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Feel Good season 2: Mae Martin and Charlotte Ritchie talk Alien roleplay, identification and why there won’t be a season 3
The second and final season of Feel Good is coming to Netflix. We spoke with stars Mae Martin and Charlotte Ritchie about the beautiful, emotional and hilarious new episodes.
Mae Martin comedy drama Feel Good was one of the best new TV shows of 2020.
Telling a complicated and emotional love story between Mae (Mae Martin) and George (Charlotte Ritchie), the series was both simultaneously traumatic and soothing, raw and sweet. And most importantly, incredibly funny.
The second and final season is released exclusively on Netflix on Friday, June 5 and it delves even further into the ghosts of Mae’s past, digs deeper into George’s reinventing her present and takes on some seriously big topics with a deftness and beauty that will make Feel Good endure for years to come.
BT TV caught up with Mae and Charlotte to ask some burning questions about the new season...
1. How hard was it to balance pleasing fans and telling the story you wanted to tell in season 2?
Mae Martin: We’d already plotted out season 2. We knew vaguely where we wanted it go. So that was good because it stopped us from being too influenced.
We were emboldened by the support for the first season and buoyed up by it, it was so nice. It’s so nice people got invested in that central relationship. I love all the great fan art, I have it printed out.
2. Season two includes an incredible Alien roleplay sequence. What did you think when you read it, Charlotte?
Charlotte Ritchie: The thing that alarmed me the most about it was doing an American accent. I’m an actor. I’m supposed to be able to do American accents because I do auditions for American shows. *Puts on American accent* But I’ve never got one and maybe that’s why, partner.
So I was worried about that.
But those roleplay scenes, I could just see Mae and [co-writer] Joe [Hampson] finding that funny as they were writing it. There’s something about an egg up my butt, which is very funny.
I loved filming that scene and I found it really fun. All the roleplays make me laugh a lot. They’re really stupid, but they’re also gorgeous because you see the playfulness of their sex life. Sometimes sex can be so serious and we never really talk about what it’s like.
Mae: I have quite a rich fantasy life, so all the roleplay scenes in the show are things I genuinely find quite fit and funny.
Charlotte: Even the Ripley one?
Mae: Yeah, sure. You should have seen the ones I wrote, which got disregarded.
Charlotte: I don’t think I’ve seen them.
Mae: There are some really grim ones.
Charlotte: No thanks! No thanks!
3. How much did you think about Charlotte having to act out lines and scenes when you were writing it?
Mae: I can’t lie that there isn’t part of the second series which is Joe and me finding it funny to see Charlotte saying outrageous lines.
We knew George in this series was kind of going through puberty all over again. She was really embracing her sexuality and sex drive.
Charlotte: It can be really hard sometimes not to laugh. There’s a scene where we’re talking about the break-up for the first time and Mae says, "I came into your life like a tornado of sticks and poo" and I’m meant to be on the verge of tears. It’s really nice to film though, there’s something great about being unable to film something because you’re laughing so much.
Mae: Right after the show comes out we’ll release the bloopers for season 1 and season 2 and I think I’m as excited for the bloopers as I am for the show.
4. The series touches on identification in a gentle and lovely way. Did you want to take some heat out of the topic?
Mae: Yeah, definitely. That topic is quite fraught and overly politicised in public discourse at the moment. Anything that I can do or we can do to show the reality of the humanity of issues, which really only effects a small number of people, but a large number of people have opinions about - I think that’s helpful.
Charlotte: There’s a really lovely moment in the second series where George says, "You tell me what words to use and I’ll try to use them". I think through conversations I had with Mae and more broadly too, there can be a simplicity too and I think that’s quite beautiful. It might be a specific example and it might not be what everyone needs to hear, but I think the simplicity of it is quite beautiful.
5. Is the comedy scene as bleak and problematic as the show depicts?
Mae: For me, it’s always been both things. I hope people get from the show that I do love the comedy scene. All of my closest friends are comedians. But I think it would be naïve to ignore the element of sexual danger in that community, which we have only really scratched the surface on.
But things are moving in the right direction, I think. So I think it is that bleak… and also not that bleak, ha, yeah. I’m a huge comedy fan, I love comedy clubs, I wouldn’t want people to think I don’t like it.
Charlotte: I like Phil’s [Phil Burgers] line, "Showbiz is hell". All these industries, you have to navigate them and find the light and shade.
6. You planned two seasons. Are you at all tempted to go back for season 3? Mae and George on a road trip in Spain?
Charlotte: That would be nice.
Mae: It’s a nice fantasy. But in reality I wouldn’t want to mess with what we’ve done I think. It does motivate me to write another TV show and cast Charlotte Ritchie in it.
7. What was your favourite memory from season 2?
Mae: It’s all an adrenalised blur at the moment.
Charlotte: The role play scenes for me.
Mae: They feel like little sketches and away from the show. It’s funny to see the set designers really getting into and taking these funny scenes very seriously, while we’re wearing little moustaches.
Charlotte: Those moustaches are actually mine, but I will not divulge why.
Watch Feel Good season 2 from Friday, June 4 on Netflix.
Catch up on season 1 now.