We've been watching Fleabag on Amazon recently. Awhile back I had tried the first episode and was not that interested in it. It seemed too... harsh? But after hearing a lot of buzz about it, we revisited, and we both thought it got a lot better as it went on. We're into season 2 now, and it's taking an unusual turn. Throughout the series (right from the beginning) the protagonist will look at the camera and talk, breaking the fourth wall and addressing the audience. Little asides, or just glances and facial expressions. You get used to it and it can be amusing and it just feels like a metafictional quirk of the show. But in the second season, she meets this Catholic priest and at one point she's talking to him and turns to say something to the camera and he's like, "What was that? Where did you go just now?" It's a striking alteration to the reality of the show. He's starts noticing it more and more and once even seems to hear what she said.
This alteration to the reality got me spinning new ideas about how I've been reading these asides. I have no idea if they are true, but I've created hypotheses as I view (which is something Bordwell talks about in Narration in the Fiction Film which I am almost finished reading). Before the scene with the priest occurs, she's talking to an analyst and when asked if you has any friends, she seems to refer to the audience (i.e. the people she's talking to when she looks at the camera) as her friends. And sometimes when she does the talking, they cut to her dead friend making gestures or expressions as if in response to what she said. So now I'm thinking that she's NOT talking to the camera/audience/fourth wall, she's actually talking to her people in her head... her dead friend... maybe others. The metafictional element shifts to become a... fictional element.
I have no idea if this is what is going on, but now it's something I'm watching for. Besides all that it is a funny show, I laugh out loud a lot at it.
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