Feel Good

The caustic new dramedy from standup Mae Martin offers a sweet, relatable glimpse into queer love

Tv Review by Stefania Sarrubba | 19 Mar 2020
  • Feel Good
Title: Feel Good
Series Creator: Mae Martin, Joe Hampson
Starring: Mae Martin, Charlotte Ritchie, Lisa Kudrow
Platform: Channel 4/All 4

Feel Good abides by the number one rule of standup comedy. If you’re making up the joke, the audience will smell it from miles away and come for you. Be honest, don’t embellish it too much and you’ll get a genuine laugh. Most of the time.

The bearer of uncomfortable truths, Feel Good is a semi-autobiographical series co-written by Canadian queer comedian Mae Martin and Joe Hampson. Martin stars as Mae, navigating her relationship with ‘straight’ teacher George (Charlotte Ritchie) and her standup career in London, while ghosts of past and present addictions lurk around the corner.

Each of the six episodes looks you right in the eye with Martin’s intense stare as she cracks jokes reminding you of your own messes. Yet it isn’t just funny when Mae’s on stage. The show is peppered with inadvertently humorous lines in hopeless conversations, often courtesy of George’s straight, white, boring friends.

Feel Good also boasts a great performance by Lisa Kudrow as Mae’s mum Linda. She delivers her one-liners in a quiet, low-pitched, deadpan tone, counterbalancing Mae’s overly excited streams of consciousness.

But the series is surprisingly sweet too. The whirlwind romance between troubled Mae and down-to-earth George explores all aspects of queer dating. From not being out to friends and family to an iconic sexual role-play involving Susan Sarandon, Feel Good feels refreshing but also brutal in its honesty. It's a lack of honesty that makes Mae and George’s world crumble as miscommunication takes its toll in some cringey scenes, leading to an uncertain season finale.

Don’t let the short six-episode format fool you as Feel Good is packed with content. Martin has created a dramedy about addiction and the ways we try to deal with it that is both unsparing and relatable at once.

Feel Good premiered on Channel 4 on 18 March, all six episodes available to stream now on All 4. Outside the UK, it’s available on Netflix on 19 March.