Fleabag title card
|Created by||Phoebe Waller-Bridge|
|Written by||Phoebe Waller-Bridge|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||2|
|No. of episodes||12 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||23–28 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Two Brothers Pictures Limited|
|Picture format||HDTV 1080i|
|Original release||21 July 2016 –|
8 April 2019
Fleabag is a British comedy-drama television series set in London. It was originally produced by Two Brothers Pictures for digital channel BBC Three in a co-production agreement with Amazon Studios. Show creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge writes and stars as the protagonist, Fleabag, an angry, confused and sexually voracious young woman living in London. Sian Clifford and Olivia Colman also star. The programme is particularly known for "breaking the fourth wall" when the protagonist talks to the camera.
The show premiered on 21 July 2016 and concluded its second and final series on 8 April 2019. Among its accolades, Waller-Bridge was awarded the British Academy Television Award for Best Female Comedy Performance in 2017. The second season received eleven Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including Outstanding Comedy Series and acting nominations for Waller-Bridge, Clifford, Colman, Shaw, and Scott Thomas.
The show is adapted from Waller-Bridge's 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe one-woman play of the same name which won the Fringe First Award. The initial idea of the character of Fleabag came from a challenge by a friend, where Waller-Bridge was given the task of creating a sketch for a 10-minute section in a stand-up storytelling night.
- Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Fleabag, a young woman living in London
- Sian Clifford as Claire, Fleabag's sister
- Olivia Colman as Fleabag's godmother, who is now in a relationship with Fleabag's father
- Bill Paterson as Fleabag's dad
- Brett Gelman as Martin, Claire's husband
- Hugh Skinner as Harry, Fleabag's ex-boyfriend
- Hugh Dennis as Bank Manager, approached by Fleabag for a loan
- Ben Aldridge as Arsehole Guy, one of Fleabag's love interests
- Jamie Demetriou as Bus Rodent, one of Fleabag's love interests (series 1)
- Jenny Rainsford as Boo, Fleabag's deceased best friend
- Andrew Scott as The Priest, with whom Fleabag falls in love (series 2)
- Fiona Shaw as Fleabag's counsellor (series 2)
- Kristin Scott Thomas as Belinda, a successful businesswoman who Fleabag meets at an awards ceremony presented by Claire (series 2)
- Ray Fearon as Hot Misogynist, who serves as Fleabag's lawyer and love interest (series 2)
- Angus Imrie as Jake, Martin's teenage son and Claire's step-son
- Christian Hillborg as Klare, Claire's Finnish business partner and love interest (series 2)
- Jo Martin as Pam, who works at The Priest's church (series 2)
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||6||21 July 2016||25 August 2016|
|2||6||4 March 2019||8 April 2019|
Season 1 (2016)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||1||"Episode 1"||Tim Kirkby||Phoebe Waller-Bridge||21 July 2016|
|Fleabag recounts her day, starting with a one-night stand with a strange request and a bus pick-up to whom she explains how she split from her boyfriend, Harry. After being refused a bank loan, she meets (and argues with) her sister, Claire, at a feminist lecture before visiting her estranged father and godmother, whom he courted with indecent haste upon widowhood and is not Fleabag's favourite person. She helps a drunk woman (who rejects Fleabag’s sexual advances) and pleasures herself in a taxi after the stranger on the bus fails to fulfill his promise.|
|2||2||"Episode 2"||Harry Bradbeer||Phoebe Waller-Bridge||28 July 2016|
|Haunted by memories of her dead best friend, dumped by her emotionally fragile boyfriend, and now desperately trying to sell the stolen statue to Claire's husband, Martin (a man who would like to be unfaithful, with Fleabag), Fleabag attempts to rekindle romantic fires with the man who prefers a rear entry to distract her from the mayhem of her life.|
|3||3||"Episode 3"||Harry Bradbeer||Phoebe Waller-Bridge||4 August 2016|
|Fleabag helps her inappropriate brother-in-law buy a present for Claire, who is organizing her own surprise birthday party. On the hunt for a date, Fleabag reconnects with a toothy friend.|
|4||4||"Episode 4"||Harry Bradbeer||Phoebe Waller-Bridge||11 August 2016|
|Fleabag and her sister, Claire, reluctantly visit a female-only silent retreat, courtesy of their father. Their enforced silence is interrupted by an unusual neighbouring weekend workshop, explosive secrets coming to light and a surprising connection with an old acquaintance.|
|5||5||"Episode 5"||Harry Bradbeer||Phoebe Waller-Bridge||18 August 2016|
|On the anniversary of their mother's death, Fleabag and Claire return to their family home for the annual memorial lunch. But this time there is an interloper. Things get heated between Fleabag and her godmother, who muscles her way into the occasion and reveals plans for her, "sex-hibition."|
|6||6||"Episode 6"||Harry Bradbeer||Phoebe Waller-Bridge||25 August 2016|
|Fleabag takes a date to her godmother's, "sex-hibition," to discover a few shocks are in store for her there, including a declaration of love, a familiar piece of work, and an entire wall of surprises. But where is Claire? The series 1 finale forces Fleabag to face up to her actions and to finally reveal what happened to her beloved friend, Boo.|
Season 2 (2019)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|7||1||"Episode 1"||Harry Bradbeer||Phoebe Waller-Bridge||4 March 2019|
|Fleabag returns, joining an uncomfortable family dinner to celebrate Godmother and Dad’s engagement. Alongside familiar faces - uptight sister Claire and her alcoholic husband Martin - Fleabag find herself intrigued by Godmother’s new priest. The evening comes to a tempestuous end, when an unexpected attack brings old tensions bubbling to the surface.|
|8||2||"Episode 2"||Harry Bradbeer||Phoebe Waller-Bridge||11 March 2019|
|A counselling session elicits an uncomfortable truth from Fleabag, and she finds herself somewhere unexpected. Elsewhere, a chat with Claire brings some unwelcome news, Martin and Fleabag face off, and Jake wonders where Claire is.|
|9||3||"Episode 3"||Harry Bradbeer||Phoebe Waller-Bridge||18 March 2019|
|Fleabag helps with an event at Claire’s work which inevitably ends in disaster, but an introduction to Claire’s colleague proves intriguing, and a chance meeting with a stranger opens Fleabag’s eyes.|
|10||4||"Episode 4"||Harry Bradbeer||Phoebe Waller-Bridge||25 March 2019|
|The priest takes Fleabag for some quiet reflection leading to an unexpected revelation. After a day spent looking back on painful memories, Fleabag searches for solace, only to find more trouble.|
|11||5||"Episode 5"||Harry Bradbeer||Phoebe Waller-Bridge||1 April 2019|
|Claire has a crisis and turns to Fleabag for help, whilst a familiar face makes a reappearance at the cafe. Hilary makes a friend, Martin demands answers, and Godmother and Dad’s wedding hangs in the balance.|
|12||6||"Episode 6"||Harry Bradbeer||Phoebe Waller-Bridge||8 April 2019|
|The day of Godmother and Dad's wedding has arrived and Fleabag has decided to give them an all too familiar gift. Claire finally tells Martin that she doesn't love him following a revelation about her miscarriage, while Martin has a few home truths of his own. Fleabag persuades Claire to go after the man she really loves. Fleabag and the priest finally admit their love for one another.|
Distribution and broadcast
BBC Three is the initial broadcaster of the series. However, a repeat run of the first season was broadcast on BBC Two between 21 August and 25 September 2016. The second season, broadcast simulcast with BBC One on Monday nights at 10:35 pm as BBC Three, is now part of a one-hour programming block on BBC One as of 4 March 2019.
The series has been remade for French television by Jeanne Herry. Titled Mouche (French for 'fly', the insect), it started airing on 3 June 2019 on pay channel Canal+. Mouche is a close remake, though set in Paris with Camille Cottin in the starring role.
Both seasons of Fleabag received widespread acclaim from television critics. At review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, both seasons received approval ratings of 100%. The first season received an average rating of 8.5/10, based on 40 reviews, with the site's critical consensus reading: "Clever and viciously funny, Fleabag is a touching, wildly inventive comedy about a complicated young woman navigating the aftermath of trauma." The second season received an average rating of 9.29/10, based on 70 reviews, with the critical consensus stating: "Fleabag jumps back into the fray with a bracing second season that upholds its predecessors' frenzied wit and delicate heart, replete with Phoebe Waller-Bridge's indefatigable charisma". At Metacritic, the first season received a normalised score of 88 out of 100, based on 19 critics, while the second season received a score of 96, based on 19 critics, both signifying "universal acclaim".
Emily Nussbaum of The New Yorker described the show's first season as "a precision black-humor mechanism, a warped and affecting fable about one single woman's existence." Maureen Ryan at Variety called it "scathingly funny", concluding that "long after it’s pulled you in with its irreverence and jokes about sex, and beguiled you with its cutting wit and messily human characters, it reveals that it’s actually a tragedy". Hank Stuever of The Washington Post characterised it as a "funny, highly profane but surprisingly poignant dramedy". Mike Hale in The New York Times praised the show for its "restless, almost feral energy and its slap-in-the-face attitude." Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times commended its unpredictability, acting, and "clear eye for truth that often becomes, like all good comedy, quite devastating".
Serena Davies of The Daily Telegraph lauded the show's second season as "a near-perfect work of art". Mary Elizabeth Williams of Salon praised its "brilliant swan song", finding the series' conclusion satisfying and "well-earned". For Rolling Stone, Alan Sepinwall wrote that the "tragicomic masterpiece reaches new heights in its second outing". James Poniewozik of The New York Times wrote that "the new season feels immediately confident, if inevitably less groundbreaking. Yet it continues to push its form". At the show's conclusion Hannah Jane Parkinson of The Guardian described it as "the most electrifying, devastating TV in years", writing of the second season that "it seems as though many who either did not watch the first series, or who didn’t think it lived up to the hype, have been converted".
Awards and nominations
Phoebe's sister, Isobel Waller-Bridge, composed the music for the first series.
|Region 2 DVD (UK)||Region B Blu-ray (UK)||Region 4 DVD (AU)|
|1||6||3 October 2016||15 October 2018||28 March 2018|||
|2||6||6 May 2019||TBA|||
|1 & 2||12||6 May 2019||TBA|||
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