Our most sincere condolences to writer Sophia Stewart, who recently confessed in this excellent LA Review of Books essay to watching the entirety of Fleabag Season 2 on the floor of the John Wayne Airport terminal. Not that there’s anything wrong with Fleabag–on the contrary, the show is undoubtedly marvelous (we must confess to having never seen the British comedy series about an angry and confused young London woman, portrayed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, but people we know and trust adore it). No, our sympathies lie with Stewart’s choice of where to watch the six-episode season. On this, Stewart seems to be in agreement:
But I can tell you that this season’s brief but profound love story ripped me apart, then stitched me back together. The stitches hurt, too. I watched the entirety of season two sitting cross-legged and recently heartbroken on the floor of John Wayne Airport. I don’t recommend watching all of the second season of Fleabag on the floor of John Wayne Airport. I do, however, recommend watching the second season of Fleabag with a broken heart. What the six episodes—and especially the final episode—offer is acute emotional catharsis.
To be fair, we can see the allure and romance of wanting to watch Fleabag Season 2 (or any other season; or any other show) on the floor of the John Wayne Airport terminal. This is, after all, the same terminal that’s appeared in big budget movies. Who could forget seeing Tom Cruise, Renee Zellwegger and little Jonathan Lipnicki at one of the airport’s baggage claim carousels in Jerry Maguire? Or Steve Martin in The Out-of-Towners, frantically searching for luggage at–oh, wait, that took place at baggage claim, too.
There’s no denying cinema’s strong attraction to John Wayne Airport. It was just two years ago when Harrison Ford chose to accidentally land his vintage aircraft on one of John Wayne Airport’s taxiways instead of the runway that had been cleared for him, narrowly missing a 737 airliner in the process.
And why not–the airport’s named after one of the most famous actors of the 20th century! In fact, this month marks the 40th anniversary of the Orange County Board of Supervisors’ decision to rename the airport after Wayne. Despite nearly 50 calls from residents telling them that renaming the airport was a mistake, the Supes did it anyway: “[W]e’d never get anything done if we put everything to a vote,” Supervisor Tom Riley said, according to the June 21, 1979, Los Angeles Times, which pretty much summed up the Supervisors’ governing style, then and now.
But please, we beg you–don’t sit on the floor of the terminal and binge watch an entire television show season. Look at the photo at the top of this story: Does that floor look even a tiny bit comfortable? We can only imagine the chain of events that led Stewart to decide the floor was her best option for binge-watching Fleabag Season 2’s six half-hour episodes (were they each an hour long, it’s doubtful she would have survived).
Still, we’re here to help. To assist any reader out there absolutely determined to binge watch some sort of program while sitting on the floor at John Wayne Airport, we asked OC Weekly Calendar Editor Aimee Murillo for advice. After a long, long pause, Murillo threw up her arms and said, “Pee Wee’s Playhouse.”
We can think of nothing more appropriate.
Anthony Pignataro has been a journalist since 1996. He spent a dozen years as Editor of MauiTime, the last alt weekly in Hawaii. He also wrote three trashy novels about Maui, which were published by Event Horizon Press. But he got his start at OC Weekly, and returned to the paper in 2019 as a Staff Writer.