And, actually, we’re okay with that…
Three years is a long time to wait for anything, but that’s how long it’s been since Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag was on our screens. Yes, really.
We’ve really missed Fleabag’s dark sense of humour, her perpetually empty, slightly depressing cafe and Olivia Colman’s star turn as her passive-aggressive artist step-mother. Luckily, the wait will soon be over, as we now have a start date for series two - 17 May 2019.
But as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and it looks like this will our last chance to enjoy Fleabag’s trademark glance at the camera and “morally bankrupt” attitude. Speaking at a Television Critics Association panel, Waller-Bridge confirmed that the series wouldn’t be returning for a third time, telling the audience, “I decided there absolutely should not be a third [series].”
However, the writer also had the same thoughts about creating a second series, and said she took “great pride in my artistic integrity” when deciding against revisiting the Fleabag world. But the ideas kept coming, and Waller-Bridge soon found she had a notebook full of Fleabag-esque moments - a second series script had more or less written itself.
“I needed space. I grew up in that time. It’s the next chapter,” Waller-Bridge said about taking a three-year break from the character, “That means you can delve into whole aspects of that psychology. It gives you psychological freedom. Going back watching the first series after that much time taught me so much about writing.”
And it’s not as though Waller-Bridge has been sat around doing nothing for the past three years - as well as appearing in major Hollywood films such as Goodbye Christopher Robin and Solo: A Star Wars Story, she also wrote the incredibly successful and feminist crime series Killing Eve.
While it’s rather sad to realise we’ll never watch Fleabag masturbate to a Barack Obama speech again, we also understand why Waller-Bridge is reluctant to return to the character. There’s nothing worse than watching a once-loved show slowly descend into obscurity, losing its charm and rehashing the same old jokes.
The binge-watch culture created by on-demand services and Netflix means that we consume TV quickly and greedily, rarely taking stock of what we are actually watching. Fleabag is so unique and brilliant that it deserves all the adulation it receives and ending after two series makes it feel even more special.
So congratulations Phoebe Waller-Bridge for sticking to your guns and not bowing to popularity. Thanks to your guidance, Fleabag might have just reached what all writers crave - cult status.
Fleabag series two will premiere on BBC3 on 17 May 2019.
Images: BBC Two / Two Brothers