Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

4 Reasons to Watch “Fleabag” if You Aren’t Already

The critics like Fleabag. The people like Fleabag. So should you. If you haven’t introduced yourself to the woman terrorizing anyone with an Amazon Prime account, you’re missing out on some of the best television of the decade. If you’re missing out because you don’t have Amazon Prime, I guess I’ll have to forgive you (although, I suggest you find a generous friend who has an account).

Fleabag is written and created by Phoebe Waller-Bridge and based on her play of the same name. The show follows the life of its title character—yes, title character. 

Fleabag, played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge herself, is a witty, self-deprecating woman coping with tragedy. 

It’s the show with 100% on rotten tomatoes, four Emmy nominations, and it’s been called “the best show on TV,” but if that isn’t reason enough, here are four more reasons to watch:

The Leading Ladies

If you wanted complex female characters, you got it here, folks. These women are seriously complicated. Fleabag, for one, has enough baggage for the whole cast. Between her messy sex life, her romantic connection with a preist, her dead best friend, and her overbearing godmother, she has a lot going on. She doesn’t handle it well. Fleabag is arguably not even a good person. But her complexity is so stingingly human, it is almost impossible to avoid rooting for her. The performances are fresh, exciting, and just so damn good. It’s no surprise that Phoebe Waller Bridge, Olivia Colman, and Sian Clifford all received Emmy nominations for their roles in the show.

The Unconscionable Humor

If you missed it in the last paragraph, Fleabag does have a crush on a priest (!!) in season two. The show’s comedy is shocking, but undoubtedly hilarious. My personal favorite scene happens in season one when Fleabag’s planned surprise for her boyfriend goes awry. I think about it every day. 

Along with the show’s taste for rude humor is its understanding that the things which make us laugh are often so close to those things which make us cry. The show is dark and honest, and it’s because of that depth that the laughs are so resoundingly effective.

Breaking the Fourth Wall

If you’re anything like me, you love when a character turns to the screen, looks you right in the face, and delivers a classic monologue. Think Zack Morris, Ferris Bueller, Ned Bigby. The problem is that a lot of these fourth wall decisions make very little sense for their respective stories. It’s usually a filmmaker’s way of delivering information to the viewer without having to work too hard. Nevertheless, I can’t help but love it.

Fleabag, on the other hand, is no Saved By The Bell. It’s breaking the fourth wall done right. It’s about intimacy and skillful character development. For Fleabag, looking into the screen is an escapism tactic. The viewers are her friends. In other words, Fleabag does breaking the fourth wall with purpose. But fear not, it retains all the satisfactions and lovable quirks of the Zack Morris variety.

Awards Season

Every year, some movie, TV series, or artist you’ve never heard of (or at least paid no attention to) wins an award. It’s Beck’s 2015 Album of the Year. If and when Fleabag comes out on top, you’re not going to want to be confused. This time, the voters will have gotten it right. I advise you to watch it, cheer when Fleabag wins, and riot when it doesn’t. 

Madeline Myers is a 2020 graduate of the University of Akron. She has a B.A. English with a minor in Creative Writing. At Her Campus, Madeline enjoys writing movie and TV reviews. Her personal essay “Living Room Saloon” is published in the 2019 issue of The Ashbelt. Madeline grew up in Zanesville, Ohio. She loves quoting comedians, reading James Baldwin, and sipping on grape soda. She fears a future run by robots but looks forward to the day when her stories are read by those outside of her immediate family.