I Don't Even Get The Title

Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s creation

Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s creation

I had a conversation a year or so ago with my son-in-law about Girls, the Lena Dunham show that ran on HBO for several seasons. I brought up something that struck me when I heard the hype about the show, and decided to watch.

This was that the show was about four young women in their early 20s, just breaking into adulthood, leaving the nests of their parents and getting lost in the big city.

And I was the parent. That’s how I felt, anyway. I felt as though these women represented all people at this particular stage of life, when we live and learn away from the gaze of real, responsible adults. This is how we allow ourselves to completely screw up, recognizing that we’re just going to continue this so we might as well get used to it.

So I felt like a spy, as ridiculous as that sounds. I felt it was inappropriate to watch the show.

Also, I didn’t really enjoy what I saw. Maybe I would later. I didn’t watch that much.

For what it’s worth, my son-in-law said I should check it out eventually. He ended up watching the whole series and said it was good. Maybe.

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Anyway, I’ve been seeing this sort of thing a lot lately. Famous people, creative people, people I respect (although, now that I think of it, they may all be men; hmm) are going nuts over this Amazon Prime series. It’s now on its second (and final, I think) season.

I’m not sure I ever paid attention to it, or even noticed it. There’s a lot of original material coming out of Amazon and Netflix these days. I can’t possibly pay attention and I don’t care to. There are limited hours in my day, maybe more than some but still limited.

Not that this was created by Amazon. It was originally shown on the BBC, beginning three years ago. Apparently it’s just now taking off. I’m curious about this, but I was more curious about the show.

I watched a couple of episodes, then. I get it. It’s really wonderful.

It’s also quirky, odd in a British odd way, and with a flavor I couldn’t quite describe until I settled on vulgar.

That’s a tricky word. I wasn’t offended by Fleabag. I was amused, a lot, and intrigued, and fascinated by the quality of the production, acting, timing, camera, the whole shebang.

I know what it is. I grew up in a different time, exposed to different things, with a lot hidden and never depicted. Unlike Call Me By Your Name, which made me feel slightly distant just because it involved love between 20-somethings, Fleabag features a woman of my daughter’s vintage. Like Girls, I have a strange voyeur reaction that I don’t care for. Some things I’m not supposed to think about. Apparently.

It’s not that I relate even in a small way to the characters, even the few my age. There’s an Atlantic filter, with accents and slang and just behavior I don’t recognize as familiar. That helps make it entertaining, actually, just the difference.

And it’s not really the sex (mostly for laughs) or the language (never an issue), or even the plot (again, this is a comedy). This is me, not them. Not you, even. It’s me.

Still, it’s the kind of TV I prefer. It’s short and sweet, it’s very funny. It’s just done so well, I may have to keep watching.

At the same time, it makes me laugh to find myself looking away, uncomfortable with the awkwardness of love and sex and relationships at an age I’m far, far removed from, although I remember it well.

Maybe too well, and so it goes. Joss Whedon obviously has no problem with it, and he’s not that much younger. No judging, dude.

Chuck SigarsComment