With the release of the second season of Mae Martin’s ‘Feel Good’ in June, I thought it was about time I finally watched the first season. To be honest I was surprised I hadn’t watched it already. A queer comedy written by a queer comedian – what more could you want?
For those of you who, like me, may have been slightly late to the party, allow me to catch you up. ‘Feel Good’ is the semi-biographical rom-com written by Canadian queer comedian Mae Martin. It follows Mae, who plays herself, and her new girlfriend George (Charlotte Ritchie) as they navigate an array of hurdles like coming out, meeting parents, and recovering from addiction.
I would never ever want to spoil a series for anyone so this will be a collection of spoiler free thoughts, promise!
It’s safe to say I loved it. There were only six episodes in the first season (which is criminally short) and I blasted through them extremely quickly. I had to use immense willpower to not plough through the second season as I promised my girlfriend I’d watch it with her. However, watching it with some of my family, specifically straight family members, was definitely an interesting experience.
The show is funny, anyone can see that. Not only is it incredibly well written and acted, but Lisa Kudrow is in it so of course it’s funny. There are comedic moments throughout each episode whilst addressing a number of serious subjects. What was interesting though were the occasional points where I found myself explaining jokes to my straight mum and sister. When Mae and George move in together extremely quickly, I had to explain the concept of U-Hauling. They definitely needed catching up on some classic lesbian stereotypes.
Other than that, I found myself relating to the show in ways I’d never related to media before. I’m very lucky to have grown up with increasing representation, especially in recent years. These include ‘Love, Simon’, ‘Pride’, and even ‘Glee’ (although I think we can collectively agree, ‘Glee’ isn’t exactly the best representation in the world). I’ve seen gay people on screen before but not like this. Although we all fall under the big rainbow umbrella of gayness, I’m not a cis gay man. Therefore, I haven’t experienced things a cis gay man may have experienced. Even certain lesbian films don’t seem to capture this level of relatability. Granted, this is usually because cis het men write them *sigh*. So, seeing lesbians presented in such a natural way on screen was something I’m still so grateful for. We desperately need more of that, buuuut that’s a rant for another day.
There are moments so relatable it was almost painful. Even though I’ve been out for a couple years, I can vividly remember the stress of wanting to keep your sexuality, and partner, hidden. I’m sure there’s a lot of queer women who can relate to that too. Equally, I’m sure there’s plenty of queer woman who have experienced the other side – the hurt of being with someone who hides you. It’s easy to see both sides and despite bringing up old experiences, it’s something I was glad to see in mainstream media.
Overall, the first season of ‘Feel Good’ was amazing and twenty minute episodes are simply too short. I’ve now watched the second season and can confirm, it continues to tackle conversations that are often ignored. On top of that, it’s still hilarious and beautifully performed. If you’re lacking some quality lesbian content on your screen right now, I’d highly recommend checking it out. Both series are on Netflix right now.