Utterly relatable and darkly funny, Fleabag is the critically-beloved brainchild of star Phoebe-Waller Bridge, who plays a young Londoner trying to survive in the wake of debilitating grief. Over the course of two short seasons, the hit series defied convention and subverted tropes in its relentlessly honest portrayal of modern millennial life.
There are two seasons of Fleabag, both with six half-hour episodes.
What is Fleabag about?
Phoebe Waller-Bridge stars as the show’s protagonist, who is often called Fleabag (though see below!), a self-loathing young Londoner coming to terms with a recent tragedy.
In series one, the tragic heroine struggles to keep her guinea pig café afloat, her boyfriend leaves after catching her masturbating to a Barack Obama speech, and she’s having unfulfilling flings with a variety of men. The character’s family life is equally complicated by a loathsome future stepmother and a sister whose toxic relationship has consequences for both siblings.
In a nod to the series’ theatrical source material and adding to the show’s intimacy, viewers are drawn into the protagonist’s internal monologue through direct address to camera.
The dark comedy, known for its frank exploration of millennial unhappiness, grief and sex, has in a short time become—perhaps unfairly—the exemplar against which nearly every new program featuring a young modern woman is compared.
Who wrote Fleabag?
London native Phoebe Waller-Bridge who also stars as the title character, created and wrote the comedy which was adapted from her play of the same name. Waller-Bridge is also the Emmy-winning writer and producer of Killing Eve as well as the co-writer of No Time To Die, the 25th James Bond instalment.
Who is in the Fleabag cast?
In addition to Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag stars a number of British television stalwarts.
Sian Clifford (Vanity Fair) plays the central character’s sister, Claire, who is married to Martin (Brett Gelman) and step-mum to creepy Jake, played by The Archers’ Angus Imrie.
Olivia Colman (The Crown) features as the protagonist’s horrible godmother, who seems determined to destroy the girls’ relationship with their father, played by the prolific Bill Paterson.
The main character’s ex-boyfriend Harry is played by Hugh Skinner (The Windsors).
Series two saw the addition of a few new central characters:
Fiona Shaw, who also stars in Waller-Bridge penned Killing Eve, plays the protagonist’s therapist.
BAFTA-winner Kristin Scott Thomas plays businesswoman Belinda.
Kristin Scott Thomas
Sherlock’s Andrew Scott, in what is arguably Fleabag’s most talked-about role, plays the ‘hot priest’.
Where is Fleabag filmed?
Fleabag is filmed on location in London, primarily in Dartmouth Park in northwest London at locations including Village Café on York Rise and a house on Laurier Road.
Some scenes were also filmed in a studio.
Why is Fleabag called Fleabag?
Though she is often called Fleabag, the show’s protagonist doesn’t actually have a name.
Waller-Bridge did give an explanation in a Decider interview:
“It’s actually my family nickname. Which begs the question, “Is this autobiographical?”, because it isn’t. I also wanted something that would create an immediate subtext for the character. So, calling her “Fleabag,” calling the show Fleabag, gives the subtext of “Fleabaggy-ness.” Then presents herself so…nice hair, lipstick, coat…like, nailed it. She looks like she’s got stuff together, and yet her name betrays the subtext of her.”
Will there be another season of Fleabag?
No. Well, probably not.
Waller-Bridge told the BBC: “I have thought about it and there isn’t going to be one. This is it – this is the final curtain…and yes, I did say that last time.”
That said, she also said “I do have a fantasy of bringing her back when I’m, like, 45 or 50…I have to let her go and live for a bit.”