Fleabag reminded me a bit of GIRLS, in that it calls itself a comedy, but it isn’t exactly funny.
Fleabag is the story of a woman on the downswing. She has her own business, but that business has seen better days. She loves her father, but he has moved on to a new woman after the death of her mother. She has a troubled relationship with her sister, there are hints that things used to be better. She has a boyfriend that she keeps kicking out and taking back. And she is still a bit broken up about her best friend killing herself in front of their cafe.
So, sounds like a load of laughs so far, right?
What few laughs are to be had come from Fleabag doing her best House of Cards camera stares. My favorite scene sees her picking up a loser on a bus. As they exchange numbers, the man looks at her and says-I’m going to treat you like the little bitch you are. She smiles and nods eagerly. Then he says, Ha! Just kidding! and she frowns and falls into a pout. She does a lot of eye cuts and makes a lot of faces for the camera.
But these little wink wink nudge nudge moments at the camera don’t do much to overcome the overall depressing nature of the stories. Everyone is cruel and vile. Fleabag would be perfectly justified in getting an UZI and killing everyone she meets. The dialogue is far over the top as well. In the opening scene of the first episode Fleabag has anal sex with a man she tells us has a large cock. This causes her to wonder, do I have an enormous asshole? This was delivered as a laugh-line, but I didn’t find it particularly funny.
Fleabag is well made and well acted. If you like a comedy that makes you want to slit your wrists, this might be the show for you. I watched all six episodes and liked most of them. I just don’t like it when a show like this is billed as a comedy. ITV’s Viscious is just as mean spirited and cruel, but Viscous is funny and Fleabag is not.