Rookie mistake: I binge watched Fleabag

So, I watched FLEABAG and I am still a bit haunted by it.

I avoided it initially because the thought I might recognise myself in that character made me anxious… like, I don’t need to watch a show about a 20-something loser in London who completely fucks herself over with booze and a lack of self awareness because, hello, I was a 20-something loser in London who completely fucked herself over with booze and a lack of self awareness.

I don’t need to watch a show about a 20-something loser in London who completely fucks herself over with booze and a lack of self awareness

Also, honestly, I was a bit jealous.

But then everyone was getting all hysterical about it so, I thought I should have a crack at it.

Bit of a false start, I watched one episode and bugged out when Fleabag and her sister talked about how they hate their bodies, because, come the frick on.

Then Phoebe Waller-Bridge won the Emmy for all everything and made the entire US TV business look like a pile of turnips.

So I thought I’d better have another crack and get over my total inability to cope with people who are perfectly normal (or actually very beautiful, willowy and awesome) but are nonetheless forced to endlessly critique their bodies and self worth because our society is a cess pit that hates women.

So, I binge watched FLEABAG. And surprise, surprise… I related to her so much, except she is a goddamned stunner and I am a small potato, the kind that gets left at the bottom of the sack for weeks and eventually sprouts this pathetic little green tendril and then gives up. Also I have never accidentally killed someone with my low self esteem and total lack of self awareness (although I have killed many a relationship with them, so same diff).

Anyway, I binge watched FLEABAG from start to finish, and had to keep stopping it to stare into space and hyperventilate a bit and think about my life choices and just feel my own very deep well of sadness (very deep. So deep.) and accept that I will never love or be loved by anyone like she and Hot Priest loved one another – that soul deep respect and admiration and acceptance that both heals and remakes you, and just … burns away all the bullshit so you can hide from yourself anymore. Even though I really want to.

And I think I only understood that because I watched the WHOLE OF FLEABAG in one day, and I loved that Waller-Bridge let Fleabag and Hot Priest, really like each other. No one ever gets to just like each other in these things, they always cast insanely hot people who obviously wanna bang and that’s a shorthand for love, which is toxic bullshit. It’s never ever how I’ve felt about anyone ever, I always really like them first and then all those other feelings happen, and then I ruin everything by “just being myself”, but you have to like them first, you know? But I digress …

I binge watched FLEABAG, possibly in less than 8 hours, and had a really good cry about that ending.

It was an ugly cry, there was snot and I went fully fetal for a bit. But the end result is I just think TV is bloody great, and Phoebe Walker Bridge is bloody great, and so is Andrew Scott.

Like you know the first time his Hot Priest acknowledges her talking to us, the viewers, when asks her what just happened, where did she go, and then he looks at us, looks out the frame all confused and beautiful? And you realise he’s really SEEING her, seeing who she really is, and you get this feeling it’s maybe for the first time since Boo, or since her mum, or maybe even the first time in her whole life that someone has truly, absolutely seen her? That bit? That bit is just… really, really great.

But also, also really, really bad, like, did he play her? Manipulate her? Is he as fucked up as she is? Did he honestly think they could just be friends? Can we believe that? Are we all just that fucked up? And how do we start to sort all of that stuff out? Also, fuck life would be so much easier if God was real and sent you messages as en pointe as hiffing pictures off walls and miscarrying the babies of self indulgent bearded baboons who lie instead of it all just being meaningless chaos we have to choose to find meaning in. Fuck.

So anyway… I watched FLEABAG, and it was the worst best therapy session I’ve ever had.

Thank you for indulging my emo TMI.


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