A second season of the searingly honest comedy Fleabag is in the works, but don’t expect a rerun of the award-winning first season any time soon.
That’s according to its writer and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge — who we love — and who’s experienced nothing short of a meteoric rise since the first season debuted last year on Amazon. In just a short time, she’s been named showrunner on BBC America series Killing Eve, bagged a spot on the Millennium Falcon in the upcoming Han Solo movie, and just last week (May 14) topped the whole thing off with a TV BAFTA award.
Clearly, Phoebe was onto something with Fleabag, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to try and replicate the formula in season two.
“It will be something completely different,” Phoebe told Variety. “It will still be her and her story, but in a completely different time of her life.
“You know how parts of your life feel different to you, when you look back nostalgically? I just sort of felt like that series should just feel like a stage in her life when that happened. And then I’m gonna go into a new stage in her life, so there’ll be a whole new structure and story and everything. I think I’ve found a way to do it.”
To recap, the six episode first season told the story of a 20-something London woman (known only as “Fleabag”) dealing with a recent tragedy. But don’t worry! We won’t give away any spoilers here. Suffice to say though, by the end of the final episode, every loose end has been well and truly tied.
“I was told in the first place to keep things open at the end of the season,” Phoebe explained, “but [Fleabag’s] arc closes off, and the relationship between her and the audience ends. So when it first came up about doing another season, I was like ‘No way. I can’t see a way back in, and I don’t want to milk it. I don’t want to flog it.’
“But then Amazon gave me a little time to think about it, and then just one day I’m on a bus and just was like ‘Hold on, I think I’ve found a new way in’.”
What that means for the cast, in particular Phoebe’s fellow BAFTA nominee Olivia Colman, we don’t know. As Fleabag’s evil stepmother, Olivia got to play a nasty character for a change, one who wasn’t afraid of administering an almighty slap.
And according to Phoebe, it was 100% real: “She loved it. She loves slapping me — she really slapped me in that scene that we have.”
We’ll have to wait and see if Olivia — not to mention Hugh Skinner as Fleabag’s boyfriend Harry, Sian Clifford as her sister Claire, and Brett Gelman as Claire’s creepy husband Martin — will have a part to play in the new season.
One mystery has been cleared up, however. Why “Fleabag?”
Phoebe explained: “It’s kind of my nickname. My family nickname. Flea ears, or occasionally Fleabag. And when I was trying to find a title for the show, my mum phoned me and referred to me as Fleabag on the phone and I was like, oh s—. S—, that’s it, it’s my name.”
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