Review: Feel Good S01 E05

Every relationship is wrought with doubt and insecurities that often stem from jealousy. The crush of one’s partner, even if it is for someone with whom they might not even talk to let alone end up with, can lead to the decline in self-confidence by comparison, and that is what happens with Mae. Previously, it was George who seemed to be unable to move on from her heterogeneity. She was hesitant to be open about her relationship with Mae, but she has passed that point by miles now. This time around, it is Mae who can’t shake off the previous heterosexuality of her girlfriend.

Feel Good Episode 5 Recap

George tells Mae about the male celebrity crushes she had enjoyed over the years. One of them is Arnie Rivers, an action star who fell from grace due to his addiction to drugs. After spending some time on the street, he came back to stand-up comedy and is now going to perform at the same place where Mae does her sets.

While George is excited to meet Rivers, Mae is not impressed. But after their first meeting, they hit it off. Rivers takes a liking to her and she admits that he is a charismatic person. She starts comparing herself with him, especially because her girlfriend is so enamoured by him. This leads to more complications as George doesn’t understand what’s wrong with Mae and Mae tries to understand her own identity.

Feel Good Episode 5 Review

When she sees how captivated George is by Rivers, Mae starts wondering if her girlfriend would be better off with a guy. She starts to behave as a boy and emphasises on the differences she has felt in herself ever since she has been with George. Working out so her muscles would be more prominent, being more aggressive in bed because she thinks George might like, trying to look more like a man, wearing only black- Mae busies herself with the stuff she makes up by herself to please George, along with the changes she has enforced in her life unintentionally.

Communication is also thrown out of the window, probably because it wouldn’t have been a very manly thing to do. But one wonders if Mae could have simply talked to George about it, they could have worked it out. But the problem is that even Mae doesn’t quite know what’s bothering her. Blaming George for the things that have been bothering her is only a mechanical, a very human, thing to do. The simple matter of the fact is that her non-binary nature has only recently been highlighted. She is exploring her gender identity, and usually, it is not as easy or exciting as it might seem. The exploration of self often leads to confusion and chaos which spills out into personal and professional relationships, and this is what has happened with Mae.

In its second-to-last episode, ‘Feel Good’ takes a page from the story of another female stand-up comic trying to explore the brave new world in front of her. It delivers a Mrs Maisel-moment, but with more intensity, more severely and hence, more hard-hitting-ly. It is moments like these that make ‘Feel Good’ such a poignant portrayal of modern relationships. Mae’s feelings will certainly resonate with the viewers at one point or another. If not about the jealousy, then about their own dilemmas, about the individual nature of their struggle that they tend to dump on their relationship to find some justification. Because when Mae wonders if she should have been a boy, is it because she feels inadequate for George or herself? Would this feeling go away if she was not with George anymore?

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