Amazon Prime Original Series: Fleabag

Sarah Caples Noble
Posted on September 19, 2016, 7:25 pm
3 mins

“Fleabag” Is Her Nickname

She talks to the audience, gets caught masturbating while watching Obama give a speech and steals art from her stepmother. These are just a few hilarious reasons to watch the Amazon Prime Original Fleabagwritten and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The protagonist is an ordinary and somewhat tragic person, known by no other name than “Fleabag.” The death of both her mother and best friend cause her to confront herself, which is crass. Throughout the six epsisodes of the season, Fleabag works to mask her need for love, approval and stability in the typical ways. Distracting herself with men, sex, drinking, and passive aggressive behavior, she eventually remembers to be a good person.

The Larger Context

On the outside, the people around Fleabag present an image of being better off, but they’re actually worse than she is. The need to find out whether Fleabag can ever get it together or reconcile her relationships is driven by funny and compelling moments. Fleabag’s flawed character clashes with various archetypes of the other characters, showcasing the excellent writing of the series.

The sociological context anyone might find themselves operating in has a way of sneaking up on us as much as our family dynamics do. Yet, we’re all expected to be on top of these things. Fleabag speaks directly to the audience at times, while remembering the past at others. Waller-Bridge doesn’t just play with the past and the present, though—she knows how to frame sociological contexts, using words like “feminism” and referring to ethnic groups as sexual fetishes to the grand folly of our main character.

An Unlikely Hero

As the story delves into the source of her grief, Fleabag comes to terms with her accountability in her circumstances. The audience also begins to see why she stays stuck. Her reflections of the past allow us to watch her grow retrospectively. We also come to understand that no one really has her back.

Feminism is a humorously utilized backdrop in the dynamics of the couples, both in their sexual relationships and partnerships. The stepmother artist (Olivia Colman) is the worst of all of them, despite deeming herself a sexually self-actualized person. Meanwhile, the sexist, white, male loan officer is the one person offering Fleabag her redemption. We were hoping it would come from her sister or a lover. But why should it, when we all collectively agreed to throw certain values out in exchange for higher minded ones. Right? The joke is on us.

Amazon Prime Original Series: Fleabag

Sarah Caples Noble

Sarah Caples has lived in Seattle since 2004 working as a fashion stylist for private clients. Sarah launched an art and society blog in 2008, along with a monthly salon at The Sorrento Hotel, which ran until June 2012. As executive editor of VanguardSeattle.com, Caples hopes to cultivate an informed dialog about regional culture and bring people of diverse backgrounds together in support of nonprofits, artists and community builders.