• James Hewlett

Finishing Fleabag


Last week I wrote about Fleabag and how much I had enjoyed watching season one of that show. Well in just a couple of sittings in less than I week I’ve watched all of the recently finished season two!

It’s not a huge time commitment to be fair, they’re only half and hour episodes with six per season.

I loved that show! The buzz and acclaim it received was completely justified!

Season two picks up threads from the first and moves forward in a very natural way.

At the end of the first season the unnamed protagonist of the show, generally just referred to in reviews as Fleabag or writer/creator/star Phoebe Waller-Bridge (PWB) had soured almost every relationship she had. She was dealing with the unintentional suicide of her best friend and business partner, her long suffering boyfriend had finally left her, her sister was choosing her asshole husband over her and her father struggled to deal with her since their mother passed and he had begun seeing their godmother.

The only good thing she had going for her was a mended relationship with her banker who had helped PWB save her small cafe from going out of business.

When we pick back up with the characters it is at a dinner with the announcement that PWB’s father was getting married to the godmother. They introduce the new character for the season, a young priest who is going be marrying the couple.

It’s clear from the start he is going to have an important role in the show going forward, but I was not expecting for the most authentic and sweet love story to be between PWB and the unobtainable catholic priest!

I won’t go through all the plot details, but the way that storyline wraps up is very sweet. On the one hand you’re rooting for the two of them. It feels like the first time PWB has actually cared about someone other than her sister or herself in a long time and the priest is clearly not sure if he is doing the right thing. But on the other hand you realise that it wouldn’t be fair for either party and a little while down the line PWB would begin to feel like she was doing a similar thing to him as she did to her best friend. She would end up hating herself all over again for it.

There is no grand Hollywood style ending, that is left for Claire, PWB’s sister, and happens completely off camera.

Instead we get a touching scene at a bus stop and the show ends perfectly, with a sly look at the camera telling the audience that while she has grown as a person, she is still a bit of a shit, and that’s why we like her.

This isn’t a love story between a guy and a girl. It’s more of a love story between sisters and family in general, and to misquote their dad in the last episode, “I always love you, but I don’t often like you very much.”

I think there’s someone like that in most family’s, and I bet it who it is changes from time to time too.

There is also a theme of grief and how we cope with it prevalent throughout the show that I found very relatable. It comes up most overtly in the final episode when PWB learns that a statue that has been used as a macguffin or comedy piece since the very first episode was actually based on her late mother.

Well that was quite a rambling lump of praise for a really great show. If I wasn’t sat writing this on my phone in my van I might go back and try and make it a little more coherent, but, well, I can’t really be bothered with that right now! I’ll see you tomorrow.

#tvshows #reviews #comedy #drama #grief #siblings #family

©2017 by James Hewlett.