‘Feel Good’ is a brief but engaging series
Comedian Mae Martin wrote and stars in Netflix’s series “Feel Good,” where she plays a recovering addict, also named Mae, as she tries to shake off old destructive habits.
One night after a set, Mae meets George (Charlotte Ritchie from “Call the Midwife”), and as the two chat and get to know each other, they begin to sink into the awkward, is this a date territory. Mae has previously dated women, while George has had a strictly heterosexual dating history, which complicates their relationship when they later move in together.
Mae has an addictive personality; it seems that she has traded her addiction to drugs for an addiction to whomever she happens to be dating at the moment, which, of course, causes her to be as clingy as plastic wrap. George, slightly puzzled to find herself in a relationship with a woman, is finding it difficult to come out to her friends and instead tells them she’s seeing an imaginary boyfriend to keep them from harassing her. The longer the relationship goes on, the more George’s closeted status weighs on both women. Mae worries that she’s not enough for George and stresses that George is unwilling to tell people about their relationship because she’s ashamed to be dating a woman and recovering addict, which causes her to be more needy. George, on the other hand, is frustrated that Mae is pressuring her to come out before she’s ready.
As the two try to shift their relationship into a healthier direction, Mae gets into some hijinks with the members of her Narcotics Anonymous group, where she wonders if any of the recovering addicts can ever really recover if they just keep swapping out the focus of their addictions. Can Mae really be happy living a sober lifestyle or does she need to feed an addiction to feel good?
Martin shines as the slightly childish, Mae, who can’t quite seem to take responsibility for her own actions. Martin’s performance shines when she’s on stage, as the comedian is in her element when she’s performing a stand-up routine. Ritchie’s pragmatic portrayal of George plays well, as she mindfully keeps her quintessentially British character from coming across as too rigid.
“Feel Good” has one season available on Netflix. The series is rated TV-MA. Viewers might also enjoy “Dead to Me,” a series about two women who meet at a grief support group.
Episode duration: 25 minutes
Similar series: Dead to Me