2016, 2019, TV

Fleabag (2016)

There are some shows and movies around which there is too much hype. And most of those don’t live up to that hype for me. I will say, I usually try to either watch things that I fear will get too hyped quickly or I try to wait a long time to the point at which I will have forgotten it. This is a show that I have heard lots of things about, but maybe a little less hype than some, but I do know a few people who absolutely love it. So there was definitely a lot of hype here for me, which is absolutely a dangerous thing.

I do think it mostly lived up to that hype. It feels like a pretty unique show – a sort of feminist Difficult Woman dramedy/romantic comedy with way fewer episodes than your average Difficult Man drama from the US, because it’s British of course. Personally, I am becoming more and more convinced that shorter seasons are a virtue and it certainly doesn’t hurt Fleabag.

It’s a very funny show. There are moments – like so many comedies – where the comedy drops away for more serious moments, but these are few and far between and nearly always feel earned. Even though it’s a comedy, it’s very much about the family at its heart and so it’s easier (for me) to take the serious moments. (Also, it is very funny most of the time, so that helps.)

I also like how the two seasons feel quite different. The first season feels like a separate story and the main character of the second season does feel like a somewhat wiser character, as well as a slightly less bad person.

It reminds me a tiny bit of Bojack Horseman actually, even though it’s not about a minor celebrity (male) horse but rather a failing cafe owner. There’s a similar tone in terms of balancing some really serious stuff with very silly stuff. (Though there’s way more silly stuff in Bojack.)

So I enjoyed this and I think you should see if it you haven’t seen it and you like dark comedies or you’re at all interested in a show with a very flawed person at the centre of it but are really tired of that flawed person being a man.


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