In Season 2, the final adaptation of comedian Mae Martin’s (they/them) semi-autobiographical comedy, Feel Good takes on much more content in its short six episodes, packing quite the punch.
We’re guided deeper through the traumas of the primary character Mae and left wondering how they’re able to stand on their own two feet after years of childhood grooming, drug addiction, and parental toxicity.
The light answer to this is humor. As it’s joked often throughout the episodes, “comics are supposed to be sacks of shit.” Through light-hearted comedy and the power of laughter, Mae’s story is dissected. However, at times, big topics are rushed and viewers are left grasping at strings, wishing there were more episodes in the season.
Following an unfortunate relapse in Season 1, we’re immediately thrown into Mae’s life in Canada, as they’re about to reenter rehab. They’ve only been away from England for a couple of months, but with the fresh wounds of the breakup, both George (Charlotte Ritchie) and Mae aren’t healed and are still stuck in their desire for each other. I mean, Mae still has George’s photo on their nightstand!
While in rehab, Mae reconnects with an old “friend,” Scott. When he’s first introduced we’re left wondering who he is and what his role is in Mae’s life. As an addict and queer comedian, there’s much more behind Mae’s curtain of trauma than initially presented in Season 1. Much more trauma that’s led to rash behavior, and Mae’s conversation with Audrey, easily foreshadows this.
Intertwined with the main storyline, Mae’s also navigating their non-binary identity. Mirroring Martin’s own coming-out as non-binary, Mae’s figuring it out, explaining that they see themselves as more of a Ryan Goslin or Adam Driver.
Again, with only six episodes to squeeze so much storyline into, Mae’s rehab stint only lasts 15 minutes into the first episode before they’re running out the door back into the arms of Scott.
As Mae’s stumbling through life in Canada, George is also trying to keep her mind focused on things like saving the bees. At an event at her school, she meets Elliot, a bisexual, polyamorous man with whom she bonds. He’s the nice guy, maybe too nice for George. He’s one of those men who are self-proclaimed progressive and ultra-feminist, trying to mansplain the harm in porn’s presentation of women and how sex needs to be a safe space for connection.
And as Mae knows, that’s definitely not how George likes to be treated during sex. Thankfully, George and Mae reconnect, and Elliot is quickly out of the picture with Mae and George recreating their first meet-cute, hoping to restart from a fully healed wound.
As Feel Good is written by a queer person, the portrayal of queer sex is finally construed in a realistic and non-hypersexualized manner. Mae and George run through various role-playing scenarios as they are falling into what seems to be a healthy relationship.
Realistically, their timeline is rushed, but Mae needed some stability before they faced the bigger demons hiding under the bed.
The show cleverly depicts Mae’s moments of withdrawal and trauma responses through a high-pitched ringing sound. As if we’re inside Mae’s head. Originally, Mae experienced the ringing sound when they were with George, as George was a replacement drug. But, in this season, the ringing sound appeared whenever the past tried to resurface.
Mae told Audrey that they had a hard time remembering the past, that it was all like a jumbly tumbly mess of Tupperware containers. But, as the episodes progress, each Tupperware slowly found its way to its matching lid.
It becomes clear that Scott isn’t just an old friend, but a man who used to abuse and take advantage of Mae. After Mae’s kicked out of the house at a young age for drug addiction, they move in with Scott who presents himself as a safe haven and gateway to Mae’s comedic success. When, in reality, he’s a pedophile who’s grooming them.
When a woman calls Mae to talk about Scott, presumably about the things he did to both of them in the past, Mae’s reminded of the trauma they had compartmentalized. A doctor suggests Mae might have PTSD, and with George’s help, they begin the journey of confronting the harmful past.
Meanwhile, through all of the personal traumas, Mae’s working through their professional success after being signed with an agent and fulfilling their dream of TV comedy. However, Mae finds it challenging to reinvent their success from the original standup virality that got them the agent in the first place. As mentioned earlier, with comics, the butt of their jokes is their own trauma.
Unfortunately, as Mae hasn’t healed from their trauma, there’s no way they can make light of it yet. As their career goes for a bit of a downhill turn, and they have a hard time performing for an audience, they begin to seclude themselves and withdraw from the world.
In a much-needed getaway, Mae, George, and Phil take a trip to Canada in order for Mae to confront Scott.
The scene in which Mae directly tells Scott they never want to speak to them again, although a bit anticlimactic, was retrospectively a strong scene that finalized Mae’s character arc in the perfect ending to a witty, raw, and endearing show.
The final episode leaves Mae leaps and bounds beyond where they had been before on their road to recovery. And just as Mae’s love for George grew healthily from a need to a want, our need for a Season 3 resolved itself, and we feel good saying our final goodbyes to Mae and George, knowing fully well they are on their way to a fresh start.
Virgin River Season 4 Episode 1 Premiere Review – All Is Not Calm In This Scenic Town
All is not calm in this scenic town, but you already knew that?
However, if you didn’t know what to expect when Virgin River Season 4 returned to your screens, you probably didn’t anticipate the first episode to kick off with a very pregnant Mel walking with Jack. You assume you’re getting a glimpse of what’s to come, but suddenly, Mark, very much alive, comes their way as a debate erupts over who the father of the child actually is.
Thankfully, it’s just a nightmare (though, Mel might see it as a dream), and a peek into Jack’s current mental state when it comes to how he’s coping with the pregnancy news.
It doesn’t take long before the series dives right in where we left off dishing out the expected dose of drama, feel-good moments, and that gorgeous, picturesque scenery.
Mel and Jack arrive at the doctor’s office where she’s classified as a high-risk pregnancy because of her previous stillbirth. Jack continues to worry about Mel throughout the episode, which isn’t helping her since she doesn’t want to make a fuss about it. She informs him that when she was expecting with Mark, they did everything by the book and still lost a child, so her plan is just to live her life this time around and hope for the best. It’s not an easy thing to accept, but who can blame Mel for not wanting to worry when anything can go wrong regardless?
A new doctor blows into town, and since he’s a young, good-looking man, it stirs up a lot of gossip! Not only is Dr. Cameron Hayek a looker, but he’s also a great guy! But he’s no competition for Jack, even if the town’s people are hoping for some kind of love triangle strictly for their own entertainment.
Jack asks Mel not to tell her sister, Jo, about the baby as he wants to keep it a secret for a little longer, but Joey knows something is up when she calls Mel. When breaks the news to her, she informs her that she’s not sure who the father is. Either way, Joey is thrilled and knows this is what Mel has always wanted.
Jack continues to worry about Mel throughout the episode, which isn
Anette O’Toole is back as Hope, but this isn’t the snappy and spunky woman we’ve come to know. Hope is recovering from a traumatic accident that led to a brain injury, so she’s not feeling like herself. Everyone is kind of tip-toeing around her as she deals with her new reality, particularly when it comes to Lily. Hope asks Doc if Lily is mad at her because she’s not returning her calls. Her brain blocked out the information that Lily passed away, and Doc does his best to avoid the topic at all costs because he doesn’t want to inhibit her recovery in any way. When Lizzie volunteers to take care of Hope, she accidentally reveals that Lily is dead. Once she realizes Hope doesn’t know, she panics and calls Doc who comes to inform Hope that she knew about Lily’s death and was actually on her way to the funeral when she got into the accident.
As Doc deals mostly with Hope’s memory loss and recovery, he’s shocked to hear that there has been a young man looking for him claiming that he’s his grandfather. Obviously, since he had no children, he doesn’t really believe it. But at the end of the episode, Denny arrives on his doorstep and informs him that Rose Miller gave him Doc’s information. Doc recognizes Rose’s name immediately, but he also thought she died 49 years ago. The fact that he remembers how many years have passed means that she meant a great deal to him. Will Rose somehow be involved in the series?
Her appearance is brief, thankfully, but she does divulge that she’s expecting boys, a secret she’s conveniently keeping from Jack. I just feel bad for the kids because she clearly doesn’t value Jack as their father and is going to make being in their lives as hard for him as possible.
Preacher doesn’t have much action in the first episode, but considering the nature of his storyline, I’m sure it will change soon enough. He’s worried that he hasn’t heard back from the PI about Vince after he kidnapped Christopher. He considers taking the whole thing public but decides against it because he doesn’t want to spook Vince into hiding. Eventually, he’ll slip up and they’ll be able to find Christopher safe and sound. Hopefully.
Brady is in jail, which is quite a scary place to be when you’ve betrayed a whole gang and are responsible for the raid that landed them all in prison, including Jimmy. He keeps trying to reach out to Brie and even requested a bail hearing, but things are moving pretty slowly. Jack suggests that maybe Brady was framed. He notes that Brady is a lot of things, but dumb isn’t one of them, so the chances of him driving around with the gun in his Jeep are slim.
Brie goes on a job interview as she hopes to stay in Virgin River and make a life for herself here. After everything that transpired between Brady and Jack with the arrest, she chooses to ignore her former lover’s calls from prison. Will she eventually hear him out and let him explain his side of the story?
Hope is still in such a fragile place — how will she react to the news that Doc had a son and is a grandfather? Gossip travels fast in town, so it’s best if Doc tells her before she hears in the same way she found out about Lily.
Who do you think the father of Mel’s child is? It’s such a unique situation, and she’d likely be happy with either outcome. How will her pregnancy affect the storyline moving forward? Is the new doctor hitting on her or is he just super friendly?
Is Charmaine out of line? Will Brady survive in prison?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Stranger Things Season 4: Nancy Wheeler Owes It To Herself to Give Steve Harrington a Chance
It seems almost silly and trivial to prioritize romance when the world — specifically, Hawkins — is being taken over by a disturbed and power-hungry creature from the Upside Down, but it’s such a human emotion to value and champion love even in the darkest moments when everything looks bleak.
As Stranger Things continues to prove, love, in all of its shapes and forms, trumps hate every time. And Nancy and Steve? They love each other. They might not know it yet or simply aren’t ready to admit it, but there are some strong feelings there that deserve to be explored, especially in light of a possible end-of-the-world scenario. Ask yourself, if not now, when?
Stranger Things Season 4, through all of its darkness, found a light with Nancy and Steve. Hero hair aside, Steve underwent massive character growth from your stereotypical and shallow jock to a father figure, caretaker, and most importantly, a man who knows what he wants. Steve and his voluminous Herbal Essence commercial hair ran towards danger countless times for the greater good and for his friends. Steve’s emotional glow-up wasn’t lost on Nancy either, as she took notice on several occasions, and at times, found herself taken aback by his newfound maturity. As some people pointed out on Twitter, Season 4 Steve Harrington just hits different.
Yes, he’s portrayed as a ladies’ man, but on the inside, Steve is a softie with a mad crush and a dream of having a real relationship with the right one. He acknowledged the progress he’s made since season 1 and how much he’s grown in the swoon-worthy speech to Nancy that further drove him into heartthrob territory with audiences while proving to Nancy that those butterflies she’s been feeling whenever he looks at her aren’t just a result of an unexpected trip to the Upside Down. Steve Harrington told Nancy flat-out that he was to have six kids (six nuggets, to be exact) with her, and if that didn’t convince her that he’s top-notch boyfriend material, I honestly don’t know what would.
I wouldn’t have blamed them if they took advantage of the moment and used the “apocalypse” excuse to sneak in a passionate kiss, but that’s the other point — despite his desires, Steve never made a move on Nancy because he respects her and their friendship. He knows that she’s with Jonathan, and he’s not going to cross that line even if they might never get a chance to pursue these feelings again. At least not without Nancy making a move and giving him the go-ahead.
Deep down, Steve cares about Nancy as a friend. He proved it not just with words, but also with his actions as he stood by her when Vecna put her in a trance. He could’ve left the Upside Down at any point to save himself, but he would never leave her there. And, in turn, Nancy proved that she would risk it all for Steve when she jumped into the water and swam into the Upside Down to go after him. She’s always had a soft spot for Steve, but now that he’s become a man worthy of her, there’s no denying the attraction.
There’s also a love and understanding between them that has provided for a solid foundation that would be helpful if they were to pursue a romantic relationship.
Stranger Things benefited from the love triangle this season, in particular, as it kept tensions high and provided a personal escape for the characters, but it also cannot be dragged into the final battle. The bottom line is that Nancy and Jonathan can’t string each other along as Steve continues to pine Nancy — it’s not fair to any of their very deserving characters.
One might argue that Jonathan has always been the underdog so he deserves the girl, but even that’s starting to change as Steve grows into his own and figures out his real connection to Nancy that’s only intensifying as time goes on.
This brings me to Jonathan. I know it isn’t entirely his fault that he wasn’t by Nancy’s side when the fight against Vecna began, but it speaks volumes that he was on the other side of the world. The reason Mike was with Eleven when it mattered is because he willingly made the trip to go see her. Neither Nancy nor Jonathan chose to visit each other despite being apart for so long. The chance was there, but they both decided to stay put and deflect.
There was a time when Nancy and Jonathan were the right choice for each other, but there’s nothing left between them but a forced relationship that continues because it’s comfortable and safe. The spark between them barely has a pulse. When they were finally reunited at the end of the season, it didn’t seem like a romantic relationship but two friends who care about each other. And that’s the thing — they’ll likely always love each other and feel a connection through shared trauma, but they are not in love with each other anymore.
They aren’t on the same page anymore, no matter how much they hope to be. They want two different things out of life, but they’re refusing to come to terms with the fact that their paths are taking them in opposite directions. Nancy wants to excel in college and make something of herself, while Jonathan didn’t even apply. The worst part is that they both know that time is running out on their relationship, so they are avoiding the hard conversations. Neither of them has the heart to tell the other the truth.
Even if nothing happens between Nancy and Steve in the upcoming season, in the face of the unknown and a potential apocalypse, Nancy and Jonathan owe it to themselves to be honest about their feelings and go after what their hearts desire. I’m not sure what that is for Jonathan at the moment as he seems pretty lost about his future, but for Nancy, I think that definitely involves six little nuggets with Steve Harrington somewhere down the line.
Who Dies On ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4B?
Stranger Things Season 4 was quite a bloodbath as Vecna brutally claimed a handful of victims in his plan to take over Hawkins.
The body count included a handful of pivotal and core cast members that will forever leave a mark on our hearts.
Dr. Brenner – When the FBI came in guns blazing, Brenner tried his best to get El to safety. But the truth is, she wasn’t even supposed to be there. If he simply allowed her to leave when Dr. Owens insisted, she would’ve been on her way to help her friends fight Vecna. Also, there definitely wasn’t a solid contingency plan in place in the event that the FBI did find their secret hiding spot.
In his last moments, Brenner assured El that he loved her and always meant well, but it’s hard to really believe any of that when he pushed her to her limits, shamed her, treated her like nothing more than a lab rat, held her against her will (in hopes that she’d understand), and even put a dog collar on her in order to mute her powers. Brenner was definitely not a friend. And in the moment where they say goodbye, El realizes what true love is when she sees her friends sacrifice everything to come and save her. Papa never came from a place of true love — it was all self-serving and manipulation masked as love. It’s unclear if Dr. Owens survived or if the FBI took him out simply because he betrayed them. If they did, I bet they’re regretting it now.
Eddie – Eddie is a fan favorite, so his time on the series was limited considering Stranger Things has a track record of killing off the lovable, new guy. After a really metal guitar solo in the Upside Down, Eddie took one for the team and sacrificed himself to stop those bats from digging into his friends. It was a redeeming moment as Eddie proved he wasn’t a coward as he “didn’t run away” this time. I only wish he held off a little longer so El could do her thing because he could’ve been spared!
Max (kind of) – Max was marked this season, and it’s unfortunate. Everyone in that group is brave, but Max, in particular, risked it all in hopes of defeating Vecna and stopping his plan. She allowed herself to become his target — the bait that lures him while everyone works in the background to slay the monster. Eleven tried her best to help Max when she could no longer stay in the light and run from Vecna’s wrath, but it wasn’t enough. Vecna got his grip on Max before El could regain her strength. And even after she broke his hold on Max, the damage had been done as her bones snapped and her eyes were glossed over and bleeding. She died in Lucas’s arms, a hero that only a few will ever truly know about. As far as death’s go, it one was the most heartbreaking next to Eddie’s. But then, Max came back to life. Her heart stopped beating for a full minute before it restarted in what doctors call “a miracle.” We know, however, that Eleven used her powers to resuscitate Max. Unfortunately, the injuries were intense and she’s now in a coma. It’s not known when she’ll wake up, if ever… and the battle for Hawkins, and the world, inches closer. For this reason, Max stays on the list.
Jason also died in a gory scene, but honestly, there was nothing more satisfying than seeing him burn in half right after he tried to kill Lucas. The ego on that dude was next level, so he had it coming. Also RIP Chrissy, Fred, and the 22 and counting other souls that died in the mysterious and seismic earthquake that unexpectedly hit Hawkins. A natural disaster it was not! Not to mention all the Russians who fell victim to the Demogorgon and the Demodogs…. they, too, had it coming,
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