Every time issues get too actual or she sees a chance to relapse into previous patterns, Mae (Mae Martin) hears a high-pitched ringing in her ears like she’s been briefly concussed. Most instances, she manages to blink it away. Different instances, nonetheless, she finds herself drawn to the ringing, to that pang of recognition, like a moth to the flame she is aware of may burn her into mud.
That is the way in which it generally feels to look at “Really feel Good,” Netflix’s new sequence from Canadian comedian Martin and Joe Hampson. Whereas very humorous — regardless of my initially dire description, I promise! — the present can also be unflinching because it tracks Mae making an attempt to not lose herself whereas falling head over heels right into a relationship with George (Charlotte Ritchie), with all the short and giddy dizziness that means. Mae, a Canadian standup comic and addict dwelling in London who’s based mostly on Martin herself, is as sensible as she is irritating, flawed and upfront about it. We see a few of her comedy — which, at one level, turns into its personal type of weapon that she inadvertently makes use of towards herself — however for essentially the most half, we see Mae stumbling from each day, making an attempt to not fall again into the type of habits that after cratered her whole life. Although this primary season of “Really feel Good” runs solely six episodes lengthy, it turns into very intimate, in a short time.
Mae’s wrestle with drug habit and refusal to acknowledge its lasting energy over her type a vital throughline to the sequence (and preserve her relationship along with her standoffish mom, performed by Lisa Kudrow, an eternal query mark). But it surely’s her relationship with George that’s the backbone, because of Martin and Ritchie’s chemistry and frank discussions concerning the sorts of relationship issues that TV hardly ever addresses, not to mention will get proper.
Earlier than assembly Mae, George at all times considered herself as straight. She by no means questions her emotions for Mae, however her worry of acknowledging what they could imply and what her family and friends would possibly assume lead her to maintain Mae tucked away in her condominium like a secret — which, understandably, leads Mae to spiral laborious into self-doubt. Mae’s additionally decided to maintain the depth of her habit from George, which slowly however certainly drives a wedge between them. It’s not that they don’t love one another — they do, desperately — however that they don’t belief themselves to like the opposite proper with out burying some enormous a part of themselves first. George’s disgrace over her sexuality, and refusal to meaningfully face it, trigger Mae to shrink herself with the intention to match George’s wants, and downplay a few of her personal thorny emotions about gender and sexuality. In the meantime, Mae’s disgrace over her habit, and refusal to meaningfully face it, trigger George to query Mae’s potential to remain upright, and surprise if she would possibly simply be one other factor Mae can obsess over as a substitute of medication. Each have causes for his or her insecurities; each fail to reckon with them; each damage the opposite slowly, deeply, terribly. Over simply six episodes, “Really feel Good” tells the type of complicated relationship story that some reveals spend seasons nailing down.
However once more: “Really feel Good,” as written by Martin and Hampson, can also be very humorous in a approach that feels completely pure (i.e. not prefer it was ripped straight from certainly one of Martin’s standup units). George, Mae, and the well-meaning individuals round them are humorous like common persons are generally humorous, whether or not they imply to be or not. With sufficient heat and humor to maintain its heavier material afloat, “Really feel Good” feels lowkey, insightful and actual in a approach that a lot of TV tries to be, however hardly ever achieves fairly like this — and sure, it can also really feel fairly rattling good.
“Really feel Good” premieres Thursday, March 19 on Netflix.