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Why ‘Fleabag’ is a Modern Masterpiece

Fleabag is a TV show created by, written by, and starring British actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Adapted from her one-woman show, the story follows a woman only known as Fleabag, as she navigates her life in London. The premise may not seem very interesting, but the show has been hailed as one of best TV series in the 21st Century by many critics.

The show is rather short, with only two seasons and 12 episodes standing at 25 minutes each, but Waller-Bridge manages to highlight topics such as grief, religion, feminism, love, and sexuality in a short amount of time, while also being hilarious and heartbreaking.

One of the most unique aspects of the show is how Fleabag continuously breaks the fourth wall and talks to the audience directly. This device has been popularized by movies such as Deadpool; however, the way that Waller-Bridge uses this narrative device is what truly separates this show from any other shows on TV.

As Fleabag breaks the fourth wall, she disengages herself from everyone around her, and forms this secret relationship with the audience. This device became a way for us to know exactly what Fleabag is thinking, but Waller-Bridge also used it to constantly play with our expectations before hitting us with some incredibly tragic moments and pathos.

The cast is also one of the highlights of the show, with Olivia Coleman as the Godmother who we love to hate; Andrew Scott as The Priest that every religious stereotype on TV, and Sian Clifford as Fleabag’s uptight sister, Claire. All of them have incredible comedic timing and great chemistry on screen.

Waller-Bridge’s performance and her extremely sharp and witty writing are the core of the show, and she created a profoundly human, modern masterpiece about overcoming grief in laughter. ‘Fleabag’ can make the audience laugh just as quickly as she can make them cry, and that is the true testament of Waller-Bridge’s incredible range both as an actor and writer.

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