Amidst all that’s going on right now, it can be difficult to feel good. We are living in a new normal where a lot of things feel out of our control. These days, it seems the only things we can control are the movies and television shows we use to distract and entertain ourselves. Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, Netflix released one of its newest series, Feel Good. Six episodes long, and only 24 to 25 minutes each, this binge-worthy dramedy highlights the highs and lows of a new relationship, along with the insecurities, instability and personal pain each person inevitably brings to the table.
Set somewhere in modern-day England, Feel Good follows Mae Martin’s budding career as a standup comedian alongside her whirlwind romance with a woman named George, a young school teacher who has only ever previously dated men. The series is a semi-autobiographical ode to Martin’s past as a recovering narcotics addict, and a look into the complexities of sexual orientation, gender identity and love. Taking on dark and serious topics such as addiction, forgiveness and secrecy, this comedy does well at intertwining Martin’s unique humor with real-life struggle. Although Feel Good is an incredibly personal story specific to Martin and her experiences, it offers the audience something relatable to recognize and bond with throughout each character’s journey.
The show stars Mae Martin as herself, a young Canadian comedian navigating a somewhat new life in the United Kingdom. Playing alongside her is Charlotte Ritchie as George, the sensible, lovely U.K. native and Mae’s new “straight” girlfriend. The cast is bolstered and enhanced by Sophie Thompson as Martin’s quirky support group sponsor, Maggie; and the hilarious Lisa Kudrow as Martin’s mother, a headstrong, insufferable, yet caring woman whose tough love for Martin serves as its own comedic brand throughout the series.
While Feel Good at its heart is a comedy, it’s also a harsh and honest examination of our flaws as emotional, complex and ever-changing humans and the obstacles one faces in a world that is equally as fickle and confusing. The story begins one night after the two leading lovers meet at one of Martin’s standup gigs. They quickly fall for one another and develop a relationship that is as fast-paced as it is intense. New to the idea of dating a woman, George feels pressure to identify her sexuality and hides her relationship from her friends and family. This naturally causes conflict between her and Mae, whose subsequent self-doubt sends her into a spiral of toxic dependency and identity crises accompanied by the issue of feeling unable to control it all. The arrival of Mae’s parents only further complicates things, as Mae is forced to confront her past and take a brutal look at who she is today, and who she wants to be tomorrow. What follows is a tumultuous ride as both Mae and George look to find and better themselves.
Delicately written and masterfully performed, Feel Good is genuine in its portrayal of the human experience, and is certain to make viewers laugh, cry, contemplate, question, and hopefully, even in today’s struggle, feel…good.