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The Sexy, Witty, Devastating Appeal of “Fleabag”

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at New School chapter.

It’ll pass…Those words echoed and haunted my mind for months following the conclusion of Fleabag, a show written and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge, so much so I got them tattooed on me. In part to serve as a reminder that all things shall pass in my life, but also to commemorate the beauty of inspiration that is the show’s writing. 

What is about Fleabag that has grasped an entire generation to the point of trendiness, a complete irony to the show’s arguably off-beat trendless main character? Has self-awareness synced up across states and countries to the point of needing a label, hence all of us being in our “fleabag era?” Or do we recognize that in Fleabag, the protagonist who is on her journey of love and loss and dealing with her own genre of f**ked-up, we see ourselves…

Fleabag; Sexy, witty, devasting, charming, torturous…appealing. The effect of a character communicating her emotions straight to us rather than simply demonstrating through actions with other fictitious human beings is calculating vulnerability. We don’t merely see and hear her, but we understand her, we struggle and empathize and desire her. The show’s quotable and addictive protagonist comes not just from her quality of character, but her rawness. It grips the audience like a high that is hard to come down from, and suddenly I want to be seen as sexy, devastating, witty, and all the above. I feel like I am her, being portrayed in my best light, gaining acclaim and acceptance from everyone identifying with me. 

Fleabag has become the it-girl of the generation of twenty-somethings, despite the paradox of her character and the show running 3 years ago. Will this obsession ever pass?

Micaela is a junior at The New School studying Journalism and Design. When she's not correcting her habit of run-on sentences, she can be found obsessing about her cat, Lizzie, buying eight-dollar lattes, and reading. Her work can also be found on Tower Records publication, "Pulse!"