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Guinea pigs and remorse: six things James Bond could learn from Fleabag

The Guardian logo The Guardian 15/04/2019 Stuart Heritage
(Photo by Jenny Anderson/Getty Images) © Getty (Photo by Jenny Anderson/Getty Images)

Phoebe Waller-Bridge has been hired to do a pass on the new James Bond script, which puts us in an unprecedented position. It means that maybe, just maybe, the next 007 film may be worth getting excited about. Not least because Bond (the man) can learn a lot from Fleabag (the woman). Here is how Waller-Bridge could shake up the series.

Add more humour

© Getty

This is Fleabag’s default mode. Even in times of incredible sadness, she will find a way to deflect the intensity of the situation with an inappropriate remark. You know what Bond – especially Daniel Craig’s Bond – does in similar scenarios? Murders people. At best, he gives a camp one-liner, but usually it is just murder. Speaking of which …

Show remorse

Fleabag and Bond are monsters. They are both responsible for human deaths. Fleabag had an affair with her best friend’s boyfriend, which caused her best friend to kill herself, while Bond roams around the world murdering dozens of people. The difference is that Fleabag’s guilt acted as the catalyst for the entire series, while Bond has never shown an iota of remorse for anything.

Improve shower etiquette

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When Fleabag surprises people in the shower, it is dressed up as a terrorist to scare them half to death. When Bond surprises people in the shower, as he does in Skyfall, it is to coerce a frightened woman who was once trafficked into the sex trade into intercourse. Fleabag’s way is less icky.

Get a guinea pig

Fleabag has a pet guinea pig. Bond does not. People with guinea pigs are generally better than people who don’t have guinea pigs. End of lesson.

Love your siblings

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There is an argument for characterising the whole of Fleabag as a love story between sisters. They fight, they endure long periods of estrangement, but ultimately they realise that they will always be there for one another when things get tough. Meanwhile, as explained in Spectre, Blofeld is actually sort of Bond’s brother. And what did Bond do to him? He shot down his helicopter and almost killed him, which is excessive.

Beware Andrew Scott

Finally, something that Fleabag could learn from Bond: be more wary of Andrew Scott. Of the two, only Bond was smart enough to get his boss to fling Scott off an atrium before he had a chance to really balls things up, as he did in Spectre. Fleabag didn’t – and he ended up dumping her for God. The moral here: always throw Scott off an atrium at the first chance you get.

Related: James Bond stars: The and Now [Microsoft GES]


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