Entertainment » Television

Review: 'Feel Good - Season 2' Continues To Address Tough Topics With an Emotional Tone

by Noe Kamelamela
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Jun 4, 2021
'Feel Good,' Season Two
'Feel Good,' Season Two  (Source:Netflix)

Standup comedian Mae Martin stars in "Feel Good," playing a Canadian transplant in the UK who is attempting sobriety. Originally created for Channel 4, the first season dropped viewers right into Mae's struggle to be an independent adult. They have been fighting addiction for at least half their life, and can barely make any headway on their own.

Season 2 strikes a more even emotional tone while still contending with tough topics beyond just substance abuse, but also past domestic abuse. With fewer introductory or expository scenes, the final season delves further into Mae's past and their hopeful ability to stay sober in the future. While the first season presented both the context and scale of Mae's addiction through the lives of their fellow addicts, as well as recollections of their past, Season 2 focuses on Mae reconciling their past in order to, as they put it, "fix my brain."

If you are an addict, or someone who is supporting an addict in any capacity, this show may bring up a lot of interesting and difficult life questions for you. "Feel Good" may not be what some affected viewers may want or need to watch right now. Season 1 and Season 2 do come from not just Mae's perspective, but also from close friends and family, who also bear witness and provide support. In many ways, there are good moments in this season which model what a caring community can look like right now for thirty-something adults. In Mae's case, they are a nonbinary adult, and attracted to various genders, and even though these are big deals - an especially big deal to have a nonbinary lead in a show streamed on Netflix - the negative effects of spending so many years as an addict (which include panic attacks, near homelessness, and the occasional bender) seem to be a series of much bigger and life-threatening issues than either gender or sexuality.

It is refreshing to watch a show about addiction that presents familiar and polarizing scenarios, such as support groups and rehabilitation camps, that neither fully leans into the potential for healing in these places or fully leans out to rip these tools down as backwards and useless institutions. These scenes are not just setups, punchlines, and slapstick; there seems to be a fondness from the writers that keeps the jokes always layered and far from one-note. Far from being mean, much of the comedy in the show bears similarity to some of Mae's most popular sets online: Sensitive, surprisingly pithy, and personal.

"Feel Good" Season 2 hits streaming on Friday, June 4th on Netflix.

Noe Kamelamela is a reader who reads everything and a writer who writes
very little.

Streaming Reviews

This story is part of our special report titled "Streaming Reviews." Want to read more? Here's the full list.

Comments on Facebook