‘Feel Good’ [Netflix] Review: Queer Dark Comedy Levels Up in Season 2


The rakish comic explores trauma, gender, and habit with humor as foolish as it’s slicing in one of the most highest LGBTQ TV presentations of the yr.

(Editor’s be aware: The next assessment comprises spoilers for Season 2 of “Feel Good,” together with the finishing.)

It’s no secret that comedians are probably the most global’s maximum traumatized other people, possibly rivaled handiest through queers. Humor as a coping mechanism for trauma is a story as outdated as time, and all it takes is a handy guide a rough look at any respectable comedy lineup to peer that the cool queer children nearly rule stand-up this present day. It stands to explanation why that Mae Martin, a queer comic, would have some humorous issues to mention about trauma. Which, as their fictional agent says in Season 2 of “Really feel Excellent,” Martin’s semi-autobiographical darkish romantic comedy on Netflix, is all of the rage this present day.

After all, merely being queer and a comic doesn’t magically confer greatness. A lot more necessary than any label one may just foist upon Martin is the truth that they’re each brilliantly humorous and courageously truthful, a killer mixture for explosive, incisive, and compelling tv. If Season 1 of “Really feel Excellent” offered Martin as a pointy wit with a novel point of view, Season 2 marks their glow up into full-blown comedic truth-teller within the vein of Hannah Gadsby or Michaela Coel. The second one season of “Really feel Excellent” is fiercely — on occasion frighteningly — courageous, complicated, and painful, however at all times rattling humorous. Heralding the coming of a actually singular inventive power, it’s one of the most highest queer presentations of the yr.

The six-episode 2d season starts following the climactic finale of Season 1, which left Mae (taking part in a fictionalized model of themself) relapsing into drug use. (The nature makes use of she/her all over the display, however embraces a non-binary id within the finale.) Season 2 opens with Mae again house in Toronto, getting dropped off at rehab through their well-meaning however emotionally far-off folks, performed to abnormal couple perfection through the nice Lisa Kudrow and Adrian Lukis.

Lisa Kudrow Feel Good Netflix

Lisa Kudrow, Mae Martin, and Adrian Lukis

Netflix

Whilst an extended, extra drawn-out model of “Really feel Excellent” (the sort appreciated through American presentations; “Really feel Excellent” first aired on Channel four in the United Kingdom) would have remained at rehab no less than into the second one episode, delving deeper into the wacky roommate and tough-love habit counselor, “Really feel Excellent” opts out of this and packs all of its punches right into a concise six episodes. Ahead of the top of the primary episode, Mae escapes rehab in a are compatible of panic into the palms of an outdated pal named Scott (John Ross Bowie), who triggers one thing darkish in Mae. Out of the frying pan and into the fireplace.

Again in London, Mae’s English rose George (Charlotte Ritchie) is nursing her heartache with new fling Elliot (Jordan Stephens), a so-called enlightened polyamorous bisexual who fails to peer the irony in mansplaining ladies on emotional adulthood and internalized misogyny. Understand that, it doesn’t take lengthy for Mae to win George again, and the 2 make speedy paintings of a delightfully ridiculous roleplay montage that comes to gender-bending knights and closely accented plumbers. Whilst no longer its sole venture, the sex-positivity that permeates “Really feel Excellent” is a large breath of unpolluted air. It’s most probably the one TV sequence ever to turn queer intercourse in all of its creativity, taste, and playfulness — whilst nonetheless being beautiful rattling scorching.

It kind of feels virtually foolish to unmarried out the intercourse when “Really feel Excellent” is navigating such a lot of different problems. In truth, there are such a lot of issues “Really feel Excellent” will get proper it’s a surprise how seamlessly all of it comes in combination, and not using a unmarried factor outweighing any other. Sure, it’s a dismal comedy about one individual dealing (or no longer dealing) with trauma and habit, however it’s additionally a young love tale about two other people studying be in combination in a wholesome method.

Underlining all of that is Mae’s fluctuating dating to gender, which pops up as a operating comic story all over however is in the long run treated with simply as a lot care as every other matter. “OK, so do you suppose I’m trans?” Mae asks their agent evenly, as a hilarious marker of the panicked ambivalence that pervades the entirety of their lifestyles. When requested how they determine, Mae solutions glibly: “Kinda like an Adam Driving force or a Ryan Gosling, I’m nonetheless figuring it out.”

Feel Good Netflix

Mae Martin, “Really feel Excellent”

Netflix

Mae’s silliness pierces thru even essentially the most intense moments, breaking the stress with continuously poetic poignance. After receiving a prognosis of PTSD, Mae asks the physician: “Do you suppose it’s good to simply take a look at if I’m filled with birds or one thing?”

“Really feel Excellent” accomplishes such a lot in its tight six episodes that it’s each a blessing and curse that it leaves the viewer in need of extra. Raised in Toronto however residing in London, Martin has followed the British solution to comedy, the most efficient of which embodies the Shakespearean perception that “brevity is the soul of wit.” With such an far more than TV readily available, and determination fatigue so dangerous it’s tempting to surrender at the entire enterprise totally and simply learn a e book, Martin is also onto one thing with this jam-packed brief season. But even so, it’s so rattling excellent you might need to watch it all over the place once more.

Grade: A

“Really feel Excellent” is recently streaming on Netflix.

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