup/climax of the entire series. Instead, the preferred partner is arguably IMPRESSED by the stats provided to the woman in her previous sexcapade.
The sheer comfortability with what is described as Fleabag's 'perversion' (the Obama scene is one of my top three moments of the series) is one of the most authentic showcases of female sexuality onscreen. The ability for libido to be both problematic and liberating, a talent and a source of evil, is magic for the expansion of feminine characters and experiences on the small screen. A single episode does more for the identity and dimension of female characters than every Jason Statham movie put together.
2. The Monologue
Kristin Scott Thomas's speech on female suffering, Fleabag's defence of the importance of hair, the Priest's wedding breakdown, the sweary/sad conclusion to season one. Fuck, it's all gold. The art of monologue defines Fleabag as a show, and for twenty minute episodes, monologues are the ultimate opportunity for speedy and quality character development and shit, Phoebe makes the most of it.
Don't even get me started on the fourth wall.
The sequel rarely beats the original, but Fleabag's second season runs circles around the groundbreaking first. I put this down to the significantly developed plot line of the second season, which I would say is synonymous with the sexy priest, played by Andrew Scott.
Fleabag managed to make catholicism sexy??? I never thought the day would come??? The sexual tension between Waller-Bridge and Scott is like nothing I've witnessed before, no rom-com rivals this great romance/tragedy. It brings viewers to their knees (lol) and truly distinguishes the second season from the foundational first.
Fleabag's sister Claire is the corporate grind personified. Sian Clifford absolutely fucking nails the role and is one of the best elements of the series. Her character development is unparalleled and I find her scenes to be the most enjoyable BY FAR (and her final scenes in season two are the PERFECT character arc).
Claire is uptight, highly strung perfection. She is my favourite character and cannot be knocked from the top spot. Her uncompromising and cold exterior is performed to perfection. Despite being the toughest nut to crack in the entire series, she ALWAYS pulls through as a person.
I look like a pencil.
Watch Fleabag on Amazon Prime.