5 Things We Can All Learn from ‘Fleabag’

Kitty Bates

Fleabag is the latest hit show to come out of England so it’s no surprise that Amazon has set it for American release on September 16th. In Season 1, there are 6 episodes of this hilarious yet filthy sitcom.

It tells the story of Fleabag, played by Phoebe Waller-Smith, who also wrote the play-turned-TV-show. Fleabag is a young woman trying to navigate her way around dating, living in London, and juggling her family problems. In the first episode, she tells you straight away that she is not fussing around and describes the feeling of a man coming round at 2am to have sex and then leaving in the morning. Throughout the show, she continues to narrate her life in a down-to-earth manner without the need for a filter at all. Much like a modernist writer, every episode is not a minute action film but you really get a feel for what is happening in her head and who she is as a person.  She brings people in by breaking the fourth wall as if she is writing a diary and you are reading it. It is compelling as you find yourself empathising and agreeing with her in all she does. Fleabag is a heartwarming, dark, filthy and hilarious show that will keep you wondering what happens next. It will make you laugh, cry and most of all feel better about yourself.

Life isn’t perfect.

Fleabag takes us on a journey of discovery and shows us that she could be anyone of us, making mistakes and just plodding along with life. Fleabag is a harsh awakening for all of us and it makes you realise that it’s OK for life to be rubbish sometimes. Fleabag is a prime example of a woman trying to forage for her own in a big city, however, unlike Friends, she doesn’t have 5 best friends who “will be there for her.” She stumbles along, struggling to make ends meet and to get closure on a whole list of things. She manages to mess up but unlike other TV show characters who sit around and try to make the other person sort Fleabag just gets on with life even though she is broken inside.

Flirting with guys on a bus is not always a good idea.

Fleabag has an awkward encounter with a man that is listed as ‘Bus Rodent’ on the cast list. He offers to take her out for a drink which ends with her walking around London crying before visiting her parents at 2 o’clock in the morning. She manages to confuse herself, him and all of us in the process making us wonder what on earth is going on. Bus Rodent later shows up at a party with her and it is, well, *awkward.* From this awful and highly cringe-worthy situation, we can all come to a joining flirting with random on a bus with not end well.

It’s OK to be brutally honest.

In the first five minutes of the show, we learn about what it means to be a single woman’s life in London but not glamorously at all. In fact, it is told with such brutal honesty you find yourself on the verge of awkwardness, but yet it is strangely comforting. Waller-Smith wrote Fleabag as a rather controversial character  and when asked about this she said: “I can’t believe they (The BBC) are letting me do this.” She is honest about everything from how Obama arouses her to her thoughts on her godmother-cum-stepmother. My favourite scene is at the beginning of Episode 2, on the tube (subway for Americans) when all the people around her are screaming in time with the music. After about 30 seconds she looks at the camera and announces “I think my period’s coming.”

We can’t all be the perfect 9-5, glamorous partner, Burberry coat person.

In fact, most of us never will be. Fleabag makes you feel better about being human and not an image of perfection. Described as “Authentic. Foul-Mouthed. Unapologetic. Witty.” She gives us an attainable image of a modern woman that we can all see what our lives will most probably end up being like. This show gives average, every-day women who have dreams of being something one day a hope that maybe something will turn out right. Fleabag gives those who do the 5-9 shift, the ‘my coat is from Primark’, ‘I’m single’ side of things a friend, an ally.

Being single isn’t a bad thing.

Even though you feel awful after a breakup, you can always have a rebound guy. Or two. Fleabag goes through the breakup and learning to single again stage and it gives hope to those of us who are single and hating it. There’s always single guys out there. We can enjoy life just as much being on our own. Or not. Being single, as Fleabag learns, is horrible. You see women with their husbands/partners/one-night stands and wish you were them. So when you have the idea to run into your ex-boyfriend’s apartment pretending to be a kidnapper in the hope that he will be turned on, why not? Do it!

Fleabag is released in the US on Amazon Prime on the 16th of September. It is on BBC Three until December 2016/ January 2017.

Kitty Bates
Kitty is a reclusive teenager who works in Digital Marketing and enjoys reading, watching strange YouTube videos and Drag Race fan edits on Instagram. Her favourite TV show is Shadowhunters, although Drag Race comes a close second.
Become a
Pop culture fans! Write what you love and have your work seen by millions.