Follow TV Tropes
Have you ever seen the British sitcom Miranda? Well Fleabag is Miranda, had Miranda turned insane and evil. If you haven't seen Miranda, then Fleabag is a dark sitcom about a nameless London woman (the Fleabag) who lives the life of a modern day rake: an existence of constant debauchery, dishonesty, theft, and indulgence. She shares the experience with you, the audience, by constantly breaking the fourth wall to let you in on secrets, or just to share a conspiratorial smirk.
The central to the theme of Fleabag is fronts. Everyone has a front. Whilst Fleabag has a lot of negative qualities that should make her utterly unlikable, we gradually learn that she is barely any worse than the people around her, and her true flaw is that she is can't fake a front as well as everyone else. She pretends to run a successful small business, tolerates her humourless sister, makes time for a histrionic boyfriend, feigns interest in the lives of her various other partners, and lies to herself that she can cope with the grief and guilt around her dead best friend. No one is really convinced by her performance, and she is despised for it.
Meanwhile, she possesses an uncanny talent to see straight through the fronts of everyone else, right through to the ugly, bitter cores boiling away underneath. She knows these people aren't any better than her, and laughs at them for thinking otherwise. Her chief enemy is "the Godmother", a seemingly innocent and friendly woman who has wormed her way into her life. The Godmother might as well be Satan. National treasure Olivia Coleman plays her to perfection, both the doting friendly face and the domineering, hateful creature lurking behind it.
Fleabag is frequently funny, savage and sad all at the same time. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a great gurner, and whilst I feel stupid for recommending a tv show on the ability of an actor to pull funny faces, Phoebe Waller-Bridge pulls really funny faces. Fleabag also has the best comedic editing of any sitcom I've ever seen, able to snap between scenes, mid sentence, with all the sharpness and style of an Edgar Wright movie. Give it a watch.
Community Showcase More