The phenomenal screen writer, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who is know for Fleabag and Killing Eve, has returned with her latest mini series Fleabag season 2. The six-episode series lead you into a city girl’s personal life in London. Continuing her story in season one, Phoebe’s unnamed leading character, which we could just call her Fleabag, cheated her best friend, being molested by her sister’s husband, being misunderstood by her sister, and had a distant relationship with her sister, father and step mother. And, she falls in love with a priest, so to say the least she has a complicated urban life.
What makes the show so compelling is Fleabag’s constant struggle with her personal identity and social identities throughout the chain of events. As we learnt in the Keyword: Identity essay by Karen Coats, personal identity is defined as the “sameness of a person at all times and in all circumstances.” So what is Fleabag’s true self at all times. The show does an excellent job to let audience peep inside her inner world by telling the story in her narrative and let her interacting with the audience constantly. As a result, we see this female figure who is intelligent, humorous, independent, sympathetic, and the list of merits can go on and on. Yet, largely because of her beautiful and charming appearance, she is deeply misunderstood by the society and the people around her. For instance, she was heartbroken and crying when her mother past away, but just because she was so naturally gorgeous without any makeup cover during her mother’s funeral, every body was telling how great she looked while she was greeting at the front door. As a matter of fact, her friend and she even wore her some makeups to make her look worse, but that still didn’t stop other people’s false opinion about how Fleabag didn’t care about her mother and wear the way she wear only to shine for herself.
That is how hard Fleabag is living her entire life because she has to care about other people’s opinion of her identity. This phenomenon is also known as “the looking glass self” first mentioned by Charles H. Cooley in the Identity essay. It is true that personal identity always stays the same, but it is also true that self-identity in one’s eyes can be greatly affected by other elements in reality. Another great scene in the show, related to this theme, is how Fleabag defends her sister in a barber shop as the. She began her speech with ” Hair is everything”, and keep saying “It’s the difference between a good day and a bad day..” She continues on to say, ” We’re meant to think that it’s a symbol of power, that it’s a symbol of fertility.” Indeed, feminine appearances mean one’s identity in today’s society, and hair is everything. Just like how Fleabag is worrying she has too large a pair of poops to be a feminist, the show uses an intelligent and humorous way to show us a compelling case about a women’s life in today’s society.
Fleabag season 2 never eases to exploit the tension between personal identity and social identity perceived by others. It is heartwarming to see Fleabag is able to return her true self after her mistakes, encounters, and her love with the priest. After all, just like what the essay says at the end,” Ultimately, what we desire is to matter to the people who matter to us.”