Love, secrets, addiction and families… comedian Mae Martin’s new show Feel Good proves there’s humour in the toughest situations.
Canadian comedian Mae Martin’s new show about love against many odds is probably what we all need about now. Partly based on Martin’s own experiences of addiction and rehab, Feel Good, a six-part TV series of sucker punches and belly laughs, centres on Mae, a stand-up comedian.
On-screen Mae, whose mother is played by Lisa Kudrow (“a real hero of mine,” according to Martin) embarks on a fast-track romance with straight ‘English rose’ George (Fresh Meat’s Charlotte Ritchie). They fall in love then move in together only for Mae to reveal she’s in Narcotics Anonymous and dealing with the emotional baggage that implies. Here, she tells us more.
How would you describe the character Mae in Feel Good?
She is where I was at about 10 years ago in my life. Her grasp on sobriety, life and relationships is pretty tenuous. She’s pretty manic and un-self aware. She’s not doing drugs so she thinks she’s fine, but that addictive behaviour is affecting the rest of her life. So, yeah, she’s a mess.
Was it easy to be honest about your own experiences in this way?
The more personal I am, the more people respond. That’s the weird trick that life plays on us. If you just say out loud all the things you’re ashamed of or keep secret, they’re the things that people relate to and unify us.
How was working with Lisa Kudrow?
We spent a week (filming) in Blackpool. It was nuts. So fun. We spent a day just riding the ghost train over and over again. She ate scotch eggs. It was in the script but she was very gung ho and game. It was out-of-body surreal to be there with her.
As well as being about addiction it’s also a love story, isn’t it?
I’m a huge romantic, so it made sense for it to be a love story. I’ve definitely dated several people who have never been with girls before and it can be really romantic and painful and narratively rich. But I hope ultimately it’s just two people who have fallen in love. It transcends labels.
Images: Matt Crockett