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Mae Martin’s Feel Good Is a Netflix Hidden Gem

Welcome to the W TV Club, a spin-off series of W Movie Club, in which W magazine’s editors pick a season of a television show they’d recommend you binge-watch. This week, culture editor Brooke Marine recommends Feel Good, a Canadian-British dramedy partially based on comedian Mae Martin’s real-life experience with addiction.

Mae Martin
Courtesy of Netflix.

Mae Martin’s Netflix and Channel 4 series, Feel Good, hits many marks—it is a deadpan romantic comedy, a tender portrait of queer relationships, and an empathetic look at a newly sober person grappling with their lifelong addiction.

Just like the critically acclaimed show’s main character Mae Martin, the real-life Martin is also from Toronto, has struggled with addiction from a young age, and turned to stand-up comedy as a teen. The first season of Feel Good shows Mae coming to terms with their addiction and attendance at Narcotics Anonymous meetings in London while dating George (Charlotte Ritchie), a fan who first meets Mae at one of their stand-up shows.

On Feel Good, things move quickly—in the first episode alone, George and Mae move in together after the first three months of their relationship, while George has still yet to reveal to her friends and family that she is not straight. The second season—which was filmed during lockdown and the series creator has suggested will likely be the show’s last—delves deeper into the topic of Mae’s gender identity, and past traumas. (Also, Eve makes an appearance in the first episode of season two.) Plus, each season of Feel Good is only six episodes long (as most good British shows are), so it makes for an easy weekend binge.

The show’s approach to depicting a creative person blossoming into a public figure while revisiting their past traumas evokes shades of I May Destroy You—and Lauren-Joy Williams, who played young Terry on Michaela Coen’s HBO series, makes an appearance on Feel Good.

The cast of Feel Good is rounded out by Lisa Kudrow and Adrian Lukis, who play Mae’s parents Linda and Malcolm. They don’t chide Mae and George for moving quickly—in fact, they reveal they moved in together after just five days. The comedian’s parents are (refreshingly) quite accepting of Mae’s sexuality (though Linda and Mae clearly have a strained relationship). No spoilers on what happens in Feel Good will be revealed here, but with Mae and George’s on-screen chemistry being both silly and smart, the show explores how sometimes the experience of falling in love can be just as addictive as a drug, and why that might prove complicated for a recovering addict.

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