Phoebe Waller-Bridge writes, directs, produces and stars in Fleabag, a series that explores self-destruction and how we process trauma. The second and final season is now on Amazon Prime, and while it only lasts about two hours total, it hits pretty hard.
The story follows Fleabag, a young woman living in London who uses sex to deflect from the screaming void inside her empty heart. In her own words.
Through witty, fourth wall-breaking asides to the camera, Fleabag introduces us to an eclectic cast, including a rotation of men she sleeps with, her emotionally repressed sister Claire (Sian Clifford), her even more repressed father (Bill Paterson) and her passive aggressive godmother (Olivia Colman). Her arsenal of fast quips and charming delivery pulls us in and we watch her lie, steal and use people for her own gain.
In season two, Fleabag meets a Catholic priest. The two hit it off, and it immediately becomes a will-they-or-won’t-they situation. That’s the least interesting part of the story, though. What drives the drama isn’t romance, but the way Fleabag navigates the uncomfortably invasive nature of love and emotional intimacy. Of course, that tension inevitably leads to a sexually charged scene in a confessional box. That also drives the drama.
The time spent with Fleabag is brief, but during it we’re posed with plenty of difficult questions. How do you atone for past mistakes? Where does forgiveness come from? There aren’t any easy answers, but that’s kind of the point.