‘Feel Good’ [Netflix] Review: Queer Dark Comedy Levels Up in Season 2

The rakish comedian explores trauma, gender, and addiction with humor as foolish as it is slicing in 1 of the very best LGBTQ Television set exhibits of the yr.

(Editor’s be aware: The subsequent assessment consists of spoilers for Year 2 of “Feel Great,” like the ending.)

It is no mystery that comedians are some of the world’s most traumatized persons, most likely rivaled only by queers. Humor as a coping system for trauma is a tale as aged as time, and all it usually takes is a brief look at any good comedy lineup to see that the neat queer children virtually rule stand-up these times. It stands to purpose that Mae Martin, a queer comedian, would have some humorous points to say about trauma. Which, as their fictional agent claims in Year 2 of “Feel Fantastic,” Martin’s semi-autobiographical darkish intimate comedy on Netflix, is all the rage these times.

Of course, simply becoming queer and a comedian does not magically confer greatness. Considerably extra significant than any label a person could foist upon Martin is the fact that they’re both of those brilliantly amusing and courageously honest, a killer mix for explosive, incisive, and powerful television. If Year 1 of “Feel Good” launched Martin as a sharp wit with a one of a kind perspective, Period 2 marks their glow up into complete-blown comedic fact-teller in the vein of Hannah Gadsby or Michaela Coel. The second time of “Feel Good” is fiercely — from time to time frighteningly — brave, complicated, and unpleasant, but normally damn humorous. Heralding the arrival of a definitely singular inventive power, it’s a person of the best queer demonstrates of the yr.

The six-episode second period starts following the climactic finale of Time 1, which remaining Mae (participating in a fictionalized model of themself) relapsing into drug use. (The character works by using she/her through the present, but embraces a non-binary identity in the finale.) Year 2 opens with Mae back again property in Toronto, finding dropped off at rehab by their well-indicating but emotionally distant dad and mom, performed to odd few perfection by the fantastic Lisa Kudrow and Adrian Lukis.

Lisa Kudrow Feel Good Netflix

Lisa Kudrow, Mae Martin, and Adrian Lukis


Though a for a longer period, extra drawn-out model of “Feel Good” (the type favored by American shows “Feel Good” first aired on Channel 4 in the Uk) would have remained at rehab at minimum into the second episode, delving further into the wacky roommate and tough-adore addiction counselor, “Feel Good” opts out of this and packs all of its punches into a concise six episodes. Ahead of the conclusion of the first episode, Mae escapes rehab in a match of worry into the arms of an outdated mate named Scott (John Ross Bowie), who triggers something darkish in Mae. Out of the frying pan and into the hearth.

Back again in London, Mae’s English rose George (Charlotte Ritchie) is nursing her heartache with new fling Elliot (Jordan Stephens), a so-identified as enlightened polyamorous bisexual who fails to see the irony in mansplaining women of all ages on emotional maturity and internalized misogyny. Needless to say, it does not take long for Mae to gain George back again, and the two make rapidly perform of a delightfully ridiculous roleplay montage that consists of gender-bending knights and heavily accented plumbers. Though not its sole mission, the sex-positivity that permeates “Feel Good” is a massive breath of fresh air. It’s probably the only Tv set sequence ever to exhibit queer sex in all of its creativeness, design and style, and playfulness — although still remaining really damn sizzling.

It would seem virtually foolish to solitary out the sex when “Feel Good” is navigating so lots of other troubles. In actuality, there are so many points “Feel Good” receives suitable it’s a marvel how seamlessly it all comes collectively, without having a solitary concern outweighing a different. Of course, it is a dark comedy about one particular human being dealing (or not working) with trauma and addiction, but it’s also a tender adore tale about two individuals discovering how to be jointly in a healthful way.

Underlining all of this is Mae’s fluctuating romantic relationship to gender, which pops up as a operating joke in the course of but is ultimately dealt with with just as a lot care as any other topic. “OK, so do you believe I’m trans?” Mae asks their agent flippantly, as a hilarious marker of the panicked ambivalence that pervades anything in their lifestyle. When asked how they discover, Mae answers glibly: “Kinda like an Adam Driver or a Ryan Gosling, I’m however figuring it out.”

Feel Good Netflix

Mae Martin, “Feel Good”


Mae’s silliness pierces by means of even the most rigorous times, breaking the pressure with usually poetic poignance. After getting a diagnosis of PTSD, Mae asks the medical doctor: “Do you think you could just examination if I’m total of birds or a little something?”

“Feel Good” accomplishes so substantially in its tight six episodes that it’s both of those a blessing and curse that it leaves the viewer seeking more. Raised in Toronto but dwelling in London, Martin has adopted the British tactic to comedy, the best of which embodies the Shakespearean notion that “brevity is the soul of wit.” With these an excessive of Television on hand, and determination tiredness so terrible it’s tempting to give up on the complete endeavor totally and just study a e book, Martin might be onto some thing with this jam-packed brief year. Moreover, it is so damn very good you could want to watch it all more than all over again.

Grade: A

“Feel Good” is now streaming on Netflix.

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