Life is messy, relationships complicated, and not everyone is on their best behavior all the time. That about sums up things for Fleabag, the titular character of the Amazon Prime/BBC co-production Fleabag, created by and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Killing Eve). The dark British dramedy is short, straight-shooting, and hard-hitting, and even after finishing its run is still creating buzz.
The series centers on Fleabag (played by Waller-Bridge), a very real, raw, often vulgar, and sexually voracious woman who is struggling with the complications of family and grief. She and her neat and tidy sister Claire (Sian Clifford) are polar opposites but are together trying to cope with the death of their mother.
Meanwhile, their father moves on with their not-so-nice godmother (Olivia Coleman), causing higher tension in the family. Fleabag faces all of her struggles with dry wit and a cutting temper, lashing out at those trying to offer help or kindness, as she fights with dogged perseverance to pull herself up.
Fleabag is based on Waller-Bridge’s award-winning, one-woman play she created for the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Hints of that type of performative quality stick with the show, with the protagonist frequently making asides to the audience, breaking the fourth wall with a wry comment or sly look.
These addresses to the camera range from a quick “catch up” of how she’s feeling to a cutting an1d sarcastic commentary on other characters, and how she feels about them. It was the success of Fleabag as a stage show that lead to Waller-Bridge being brought in as writer and show-runner for the first season of the BBC hit suspense drama, Killing Eve. The thriller similarly uses her skill for writing deep and complicated women, a prominent element of Fleabag.
Season 1 of Fleabag aired in 2016, and was a quiet but highly regarding hit. Many fans and critics felt that the first season of the show stood alone and needed no follow up. However, the second season came in with a bigger punch and ended up being even more potent to most viewers and critics, hailed as powerful, devastating, and rewarding. Both seasons maintain a solid 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, and season 2 won four Primetime Emmy Awards for Directing and Best Comedy Series. Waller-Bridge took home Emmys for Writing and Best Lead Actress in a Comedy.
Despite the acclaim and unexpected success of the second season, Waller-Bridge and the rest of the team feel satisfied with the ending of the tight, compact story, and no future seasons are currently planned.
Unlike many series, with long episodes and even longer seasons, Fleabag can be watched in its entirety in a few hours. Each season is no more than six episodes at barely 30 minutes apiece. The entire binge comes in at just over 5 hours in length in total.
How to watch Fleabag
Fleabag is distributed through Amazon Prime, and both seasons are available to stream there. If you aren’t an Amazon Prime member yet, they offer a free 30-day trial, and then subscription options include:
- A video-only plan for $8.99 a month
- Monthly Amazon Prime rate of $12.99, including all Prime benefits
- Annual Amazon Prime rate of $119, including all Prime benefits
Episodes can be streamed through Amazon Prime. Watch on the web or on Roku, Apple TV, Tivo, as well as smart TVs, gaming consoles, and mobile devices.