As the weather has quickly turned from sweltering summer to grey chilly weekends, I’ve returned inside for hibernating mode. This includes, baking, knitwear, and excessive binge watching. This weekend I discovered the wonderful Amazon Prime show (originally BBC) Fleabag. Dubbed the British answer to Girls Fleabag is a wonderful feminist comedy that highlights the struggles and joys of trying to figure out your 20’s. Similarly to Dunham, Phoebe Waller-Bridge writes, produces, and stars as the main character Fleabag (a childhood nickname).
The Girls characters are known for being narcissistic millennials and Fleabag is no exception. Though her self-awareness separates herself by managing to remain endearingly vulnerable and relatable. Part of Fleabags charm has to do with Waller-Bridges’ wonderful acting and witty dialogue, the other has to do with her breaking the fourth wall and speaking directly to the viewer . The commentary ranges from her making excellent faces to updating the viewer on the lies she tells others in the show. This makes the viewer connect with Fleabag on another level – as if she’s saying what everyone really thinks.
The joy of Fleabag is that for all of her misgivings everyone else in her life is equally awful, from her uptight sister, absent father, and evil stepmother (played by the always wonderful Olivia Coleman). Rounding out Fleabags family is her best friend Boo, obnoxious brother in law and a parade of men. From her too sweet off and on again boyfriend Harry to various hookups Fleabag manages to expertly show the range of relationships young single millennial women deal. Throughout the season Fleabag uses the men for physical relationships, though often it seems she is getting nothing from them at all. As one scene with Harry she only achieves orgasm on her own, showing that really she’s using these men to hide her loneliness or to show her family she’s successful.
The show has this feminist perspective throughout and passes the Bechdel test with flying colors. Especially in scenes with Fleabag and her perennially uptight sister Claire (Sian Clifford) and how they deal with the loss of their mother. It expertly captures the nuances of a older/younger sister dynamic while making both characters appear relatable despite their many flaws.
All in all Fleabag is a wonderful, crude, feminist look into the mind of young 20somethings in 2016 and says what most are thinking. Accompanied by a great soundtrack and a well rounded cast Fleabag is your next show to binge watch this weekend.
Fleabag Season 1 (6 episodes) is available to stream on Amazon Prime with subscription