Major spoilers ahead about the Feel Good season 2 finale.
Feel Good gave us an emotional, complex season 2 and the finale was no different.
The season followed Mae as they struggled to reconcile with their past, particularly with their relationship with Scott.
Mae’s feelings are complicated and not as straightforward as the viewer might like. Yes, Scott was Mae’s abuser. He was a 30-year-old man who took advantage of a 15-year-old. But the reality is that Mae still cares about him.
The finale results in Mae and Scott having an open and honest conversation about what went down between them and why.
As much as the viewers may have hope for an all-out #MeToo moment complete with a confrontation, that just didn’t ring true for Mae Martin, the comedian behind the show.
Martin explained to BT TV,
“There was a bit of pressure for it to be Mae kicking him in the balls, but I don’t think life is really like that. Relationships are more complicated than that.”
“I’m sure lots of people will relate to that specific scenario and the Mae and Scott dynamic. Where someone in a relationship is abusive towards you. Even in a parental relationship where someone is treating you badly, you can’t just cut those people off. It’s really painful.”
Of course, Mae does end up cutting Scott off. But it takes a while for Mae to get to that point.
Martin specifically wanted to show viewers that closure isn’t as easy as “outing someone on Twitter, their comedy special gets canceled, and that’s it.”
And, in the era of #MeToo, that’s exactly what we’ve come to expect from victims. We want to see them take action and we definitely want to see their abusers face the consequences of their actions. But realistically, that’s not the right path for everyone.
“I think there’s a lot of pressure on people to publicly name their abusers and publicly talk about things, but that’s not always the safest environment.”
“And it doesn’t take into account how messy and painful that can be. I think it’s much more valuable of Mae in that moment to have a conversation with a friend and get some clarity.”
Unfortunately, season 2 will be Feel Good‘s last as Netflix announced the show’s cancellation.
It’s such a shame because Feel Good delivered such excellent content that needed to be seen and heard.
In addition to following Mae as they reconciled with their past, the season also showed Mae’s journey as they tried to find their gender identity.
At the beginning of the season, Mae says that they identify as “kind of like an Adam Driver or a Ryan Gosling.” But at the end of the season, George suggests to Mae that they might be non-binary, a term Mae seems to feel comfortable with.
In real life, comedian Mae Martin also came out as non-binary in April. They wrote on Instagram,
“The way I feel about my gender identity is ongoing and evolving, and it’s personal, but I thought it might be good to say for clarity and in case anyone finds it helpful — I’m nonbinary, my pronouns are they/them and she/her (I love it when people say ‘they’ and I really don’t mind ‘she’ at ALL, truly). I’m very bisexual and attracted to people of all genders. I experience gender dysphoria sometimes — not always! — and have done since I was a tiny kid.”
Feel Good was one of the few shows that not only featured a non-binary character but also intimately let us in on Mae’s gender identity journey. The end of the series is a loss we can’t afford right now.
Unfortunately, Netflix has a pattern of canceling truly excellent LGBTQ shows after only two seasons. We’ve watched it happen to both Sense8 and more recently Special. Meanwhile, shows like Teenage Bounty Hunters, AJ & the Queen, and Dancing Queen got cut after only one season.
Netflix doesn’t appear to only be targeting LGBTQ shows — its new M.O. seems to be to cancel shows at the drop of a hat. But by not allowing shows like Feel Good to flourish, Netflix does a huge disservice to its customers. We miss out on stories that need to be told, that deserve to be told.
If you’re missing Mae Martin, you can catch them on tour in the U.K. this October. You can also check out Martin’s book Can Everyone Please Calm Down.
Feel Good season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.