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Series / Feel Good

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Right to left: Mae and George
A 2020 British Channel 4 series, Feel Good is about Canadian queer stand-up comic Mae Martin (as themself), in England dating closeted Englishwoman George Lawson. At the same time Mae, a former cocaine user, struggles with resisting falling back into using and handling their addiction.

Its international distribution was done by Netflix, with a second and final season coming out in 2021.


  • Abhorrent Admirer: Jared, a guy from George and Binky's friend circle that Binky is trying to set up with George. She is very transparently not interested, but Jared is incapable of taking a hint.
  • Addiction Displacement: Discussed. Maggie displaces her drug cravings into copious amounts of coffee and a comically long list of hobbies and advices Mae to do the same. Later at an NA meeting, Mae goes on a rant about how everyone there is just substituting one addiction for some other one. Mae's main displacement strategy for her drug cravings is throwing themself head first into relationships, and hypersexuality.
  • Age-Gap Romance: In season two, we find out that after running away from home, Mae went to live with Scott, the manager of a local comedy club, who assumed the relationship was romantic. Mae froze up and didn't resist, but became traumatized by the experience.
  • Ambiguously Absent Parent: Laura's difficult relationship with her mother is given much attention. No mention of her father though. Since her mother was a drug addict at the time, it's possible they don't know who he is.
  • As Themself: Mae Martin plays themself on the series, which is loosely based on their own life.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: George lands one of these on Mae when she's in the hospital and high on pain medication, in front of all her friends. It's part of her moment of coming out.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Mae has very short hair which she compares to corn and to Bart Simpson's. For her, this cut indicates she's bisexual and then nonbinary.
  • British Brevity: The first season had six episodes, each only around twenty five minutes long too. In the second season it's the same number, though a few of them are a little longer.
  • Brutal Honesty: Linda's way of talking to everyone, bluntly telling them exactly what she thinks without sparing anything. This particularly comes up when she berates her child Mae, but does so out of love.
  • Butch Lesbian: Mae sports short hair and very boyish attire. She even gets mistaken for a man sometimes as a result. Otherwise however she is not stereotypical, though she mostly tops in bed with her girlfriend George. It's later confirmed Mae is bisexual though and nonbinary, but otherwise it still applies.
  • Calling the Young Man Out: Linda reminds her child Mae that she and Mae's dad basically have let her simply do whatever she wants with her life and have never tried to push her in any direction, so if she's not happy with where she is, it's her fault.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: "I never fucking touched your fucking pears."
  • Coming-Out Story: A big part of the series involves George hiding that she's with an AFAB partner (identified as a woman initially), until she comes out later accidentally. Mae dislikes the fact that she hides it. Her loved ones are pretty casual about it, despite her initial anxiety. During the series, Mae also comes out as nonbinary.
  • Commitment Issues: The conflict in Mae's and George's relationship is that Mae wants very intense, fulltime commitment, while George is avoidant of intimacy and afraid of her friends' opinion of her being with Mae.
  • Dark and Troubled Past:
    • Mae was an addict who used and dealt cocaine, which caused her to serve some time in prison. She also overdosed. Mae's been clean for some time when the series starts however. Later we learn she was sexually abused by men during that period too.
    • Implied with George's roommate Phil ("from Hollywood"), who is depressed, and is shown to be very knowledgeable about addiction, specifically cocaine.
  • Disappeared Dad: George's dad is mentioned but unseen until halfway through season 2, when she calls him out on disappearing.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Laura loathes her birth name Lava, and won't answer to that. Her mother starts calling her Laura after they reconcile.
  • Dramedy: The series is quite comedic (with the main character a comedian, it's not surprising) but interspersed with drama equally.
  • Drone of Dread: Mae experiences a sharp, staticky drone whenever they get an addiction trigger, like seeing someone do cocaine, but the first time we hear it is when Mae and George hit off at the comedy club, and Mae realizes they're going to end up in another whirlwind romance.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Despite the ups and downs of their relationship, Mae and George end the series together and with all indications being that they'll remain together happily.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Laura got her birth name Lava due to her mother being high at the time. She hates it, and changed this as soon as possible.
  • Everyone Is Bi: Discussed by Mae in a standup routine, where as a result she thinks people can be "moved" somewhat from one side to another.
  • Falling-in-Love Montage: The first episode shows George and Mae flirting, kissing, or undressing while in Mae's room to show their building romance over time.
  • Fourth-Date Marriage: Mae moves in with George seemingly after the first date.
  • Gender-Blender Name: George, the nickname for Georgina.
  • Granola Guy: Elliot, George's boyfriend after breaking up with Mae, who's bisexual, a feminist and a considerate lover, but who lectures George about what he perceives as her inappropriate sexual appetites. They break up.
  • Hates Being Alone: Mae is very clingy in relationships, and almost has a meltdown when George goes away for a weekend for the first time in their relationship.
  • Hippie Name: Laura, Maggie's daughter, was originally named Lava, a name Maggie came up with while high.
  • Hypocrite: Mae is unhappy that George's next partner is a man, saying it was wrong to date a bisexual. However, she's bisexual herself, admitting this is hypocrisy on her part. Plus, she hooks up with a man around the same time, compounding it.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: George says if she broke up with Mae she'd probably date only guys again. She's never been attracted to women (or AFAB people, since Mae turns out to be nonbinary) except them. George doesn't want to tell anyone about their relationship, increasingly annoying Mae, until at last she spills this accidentally in the hospital while doped up.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: George is prone to inventing novel excuses to leave situations and otherwise improvising to avoid talking about topics she doesn't want to touch.
  • Innocently Insensitive:
    • Nick, who owns the club where Mae performs, uses cocaine in front of them frequently. He doesn't realize they're a former cocaine addict, and tempts them obliviously each time.
    • Mae, after sleeping with Laura, says it was a mistake while dressing and disparages doing this without malice. Laura is not happy with this.
    • George's friend Binky thinks all queer women she meets have a crush on her, and casually uses slurs and otherwise hurtful language, all while completely oblivious to the fact that George is a closeted bisexual woman.
  • In Vino Veritas: George inadvertently tells her friends she's with Mae while high on pain medication.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Linda, who does love Mae although she finds her exasperating, and expresses her annoyance with her child quite vocally when they talk.
    • George's friends, especially Binky and her fiancĂ© Hugh, initially seem like a bunch of obnoxious rich snobs, but when George has her accident they rush her to the hospital, and Binky in particular becomes warmer and less selfish as the show goes on.
  • Junkie Parent: Maggie, mother of Lava/Laura, is a former drug addict. She had Laura while using, and she'd named her "Lava" while high. Laura hated this and so changed it later.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: Mae's very butch style gets her mistaken for a man sometimes. This is later complicated by the fact that Mae realizes she's nonbinary.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: George (who is more of a lipstick bisexual), the woman she meets at the wedding and Laura are all feminine women with female lovers (or AFAB, in George's case, as her lover Mae's nonbinary) who have largely conventional looks.
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: Mae can't get an orgasm, and mentions she should go see a doctor about it, but doesn't. In the last episode of the first season, it's indicated she's finally managed to climax.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places:
    • Subverted in the first season. George tries to have Mae hook up in her classroom's closet, but then her students come in, so Mae hides inside it.
    • In season 2, they try to hook up in a maternity ward. The only private space they can find is a room where somebody's just given birth. George calls the sex off after she puts her hand in what she thinks is somebody's placenta.
    • Later, also during Season 2, they have sex while hiding in a parked car before Mae breaks it off.
  • Masculine–Feminine Gay Couple: Conventionally feminine George and really boyish Mae.
  • Off the Wagon: After visiting George in the hospital and seeing the oxycodone she's received for pain, Mae (who's a cocaine addict) takes some. In Season 2 she's seen going into treatment for it again.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: George is actually Georgina, but only gets called by her full name a couple times.
  • Queer Romance: The series revolves around Mae's difficult relationship with her girlfriend George.
  • Polyamory: Elliot, who George dates briefly in Season 2, is a bisexual man who's into this. After they break up, he dates six people simultaneously (both men and women), while asking for George to join them (she declines).
  • Powerful People Are Subs: George, a high school teacher by profession and generally sane and responsible, is this in the bedroom. Mae lampshades it when she's amused by the fact that George's new boyfriend Elliot wants to talk about his feelings.
    Mae: You hate talking about your feelings! Doesn't he know that you just want to get pushed around like a slutty bag of beans?
  • Rape as Backstory: In Season 2 it's revealed Mae had been sexually abused by men. This is the cause of her drug addiction and PTSD, although she acts quite casual about it at first.
  • Recovered Addict:
    • Mae is a cocaine addict and has been clean for years. However, she's very reluctant to attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings and otherwise go through formal 12-step recovery, but eventually does so. She later falls off the wagon with oxycodone and cocaine at the end of Season 1. In Season 2 she goes into treatment for drug addiction once more.
    • Club owner Nick has also gotten sober during Mae's absence, and is Making Amends when she returns.
  • Sex at Work: George sends Mae a text to come to her school and have sex with her while on her break. Mae rushes over (stopping by the house to get the strap-on first) and finds George. They go into the store room at first, but the school bell rings and students start coming into class. Mae is forced to sit in the store room for the rest of the afternoon.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: In Season 2 Mae is shown to have PTSD, though she's incredulous, thinking this only applies with military veterans and claiming that people today are too obsessed by trauma.
  • Shout-Out: Mae dresses up as Romeo in the Romeo + Juliet costume to confess her love to George.
  • The Sponsor: Maggie wants to be this for Mae, and the pair want to try to bypass the support group and just deal with addiction together.
  • Stimulant Speedtalk: When Mae and Maggie go for coffee, Maggie is displeased with the strength of the coffee, and goes behind the counter to brew more. In the next scene she and Mae are talking excitedly about all the ways to avoid addictive cravings, and after they leave the table we see a pile of empty coffee cups.
  • Stoners Are Funny: One of Mae's fellow comedian regulars at the club wears a suit emblazoned with Marijuana leaves, and is constantly high.
  • Straight Gay: David mentions once that he's partners with a man. This is a surprise, given he showed no sign of being gay before.
  • Straw Feminist: Parodied with Elliot, who considers himself a feminist but also has the nerve to lecture George about her desire to watch a sexy movie.
  • Straw Nihilist: Mae briefly becomes one in Season 2, ranting about how love is simply a mechanism to insure survival (therefore meaningless to her) and life's terrible and pointless as we'll all die eventually, annoying George. It's mostly Played for Laughs, until Mae's cynicism discourages one of George's students from completing her project about saving the bees, which is when George actually gets angry at her.
  • Take That!: James Bond as a role model is brought up by the addict Mae relapses with, and by George's immature dad.
  • Tattooed Crook: When Mae and George compare scars and other markings, it's revealed that Mae got a tattoo on her wrist in prison.
  • Title Drop: As part of an Armor-Piercing Question:
    George: Do I make you feel good about yourself?
  • Token Minority: Nick, a black guy who owns the club where Mae performs, is the only man of color in the main cast for season one.
  • Trauma Button: A sharp Drone of Dread signals times when Mae experiences addiction triggers, some of which include witnessing drug use, having to be alone with their thoughts, or situations that remind them of their first, abusive sexual relationship with an older man.
  • Tropaholics Anonymous: Mae goes to a very oddball Narcotics Anonymous group.
  • Twofer Token Minority:
    • Laura, a lesbian who has mixed race heritage (White mother, apparently South Asian father) is the only woman of color in the main cast.
    • David, a gay man who's a person of color (maybe with South Asian heritage) appears as the host at Narcotics Anonymous meetings Mae goes to.
    • George runs into a feminine Black lesbian at a wedding.
    • Elliot, George's boyfriend in Season 2, is a Black bisexual, polyamorous man.
  • Undiscriminating Addict: While Mae was primarily addicted to cocaine, she also steals Oxycodone from a hospital, and at another point, in a stressful situation, downs a whole bottle of mouthwash for the alcohol.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The series is heavily based on Mae Martin's life, including living in England as a Canadian expat, plus her drug addiction, gender and sexuality. Still, the rest is fictional.
  • Visual Pun: Mae hides in the closet of George's classroom to avoid being caught, after making a pointed remark about how George is the one with a fetish for being in it (she hasn't revealed their relationship).