It’ll pass. It’ll pass, right? It has to pass. That was a promise that the Priest gave us at the ending of the most emotionally wrecking series ever and it has been more than 2 years and yet the love I have for this show hasn’t passed. Maybe, love isn’t meant to pass. Maybe, this one particular time the Priest was wrong.
Fleabag by Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a series that destroys a person completely while ensuring that the person is laughing throughout. It is a comedic masterpiece that ends with every person being completely broken. When a movie or a series completely destroys you, then you know that they did a great job. Phoebe has always done great jobs. Crashing and the first season of Killing Eve are exactly the kind of experiences that one wants from a series and Fleabag is the genius.
How did Phoebe Waller-Bridge Write Fleabag?
The story came about Bridge participating in an open mic where she did the role of Fleabag for the first time. The audience of that blessed mic fell in love with Bridge and this reaction made her realize, there could be a lot more to Fleabag. Along with her friend, Vicky Jones, the ideation, writing and the execution of a full theatre monologue began in which Phoebe would return as her Fleabag. The monologue was debuted in Edinburgh. Becoming the hit it was meant to be, Fleabag’s popularity only increased further.
While the story had many characters, Bridge wrote the play in a manner where the audience would only know and want to know what Fleabag thought. When the opportunity of having Fleabag be adapted as a series came about, Phoebe wrote up another script featuring Fleabag. She retained the plot but this time the audience was privy to the other characters as well. The introduction to the other characters and being able to see them actually made the plot a lot more complicated. While performing a monologue, the audience doesn’t have a choice but to root for Fleabag because they don’t know or get to see the other characters and thus do not connect to them at all. They only know, see and hear Fleabag.
In the series, they can identify other characters. They might develop opinions averse to those of Fleabag. The mastery of Phoebe does not allow the audience to feel anything but what she has to offer to them and thus throughout the first season, Phoebe retained her monologue and convinced the audience of Fleabag’s opinion over the others. One can see how much skill of persuasive writing that would require because in that season Fleabag makes too many questionable decisions.
Why does Phoebe Waller-Bridge Break the Fourth Wall in Fleabag?
The reason why Fleabag is so popular is also because of how Phoebe Waller-Bridge breaks the fourth wall. While doing the play Bridge had talked about how she believes the reason for the success was because the audience was as much part of the story as she was. It only makes sense that even without the physical presence of an audience, Bridge would include the essential element. Breaking the fourth wall is not a new concept in films but no one has done it the way Fleabag did. The story was told as a conversation with the audience. Fleabag spoke everything she thought out to the viewer. It was how she dealt with life.
The power the fourth wall had on Fleabag herself, was further enhanced in the second season. A season that will always have a stronghold on every fibre of my being. Fleabag who we know talks to the audience and meets a person who points this out enough to make Fleabag conscious of her habit. This person just happens to be one of the most perfect angelic beings. Andrew Scott plays the role of Priest. Dubbed as the Hot Priest by social media, Fleabag realizes that she too finds this person hot but he is as unavailable as unavailable can get. He is a priest. Sworn to celibacy. The priest who has promised to marry off Fleabag’s father and godmother.
The Sizzling Chemistry Between Andrew Scott & Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Andrew Scott and Phoebe Waller-Bridge are responsible for the entire world’s fascination with the word, kneel. The amount of chemistry in that one scene is unbelievable. We all know which scene I am talking about. If you don’t then you really need to go and search up, “Kneel scene Fleabag,” you will not be disappointed. Having said that, their relationship is the one to blame for many tears. Though their love story may not have ended how many wanted, it was also the best ending to Fleabag’s story. Priest challenged Fleabag’s need to retreat to her subconscious (break the fourth wall) and actually address the problems of her life. Since he entered into her life, Fleabag starts opening up. Learning. Thus the last scene justifies how her life has healed and she doesn’t need to be judged by her own subconscious. So yes, there will never be another season of Fleabag and certainly no more of Fleabag and Hot Priest.
Sian Clifford & Olivia Coleman Deserve a Special Mention
Another important character that went through a beautiful life development was Fleabag’s sister, Claire played fabulously by Sian Clifford. They have an interesting sibling dynamic which is how you can explain any sibling dynamic. Ripe with senseless arguments, peculiar habits and awkwardly comforting moments, Claire and Fleabag are every siblings and yet unique relationship ever. She grew from being the poster child sibling to the one that decided to stop giving so much importance to everyone else. She found the one person for whom she would chase across an airport to stop them from leaving. She got a new haircut. She also moved on from her slimy husband who abused her sister and in fact the entire world by his existence. That is character growth.
No talk about Fleabag is over without Olivia Coleman’s portrayal of Fleabag’s godmother. She was so easy and yet heart-wrenchingly difficult to hate. The godmother is written so well. Her story is absurd and it is the shocking nature of her role that makes the audience taken aback but desperate to understand all the layers. While in the first season, she didn’t have much of a role in terms of driving the story, in the second season we truly see the art of her character. Literally.
The Movie Culture Synopsis
A show that broke several barriers and has some of the most unique characters along with the most absurdly hilarious plotlines. Fleabag is definitely a story that will never fail. An evergreen masterpiece from our time.