"
Breathe, keep breathing. Don't lose your nerve" -
Radiohead



Page 324: Fleabag

/ Monday, November 28, 2016 /

There are two types of sadness that can caused by a movie or a TV show, in my opinion:
1. Classic one. The one that makes you cry, the kind of sadness that’s easier to be understood. The less complicated one.
2. The one that shakes your soul, makes you speechless, haunts you for days, and once in a while makes you think about your life. But there’s no tears, it’s just inexplicable and sort of depressive, just like Darren Aronofsky’s movies.

Fleabag contains the second one, like most dark comedy shows. The final episode from its season 1 made me feel uncomfortable after some mysteries finally have been revealed and the dots have been connected. I read somewhere that Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the writer and creator intentionally put the sad and or shocking scene after a funny one. Because that's the right time to attack the audience with the right amount of bitterness since happiness makes them a little bit fragile. I personally think it’s brilliant. Sick, sort of, ha, but brilliant.

image courtesy: here
image courtesy: here
Fleabag is definitely for people with morbid sense of humor – like me and my friend who recommended it to me; who love to laugh at shitty things that happen in our life since that’s one of our best coping mechanisms; who more often than not, laugh at inappropriate moments; and have fondness for metaphors and irony. But as a single woman in this modern life who sometimes feels the anxiety for knowing that some people in my life expect me to have a life that’s perceived as a normal one, it’s more than just entertaining. It makes me feel normal and not so alone.

I can relate to some of her problems. I can relate to loneliness that makes her more reckless. I can relate to her effort to be an independent woman who's too proud to admit that she needs help sometimes. I understand her weariness for having a big sister who seems to have a normal life. I understand that sometimes, laughing at problems that can make other people cry is your only weapon to make life more bearable and postpone the ache.

image courtesy: here
Fleabag is a not a lovable character. She’s pretty far from delightful, and you can’t say that she has many endearing qualities. Pity her? Yes, maybe. But at some point you might wish she kills herself. But the way she sees life and the way she survives in this life makes her interesting. She’s every fucked up 30(ish) person who is still clueless, silly, (sometimes) childish, with foggy career path and doesn’t seem to make it. She’s the anti-heroine you need to make you feel better about yourself, the martyr that put us on pedestal. 

But she’s also every single middle class girl who sometimes asks herself “what the hell is wrong with me?” or “how did I get here?” for lacking the ability to control herself from repeating the same mistake.

The series also talks about some issues related to woman, for instance, male ego in a changing world where gender equality is rising and they have to share the big cake of privilege and opportunities. (Okay, sorry, spoiler alert) One episode presented this in such a hilarious way. They had this camp to make men "a better man" by allowing them to yell at this sex doll about things that annoy them from women in their life. Like "slut!" or "who did you blow to get that job?". They had female only camp too, which was way weirder. One of the most memorable scenes for me was the speech that fleabag heard in the camp her father sent her to:
Leaving your voice in your head and trapping your heads in your skull. Think of it as a thought prison in your mind. Firstly, we're going to teach you how to breathe. Then we will have a short meditation, then we will find our sanctuary in the partaking of menial tasks all in perfect silence. Principal rules are no talking. If you need to communicate with any of our other superiors, you can write on that board. No matter what happens, a word must not be heard.

It’s like a satire of how women are still, somehow oppressed to not really express their thoughts and be more submissive. You’d find it funny, you might chuckle, but also curse a little bit.

I also liked how fleabag discussed female sexuality and modern dating (and the plight of it). From sexting, hooking up, to instant gratification and complacency. Her comment on anal sex was memorable and the masturbating part was silly yet true (sometimes, you're the only one whom you can count on, right, girls? Ha). After a terrific first season, I wonder what Phoebe Waller-Bridge would bring in the next season – something that I’m excited about.

image courtesy: here

 
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