TV review: What’s Fleabag about?

Fleabag (2016–2019) is a two-season comedy-drama about a mischievous woman and her loved ones. The titular character, known only as Fleabag, lives alone in London and runs a guinea pig themed cafe. The episodes focus on her relationships with her successful, married sister Claire, her widowed father, his ghastly new partner, and a succession of men.

Fleabag’s life is overshadowed by tragedy. The first season opens soon after the sudden death of Fleabag’s business partner and not long since the death of Fleabag’s mother. The story over the 12 episodes unravels the impact of grief on Fleabag and how it changes her. It’s also a show about sisters. I really enjoyed Fleabag’s relationship with Claire through all its ups and downs.

This all sounds very serious. You might be surprised then when I say Fleabag reminds me of Mr Bean. She’s a very different character in that she’s articulate, intelligent and speaks directly to camera. But she shares his anarchic naughtiness. I loved it when customers asked Fleabag for an organic risotto and she went to the shop to buy them a microwave meal.

Fleabag is written by and stars Phoebe Waller-Bridge. I can’t say enough about how well written it is. Fleabag is full of moments of comedy. One of my favourites is when someone gives Fleabag a hamster because they think it’s a guinea pig. I loved how she politely accepts it while dryly telling viewers “it’s a hamster.”

If you haven’t watched Fleabag you’re in for a treat. Both seasons are available to view on BBC iplayer.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Fleabag (BBC)

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