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Feel Good Season 2 review | Latest romantic web series

Feel Good Season 2 is an intimate dramedy about a recovering addict and comedian that packs larger laughter, new faces, and a deeper study of its main characters’ lives into its second and final season on Netflix.

Feel Good Season 2
Feel Good Season 2

When Netflix first entered the original programming market, it positioned itself as a safe haven for consumers who had been burned by cancellations. Netflix shows would not necessarily run indefinitely, but producers would be given advance notice to finish up the tale.

However, the streamer eventually determined that long runs were a bad thing — especially for shows that weren’t striving for a Stranger Things-sized viewership — and many shows were forced to end with a third season. And now we’re in a period where Netflix is cancelling programmes after just one season, even if the tales aren’t even close to being completed.

So getting a second, albeit final, season of Feel Good seems like something of a miracle. Its first season was a wonderful gem, and it was about the tumultuous romance between recovering addict and comic Mae Martin (played by the real Mae Martin, who conceived it with Joe Hampson) and schoolteacher George (Charlotte Ritchie).

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Even though its whole production budget is probably less than what the hats cost for a single episode of Shadow and Bone, the programme felt far too modest and eccentric to succeed in the more harsh, blockbuster-oriented environment Netflix has built over the previous few years.

At the same time, Feel Good Season Two tries to communicate everything it wants to say about these individuals and their relationship in the time it has, as if the two-minute caution light in a club turned on while Mae was still getting warmed up.

These final six episodes will cover a lot of material, including Mae’s addiction and the buried trauma that fuels it, George’s sexuality, Mae’s gender identity, how each of them interacts with their parents, and the state of both of their careers, among other things.

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Martin recently came out as non-binary in real life. They’ve put the fictitious Mae a little further behind on a similar journey: it’s a running humour that other characters constantly misgendering Mae, who isn’t sure if she should be offended or encouraged.

It’s a lot to cram into a short season with short episodes, and it all feels rushed at times. However, much more of it works than could be expected under these circumstances, and the second season is, in many respects, even more gratifying than the first.

Feel good Season 1 was nearly entirely centred on Mae and George’s courtship, especially how George became Mae’s newest addiction while the formerly straight George worried about how to inform his friends and family about Mae.

Feel good Season 2 broadens the scope of the show, not just in terms of how frequently Mae goes between George’s home in England and her parents’ home in Canada, but also in terms of the number of individuals it follows. Phil (Phil Burgers), George’s odd flatmate, embarks on a search for his estranged father, and in the process grows emotionally devoted to Mae’s mother (Lisa Kudrow) and father (Adrian Lukis).

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Anthony Stewart Head appears as George’s egotistical father, who seems to get along with the pompous businessman Rupert Mannion, who Head portrays on Ted Lasso.

With the help of fellow teacher Elliott (Jordan Stephens), George explores the limits of both her sexuality and her wokeness, while Mae reconnects with an old friend Scott (John Ross Bowie, terrific in a more dramatic role than he usually gets to play), a comedian who also holds the key to unlocking some of Mae’s past trauma. And both leaders are given chances to remake their professions, depending on how much change they’re willing to make.

There’s a lot more going on now, but it all works since the fundamental characters were established so well in feel good Season 1. Since so many of her earlier stories were pitched more broadly than the rest of the show, as she was terrified of coming out of the closet, the George material in especially is a major improvement (and literally shoved Mae into one).

Even while Ritchie is still carrying the most of the comic workload in a funnier overall season, Mae’s segments of the programme tend to be heavier by purpose, she feels more well-rounded. (A dissatisfied George explains to Elliott why she prefers porn to the depressing films he enjoys: “I just wanted to watch a bishop smack a nun in the pussy with a Bible, OK?”)

In this painful but cathartic storey, Martin the performer continues to hold nothing back. “People are fascinated with trauma these days,” Mae says when a doctor suggests a PTSD diagnosis. It’s like a buzzword, as if people enjoy discussing trauma. “It’s a little overdone, don’t you think?” There’s no shortage of sadness and trauma on modern television, but it works beautifully when it’s in a storey delivered as explicitly and courageously as this one, and with the correct awareness of when we should laugh instead of cry.

Feel Good Season 2 Official trailer


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