Netflix UK TV review: Feel Good Season 2
Charlotte Ritchie and Mae Martin’s chemistry10
The lovable intensity of Phil Burgers’ character10
Lisa Kudrow’s comedic delivery10
Katherine McLaughlin | On 04, Jun 2021
Warning: This contains spoilers for Feel Good Season 1. Not caught up? Read our spoiler-free review of Season 1 here.
The first season of Canadian comedian Mae Martin’s rom-com (in which she stars as a fictional version of herself and co-writes with Joe Hampson) explored addiction and self-discovery while simultaneously drawing the viewer into an absorbing relationship between Mae, who identifies as non-binary, and George (Charlotte Ritchie) who had previously only dated men. (Read our review of Season 1 here.)
Its depiction of the start of a relationship veered between extremely romantic, joyfully erotic and tumultuous as both characters got to grips with navigating their newfound emotions and anxieties, and the chemistry between the two leads was electric. Season 2 continues on a similar note as it ambitiously navigates modern love and identity with deep empathy and absurd humour, and broadens its scope by addressing trauma and its commodification.
This series makes the move from Channel 4 to Netflix for this second and final season, and the first episode kicks off with Mae back home in Canada and entering rehab. George, however, is in a place of indecision back in the UK and not quite sure where she stands with their relationship, but she has her comically devoted housemate Phil (Phil Burgers) to distract her with his woes about an estranged father. New character Elliot (Jordan Stephens from Rizzle Kicks) offers a love interest for George and allows the show to gently satirise millennial culture too. Also new on the scene is the musical living legend that is Eve as a rehab counsellor and John Ross Bowie as a comedy compere. The superbly written, strained mother-child relationship between Mae and Linda (Lisa Kudrow’s delivery is pure comedy gold) is further built upon, with Mae finally confronting the past she literally set fire to in Season 1.
The raw and painfully honest observations on human connection when dealing with all of Mae and George’s friendships, relationships and familial bonds deal in grey areas, with the show engaging in dialogues on many relevant issues while still maintaining credible dramatic oomph. Martin has been BAFTA nominated for her performance in Feel Good, and her palpable delivery combined with the almost tangible descriptors of love and anxiety are one of the show’s many strengths. You can practically feel Mae drowning under the pressure of life’s demands, and the decisions she has to face about the bonds she will choose to nurture and the ones she needs to sever to grow and move on in life.
If you watch both seasons in quick succession (highly recommended) it plays out as an achingly beautiful and witty romantic comedy that skilfully sends up not only British rom-coms but also British sensibility. It even features a classic mainstay of the genre, with a talent show setting the scene for the lead to risk it all with a grand romantic gesture. It subverts the trope in excruciatingly hilarious fashion. The real grit and emotion lie in those messy, intimate moments between partners, friends and family – Feel Good has an endearing flair for depicting them with sincerity, warmth and humour.
Feel Good: Season 1 and 2 is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription. Season 1 is available on All 4.