Thoughts on: My Mad Fat Diary season 2*

*massive spoilers below, don't read unless you've seen the show!

Some of you might wonder why I'm so attached to this TV-show, because it might not seem special to you. It's not sci-fi, it's not fantasy, it's not based upon a best selling book (scratch that, it is based upon a book, just not a best-selling one). So what is it about this TV-show that Katherine likes so much?

I love it simply because it's true. We're watching the series from the perspective of Rae Earl; overweight, loud, mad, 16-year-old girl. She's been in a psychiatric clinic because of self-harming for four months and in series one, we see the departure and how she deals with life on her own. Her brain is full of boys, music, greediness, opinions and other things (you know what I mean by other things, I don't need to explain sex to you!)

As someone who is quite a lot like Rae (apart from the self-harm bit), I can honestly say that's how it's like when a girl falls in love with someone who's far out of their league, comes back in touch with her old friends, tries to fit in, tries to tell everyone she's been ill and how she gets cold feet every time she wants to do it... everything is so bloody true and that's why I love it. 
The season ended with Rae's mother marrying a Tunisian immigrant who they've been hiding in their house for the whole run of series one and a bit of a fangirl moment with one of the gang members called Finn. 

So, series two picks up the following day of the wedding. The gang assembles and talks about Rae's illness and she opens up to them and it's all well and good. The episode shows the progression of Rae and Finn's relationship, her mother's menopause (and some scenes where they talk about it are bloody hilarious, I nearly shat my pants) and also, school. I was very interested to see that scene where she'd go back to school, because we all know that those moments when everyone stares at you for having a really good-looking boyfriend are not the nicest. Also, we find out about the death of one very major character and how Rae deals with it and another male character, called Liam, is introduced to the cast, for whom I've suspected to change the course of the series massively. 

It also shows that having a boyfriend who loves you won't change the chemical composition in your brain about your looks or your opinion on yourself doesn't change in the course of one day (and it's showed with the association test) and it actually has quite an important message behind it. It was a very good start of the season. 

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The second episode follows Rae's first two weeks at college. We find out that she's skipped classes since the first day and that her mother isn't actually going through "the change". The episode deals with Rae thinking about sex and her body and showing her naked body to someone who isn't herself and again, all of that is bloody true. Everything she thinks about it is absolutely and utterly true. The fear of exposing your body without having somewhere to hide is the thing that led her to breaking up with Finn. The scene where she talks about it is probably the most heartbreaking thing I ever listened to, because, again, IT'S SO BLOODY TRUE. 
We also see the change that her gay best friend Archie goes through when he tries to blend in, because apparently, being gay in the 90's wasn't good. Also, her best friend Chloe's photos for a magazine (wearing nothing but underwear) appear all over the school and she's in big trouble. Who has those photos? Who's hanging them all around the school? Why are they doing that? And also, Rae's friendship with Liam deepens a bit and continues to grow. 

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The third episode deals with the attempt of fitting in from Rae's perspective and the perspective of her gay best friend Archie. Rae's been saved from the biggest school bully by the most popular girl in school, Stacey, that also happens to be Finn's previous girlfriend and she starts hanging out with her. She finds her to be really nice, but in reality, she exploits other people in her friendship group and thinks that they're just machines with no feelings and with the help of her other best friend, Chloe, she exposes her and Stacey's abandoned by all her friends, but I immediately had the feeling Rae and Chloe would pay for it. Also, Rae learns some new things about Archie and what he's doing to a girl in Stacey's friendship group and that leads her to making drastic decisions in which she may lose his friendship. 

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In the fourth episode called 'Friday', we realise that Rae's biggest problem may not be Stacey, but her friend Amy who also happens to be Liam's girlfriend. Because they go to therapy together, they see each other quite a lot and they're seen together, quite a lot. Amy grows suspicious and then she gives her an ultimatum; if Rae doesn't tell her by Friday what's going on between them, she'll kick her arse. Meanwhile, Rae presses on Archie to come out of the cupboard to his friends and his family, but when his ex Lois tells him that she'll tell everyone his secret by Friday, he's left with no choice. That scene where he admits it to the gang may as well be the most beautiful thing ever to happen on the show. However, it's not all rainbows and sunshine for Rae when she does something with Liam that she knows she regrets and when she confesses about it to Amy, things take a leap of faith for the worse. It's an episode that contains every ship in the show, so it's one for everyone. 

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The fifth episode deals with the phrase that every teenager has to go through: "You're too young to do that!" Rae's mother doesn't approve of her staying out, going to parties, getting drunk, not knowing where she is all night and that sort of thing, so she prohibits it to her. However, she doesn't care. She throws the two fingers to her mother's expectations and hangs out with Chloe and her new gang of 24 year old horny men who want to fuck every breathing and living thing, which leads to the realisation that her mother might be right. Rae does all sorts of things to prove her mother wrong and in the end, she regrets the whole lot and her life goes through massive changes when she realises that people that she used to trust won't be there for her whenever she needs them. 

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The sixth episode deals with many things, one of them being understanding your best friends and hearing their side of the story. Chloe went missing, and Rae went to her house to find some posters for the school performance or something (by the way, Rae can bloody sing) and she finds her diary. The whole episode repeats almost every event that happened in the last season from Chloe's perspective. It was a brilliant method to make us think what others actually think about something and that we should respect their opinion and hear them out, but you can also see the consequences that it might have on you. The ending to the episode, however, was a bit dramatic and I didn't like it as much, because it just didn't fit into the episode/it was out of place. 

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And the last episode brings up the mother/daughter relationship once more. Rae's been really mean to her mother and they do not get along whatsoever, but when she goes into early labour, they have to forget about their problems, work through them and get along for the sake of the baby. She's also been bullied at school for losing her shit at a school concert and setting off the fire alarm in school, which leads to her dropping out and starting to look for Chloe (and she finds her, but can we just appreciate her speech when Rae finally finds her? I cried like a baby), that was missing for a lot longer than usual (it's happened before). A letter from Finn, who went to Leeds a couple of episodes back makes her realise that things in the gang are really fucked up and she starts fixing everything back together, including their relationship. 

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...and that's how it ends.

I've mentioned at the beginning just how real the show feels to me and to other people, because it describes the problems with such accuracy. It also gives some of us a bit of a confidence boost and it's also a really pleasant show to watch if you've got some spare time, because it teaches you a couple of things and it makes you realise how the bullied ones feel when they're bullied or insulted. 

I have nothing bad to say of this season; it met my expectations, the plot didn't turn into a typical teenager series and it has my seal of approval. Some scenes in between felt a bit out of place, but I didn't mind it because the rest of the story makes up for it. Also, the music exceeded my expectations by a milestone; brilliant 1990's Brit pop, indie and it was just brilliant. 
I also appreciate the fact that they know when to go full on with the songs, but they also know which scenes would have much more impact on the audience if there was no music in the background. That way we get to experience the situations in all their actual awkwardness. 

I laughed, I cried, I cringed a lot and I loved it. A definite must-watch. 

I hoped you enjoyed this and I shall see you soon!
xxx Katherine


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