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'Fleabag' Season 2 Labelled 'Best TV In Years' - Here's Why
Fleabag returned on Monday for 'Fleabag day', following show's writer, creator and star, Phoebe Waller-Bridge's eponymous character, a scatty singleton who runs a failing guinea pig café. And fans were glued to their screens during the cult BBC show's debut as Oscar Winner, Olivia Colman, returned as 'Godmother' in a 'delightfully evil' turn as the acid-tongued artist.
Fans were raving about the series two debut:
"GET YOUR HANDS OFF MY MISCARRIAGE!" is a line that only Phoebe Waller-Bridge could write. It's a perfect blend of tragedy and dark comedy #Fleabag- DMac:tm: (@1nclusionRider) March 4, 2019
JUST WATCH THE NEW FLEABAG ALREADY (the first episode of season 2 is one of the single greatest episodes of telly in years. YEARS) :star2::yellow_heart:- Terri White (@Terri_White) March 4, 2019
Jesus, that opening episode of Fleabag was amazing.- Dara Ó Briain (@daraobriain) March 4, 2019
The series, which has earned a host of four- and five-star reviews, opens at an uncomfortable family dinner to celebrate Godmother and Dad's engagement alongside her uptight sister Claire and her alcoholic husband Martin - but it's her Godmother's new Priest that captures Fleabag's attention.
After a number of thinly-veiled swipes at her future stepdaughters from Godmother, the evening comes to a tempestuous end, when an unexpected attack brings old tensions bubbling to the surface.
In one passive-aggressive exchange, the artist declares she is painting a portrait of the two sisters for her husband-to-be and will need to enlist them for "a couple of sittings".
When asked why she couldn't simply paint their likeness from photographs, she replies: "The lighting's not good enough, and if you're not photogenic then it does you no favours.
"And besides the only photos there are are from when you two were children and you look like a boy," she added, looking at Fleabag.
Fans delighted at Colman's star turn, branding her 'delightfully evil' and 'monstrous'.
One said: "Fuck I love Olivia Colman. #Fleabag"
While another commented: "I am living for Olivia Coleman in #Fleabag"
A third tweeted: "Okay, but Olivia Colmans character in #Fleabag is probably one of my favourite ever characters. It cannot be easy to play such a colossal tw*t that's weirdly so adorable, and I would really love to just be best mates with her, because she is an entire mood all by herself!"
But they were equally delighted by the arrival of a new character, a 'hot swearing priest' played by Andrew Scott.
The cigarette-smoking, tequila-drinking clergyman could signal a new love interest for Fleabag and Phoebe has hinted that he will urge her to reconsider her self-destructive tendencies in series two.
One fan tweeted: "Andrew Scott killing it in the new episode of #Fleabag."
A second tweeted: "Andrew Scott brilliant as a swearing priest with family secrets #Fleabag"
A third commented: "Fuck me Andrew Scott is marvellous. #Fleabag"
Andrew spoke to HuffPost UK about his character: "I think we were both very, very interested in representing a priest that isn't just a stereotypical idea of what we see as a priest now as millennials, because it's very easy to just... dismiss the priesthood or dismiss people who are religious.
"What we wanted was to create a chemistry, no matter what type of chemistry it was, we wanted these characters to have an extraordinary kind of connection."
The debut series scooped three BAFTA nominations (of which Phoebe won Best Female Performance) with critics hailing it as a 'scathingly funny' portrayal of life as a single woman.
The final episode of season one, which aired in August 2016, ended with Fleabag, still haunted by the suicide of her best friend, falling out with her sister whose husband had made a pass at her.
The new season sees Fleabag, whose real name is not revealed, attempting to ditch booze in favour of a healthy lifestyle and turning to religion as she attempts to navigate the highs and lows of adulthood.
Speaking about her character this week, Phoebe, 33, told BBC News: "She's really been trying hard to eat avocados and go jogging and live a good, quiet life.
"There's still something inside of her that's roaring and a great sadness as well. She's been rejected by everybody who loves her, so she's deeply lonely."
She added: "Sexual candour is how Fleabag controls her environment and conversations. It's a very empowering way to distract from her inner pain."
Explaining how season two came to fruition, Phoebe said: "I was really convinced I wasn't going to do a second series and felt I had a lot of artistic integrity in saying that.
"But a couple of ideas popped into my head that I got excited by and I thought, 'oh, go on then'.
"The real bedrock of it was tied up with the idea of religion. I was starting to write jokes about perspectives on the Christian faith and Catholicism, and that bled into the show.
"Once Andrew said yes, the story really started to take over in my imagination. I liked the idea of Fleabag meeting her match in someone with the same intelligence and wit she has who leads a completely different life."
It will see the return of Oscar winner Colman, Sian Clifford as Fleabag's sister Claire and Bill Paterson as their father.
New additions to the cast include Kristin Scott Thomas and Fiona Shaw, who also stars in Phoebe's hit crime thriller Killing Eve.
Fleabag continues on Monday BBC One and is available on BBC Three now
Featured Image Credit: BBC