Flying against the wind with this I know, but the second series of Fleabag leaves me rather cold…
“I think you’ve played with my guinea pig long enough”
I’m not sure why I’ve never succumbed to the Fleabag love that has swept the nation. Whether onstage or on screen, Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s magnus opus has never quite done it for me but what do I know – the return of the show, to a West End theatre no less, sold out quickly and the column inches about this second series of the TV show have been mounting up.
And ever the contrarian, this follow-up hasn’t really tickled my fancy either. The one thing that I think it did brilliantly was in its use of the fourth wall, particularly how Andrew Scott’s hot vicar was able to see through it for the loneliness avoidance technique it was and for pure storytelling, I thought it worked very well in terms of humanising a character who has always been rather arch.
For that has been the biggest stumbling block for me, the lack of connection with Fleabag herself, or any of the scrapes in which she finds herself. Even here, the notion of seducing a priest feels de trop, but then not everything has to be for me. There’s pleasure in seeing a supporting cast of this quality, Fiona Shaw and Kristin Scott Thomas both pop in for a bit, Hugh Skinner returns and Olivia Colman is fabulously cutting.