top of page

Fleabag {TV Series} The best tragicomedy of all time.

One of my favourite courses in University was the exploration of comedy and tragedy and how these two elements result in great entertainment. Two opposing ends of human emotion that if balanced properly can result in an enjoyable audience experience. This was the case for BBC's tragicomedy Fleabag.

Fleabag was a series that has always been on my list but never had the desire to immediately watch. It's a comedy with a lot of relevant ideals to unpack. This was a series that had me audibly laughing, and one I didn’t expect to have a face full of tears by the finale.

I enjoyed season one but it wasn't until season two until I fell in love with it.

I’ve taken a few days to try and narrow down a reasoning as to why I preferred the second season and personally, series two just checked off all the boxes. The topics and themes explored just resonated with me to an unbelievably real level; and more importantly, an understanding of the tragedy that came out of the comedy.

I love dry sarcastic passive-aggressive humour, and Fleabag without a doubt holds up to that brilliantly blunt British humour. Phoebe Waller-Bridge stars as fleabag, a protagonist without a name, as she copes with life, loss, and strained relationships. She tries to repatch her relationship with her uptight sister Claire played by Sian Clifford and god/stepmother Olivia's complicated. Season Two had the addition of 'hot priest' Andrew Scott to the cast, perhaps another reason to my favouritism towards the latter half of the series.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge is an excellent feminist writer. She eloquently writes these fluid and lengthy series of dialogue, due to the show's being an adaptation of her stage play. The banter between characters is precisely to drive the plot and character motivations forward, instead of typically 'tv talk' of filler and exposition.

Her perspective and voice as a writer echos the many thoughts and feelings that every woman has today. Not to say that the series is entirely a reflection on feminist virtues but should be approached as a show that focuses on what it mean to be human. Fleabag's character has a multitude of vulnerable human characteristics, all infused by the writing and performance that attracts people to the show.

On the comedy side, the fourth wall dialogue breaks had me in the most dramatic sense...screaming. In season two, the bar was raised completely. There were moments when my own thoughts and words were taken out of my head and said by the fictional character on the screen, which made the viewing experience so much more enjoyable. It added to the relatability and accessibly Fleabag provides to viewers, which is vulnerable human thoughts we all have in our head.

Fleabag's success is due to the combination of performance, word choice, and the editing to echo it's intention to the audience. The editor chose to hold on specific moments and characters in sometimes unconventional times to reflect the underlying message of dialogue.

It's an excellent paced series at 25 minutes per episode to only focus on delivering the important story beats. Scenes are playing in an almost real-time, again reflecting it's the origin of a stage play.

There is a realism to the show that is unlike most comedies. Fleabag has created it's own category, as there is nothing to compare other modern series with. The chemistry between characters feels genuinely authentic, and there is a true audience experience that naturally derives from viewing.

It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you think.

Fleabag is delightfully entertaining and relatable with the perfect balance of comedy and tragedy. There was a reason why it's so critically acclaimed and like myself who was late to the party, I encourage everyone to add to their watchlist.

To me, a great series envoke emotions whether it's through laughter or tears. Fleabag is a series that will make you feel and think which should be the basis of all media. It's a series, that once fully completed, still stays with you.



bottom of page