Monday 2019-06-10

Fleabag written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Fleabag is often billed as a comedy,1 which is like billing 'Lord of the Flies' as a boy's adventure -- one could certainly say that, however it's wildly misleading.

Season 1 shows a young woman in full supernova. Ejecta from her psyche alternate between the witty and the horrific, while the core keeps a sadness of loss and guilt.

This tension between the brilliance of the explosion's periphery and its central pain drives Season 1. Will she just fade into nothingness, or will she collapse back into a star newly born? The final episode reveals the incipiating event, and we are left to decide for ourselves whether this throws the balance one way or the other.

Season 2 is a market-driven mistake. The equipoise is ruined. The character cannot be shown in a prequel as she would be her drab pre-supernova self, and cannot be shown post as that ruins the ending. The only choice is a mid-quel, to expand a day or two chosen from S01.

Instead, we are shown a happier more collected version of herself. The only way this remains true to Season 1 is if Season 3 is catastrophically tragic.

1. The New Yorker, The Guardian, etc.