Created by: May Martin and Joe Hampson
Starring: May Martin, Charlotte Richie, Lisa Kudrow, Phil Burgers
Streaming on: Netflix
In Mae Martin I feel good, the comedian plays a fictional version of himself: a Canadian comic living in London. In the first season, which premiered on Netflix last year, May met and fell in love with a woman named George (Charlotte Richie), who until then had only dated men. In the first few whirlwind months of their acquaintance, they struggle with different things: George is not ready to go out with anyone, May is a recovering former drug addict. By the end of the season, George had inadvertently left, May returned (turning the protagonist into a former drug addict is a bit like Chekhov’s gun: you know they will return) and the two had separated.
Now, in season 2, which came out on Friday, May has to reconsider his past, while George has to evaluate his present. Like the previous season, this one continues to feature a number of eccentric supporting characters. Unfortunately, the picky member of Sophie Thompson’s anonymous addict, Maggie, does not return, but we meet the father of George George (Anthony Head), who will soon give birth to a baby in an open marriage, and George Elliott’s bisexual polyamore colleague (Jordan Stevens) has four or five girlfriends and boyfriends. And from season 1, the sympathetic roommate of George and May Phil (Phil Burgers) and the parents of May Linda and Malcolm (Lisa Kudrow and Adrian Lukis) return.
Through the six episodes, Martin and her co-writer Joe Hampson weave a story about the strange experience, parents and children, consent and self-actualization in romance. Elliot, who has been given mysterious statements, tells George that it’s important to take turns being a bonsai and a gardener in a relationship. Does she care more about May than the other way around, George wonders? May, meanwhile, is haunted by her past, especially the relationship she had as a teenager with Scott (John Ross Bowie), a man twice her age, with whom she is reconnecting this season. As she understood what that time meant, she reminded me of Jennifer Fox The tale, a similar semi-autobiographical film in which the elderly Jenny (Laura Dern) reassesses what she has always called “her first relationship”, even though she was a teenager and her boyfriend was a grown man. When Scott tells May that he dated “women from the younger country,” May says, “There’s talk of women from the younger country: children!”
I feel good, which does not always feel good, as it casually mixes emotion with prickliness, places great emphasis on the smoothness of sexuality and identity. There is often pressure on strange people to form a specific definition of how we feel, but I feel good tells us it’s good to be less sure. Martin uses her character’s research into her non-binary identity to go public as non-binary. George is also beginning to embrace insecurity this season, repeatedly opposing the categorization of her sexuality. As well as Martin plays himself, Richie combines her rhythm rhythm with an exciting and highly appealing performance like George. And then there’s Lisa Kudrow, who creates a man of cunning nature and almost no time on screen: Linda is irritated at the end of her relationship with May, and you can see where she comes from, but it’s hard to empathize with her suspicious attitude.
How can we help ourselves to be the best versions of ourselves? I feel good asks this question, but does not bother to answer in any particular way. Instead, he knows that we all invent him, just like his characters. And that’s enough.