When the main character in Fleabag and Miranda TV series, talks to the camera, is that 3rd person or another technical term for the point of view?

It's often used in TV adverts I notice too.

They talk to the camera to convey their thoughts to the viewer. I can see it as the equivalent of the thought bubble in comics.

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    According to this website, the character is typically in first person when breaking the fourth wall. writeonsisters.com/writing-craft/pros-cons-breaking-fourth-wall/….
    – DWKraus
    Mar 28, 2021 at 18:58
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    While the answer about breaking the fourth wall is correct, I would think that the character directly addressing the audience would be second person, not third. Second person is "you", while third person is "he/she/they." Third person pronounces are used when talking about someone, not talking directly to them.
    – trlkly
    Mar 30, 2021 at 10:49
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    Whether a character breaks the 4th wall or not seems completely separate from the pov. You can do 4th wall breaks from any pov.
    – Harabeck
    Mar 30, 2021 at 15:45

4 Answers 4


For a character to reveal private thoughts by talking is a soliloquy. The pretext is that the character is just thinking but has to talk so the audience knows them.

On the other hand, if you mean the character addresses the camera as the proxy for the audience, the character is breaking the fourth wall -- that is, showing awareness that it is a fictional story with an audience, and that the "fourth wall" to the room that is implied to be there from the characters' point of view is really the opening of the stage to the audience.

  • The clearest example of breaking the fourth wall was It's Gary Shandling's Show. I'm not sure that other narrative asides count.
    – Barmar
    Mar 29, 2021 at 15:09
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    +1 upvote on answer and accepted answer for breaking 4th wall AND soliloquy. Thank you. Mar 30, 2021 at 9:09
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    @Barmar, Deadpool breaks the 4th wall quite a bit, to the point where it's considered part of his superpower to know he's in a fictional story. He even makes reference to music being played in the movies. NSFW: youtube.com/watch?v=rmlc9apqeAc Mar 31, 2021 at 16:17

This sounds like the TV trope Breaking the Fourth Wall:

tvtropes - Breaking The Fourth Wall

But the precise thing that you remember might be a related trope. In the sitcom Liv and Maddie, the characters would often talk to the audience to explain what they felt or thought.

And those are called Confession Cam segments:

tvtropes - Confession Cam

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    I think you could clarify that 4th wall breaks and confession cams aren't the same thing. Confession cams descend from reality shoes, and were used in The Office as an explicit part of the story, but then everyone got used to them, and shows used them without a story reason. Frank Underwood (House of Cards) doesn't do "confession cams," even when he talks directly to the camera. You could even quibble over the differences between a Deadpool and an Underwood 4th-wall break where I'm not sure Underwood knows he's in a show Mar 28, 2021 at 23:58
  • Yes, clarify that. Breaking the Fourth Wall long predates reality TV, although confession cams may have an influence on the style of some 4th wall breaks today.
    – Lee C.
    Mar 29, 2021 at 14:46
  • +1 upvote on answer for introducing breaking the fourth wall. I looked it up following your suggestion. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_wall - It helped me to see it as an entry in Wikipedia, as the definition in TV tropes made me misunderstand "breaking the fourth wall" as a TV show itself - which wasn't the intention I would think. But re-reading the TV tropes again and I can see it aligns to the Wikipedia entry. Thank you! Mar 30, 2021 at 9:09

"When the main character talks to the camera, is that 3rd person or another technical term for point of view?"

No – it is neither of those things.

"Point of view" usually refers to the point of view of the narrator, which can be omniscient, limited third-person, first-person, etc.

If a character breaks the fourth wall in a film – I emphasise "character" because I am assuming he doesn't stop being the character and become omniscient, or, even stranger, become the audience – then he's speaking. This is different from dialogue, different from a soliloquy too in that he's not speaking to himself, and it's different from introspection, but it's still a character speaking, and I'm assuming (see preceding sentence) he is speaking in his own voice. He may be telling us what happened yesterday, he may be speaking from the future and saying "At this point, I didn't realise X", and he may be addressing us as "you". But he is still a character. When he is speaking we don't hear the voice of a narrator, and the idea of "Nth person narrative point of view" doesn't apply.

That the fourth wall is being broken doesn't tell us anything about the narrative point of view. There may be no explicit narrator, given that this is a film. If there is an explicit narrator, perhaps only heard in the soundtrack, it could be a third-person one, or it could be a first-person one.


The answer to this question is actually neither of your thoughts. When a character talks directly to the camera and isn't in first person, it is called breaking the 4th wall.

You can most commonly see this in sitcoms such as "Call Me Kat", where the main character Kat, is constantly breaking the fourth wall to talk to the audience and making funny faces throughout the storyline. Another good example of breaking the fourth wall is in the theater production of "Spamalot", which is based on "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". At the end of the show, they are searching for the holy grail and climb into the audience, where it is randomly hidden.

There are of course many other examples of breaking the fourth wall out there, those are just the first 2 that came to mind. Feel free to look into it more, I know that there are a ton of articles and writing tips about it.

I hope this helped you out a bit.

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