To Binge or Not to Binge Episode 86: ‘Feel Good’


Mae Martin and Charlotte Ritchie in “Feel Good.” (Courtesy Netflix)

By Hannah Keating, Arts Editor


“Feel Good” is a semi-autobiographical comedy-drama series written by Canadian comedian Mae Martin about their experience with the world of comedy, substance abuse and falling in love as a woman-loving woman. Martin plays a characterized version of themself as a comedian in London who meets a girl named George (Charlotte Ritchie) at the comedy club that they frequent. After dating for several months, George encourages Mae to start attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings again, as the pressures of a new relationship and the environment of comedy clubs start to take their toll. 

To Binge or Not to Binge

The first time I watched this show, it broke my heart. Firstly, it’s common knowledge that the culture around comedy is rife with drug use and abuse to which very few can avoid — most notably and recently, famous comedian John Mulaney made headlines for entering rehab after a relapse of cocaine and alcohol addiction during quarantine.

Secondly, it’s so rare to see such an honest and in-depth lesbian relationship on television. Though the show was produced in the United Kingdom, where often television series can be more inclusive and open, “Feel Good” is available in the United States on Netflix. Martin themself openly identifies as non-binary, so to openly tell the story of a sapphic relationship with a genderqueer protagonist is powerful, and an indication that gender nonbinary movements on social media and in mainstream media are being heard.

“Feel Good” carries an incredible depth to its storytelling. It does face questions of sexuality and gender identity, but also feelings of insecurity and dependency, loss and growth. For such a short series — 6 episodes of 25 minutes each in the first season — “Feel Good” chronicles every type of relationship, whether it be romantic, substance-based or with a career in a field that’s hard to break into.

The quirky cast of characters that Mae interacts with along the way, including an older woman named Maggie who becomes Mae’s sponsor, George’s frustrating flatmate Phil and several comedians who work at this comedy club, will feel familiar to fans of “Fleabag” or “Broad City” — charming in a way that has an undercurrent of brokenness.

With its international acclaim, “Feel Good” has been renewed for a second season, which was slated to be released in 2021. Whether this has changed with the restrictions on filming due to the pandemic has not been communicated, but this upcoming season has been determined to be the show’s last.

Best Episode

One of the most iconic cameos, “Episode 4” features Lisa Kudrow as Martin’s eccentric and removed mother Linda. In this episode, Linda and Martin’s father, Malcolm (Adrian Lukas), pay Martin a surprise visit. Martin then has to face the “meet-the-parents” conversation early and unexpectedly in her relationship with George, and later track down her parents as they are scattering the family cat’s ashes. Throughout the episode, Martin eventually misses a Narcotics Anonymous and has to meet with her sponsor. 

“Episode 4” is brutally funny with the signature combination of dark humor and heartwarming honesty that Martin portrays so well in her stand-up and writing. The scene on the beach where the ashes are finally scattered perfectly emulates the dynamic of this messed-up family and teasing relationship. 

Trigger Warnings

The show contains references and images to drug paraphernalia and abuse, as well as sex and language. 


“Feel Good”

5/5 Stars

Available to stream on Netflix

One season, six episodes, about 2.5 hours of watch time.


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