Hey everyone! So, I watched the first few episodes of My Mad Fat Diary when it first came out last year, but I got behind on the episodes and then the season ended and I just never caught up. However, now season 2 has started I thought that, since I did actually enjoy what I watched of season 1, I would start the whole thing again so I can watch season 2 (which a few friends have DEMANDED I watch so I can discuss it with them). I'm one of those people who just has to watch every episode of a series in order from the beginning and I thought it would be fun to do a feature post here of each episode. This will be a regular feature (once a week) and I will describe and summarise each episode along with my musings and general thoughts. This means that, unlike most of my reviews, there will be SPOILERS! In case you were wondering, I'm watching these episodes on 4od (online) and the site advises that those aged 18+ only watch it; however, be aware that the DVD is cert 15. My Mad Fat Diary is a true (albeit maybe somewhat exaggerated for the sake of the TV show) story based on the memoirs of Rae Earl - which, incidentally, I also really want to read. So let's begin!
Season 1, Episode 1
In the opening episode, Rae is discharged from psychiatric hospital. Back in the real world, all she wants is to be a normal teenager, but when you're secretly mad it's not that simple.
The episode starts with Rae meeting Kester, her new therapist/counsellor person. Kester encourages Rae to keep a diary, and asked her how her week had been. We then flashback to (presumably) the start of the week, which is when most of the episode takes place.
It's the day Rae is due for release from psychiatric hospital and she's hiding in the toilets comforting her best friend and fellow patient Tix. After assuring Tix that she'll visit often, Rae leaves the hospital and stands outside the front doors where her journey forward into the future is hampered somewhat by a "freak-out" (as Rae likes to say). After barricading herself in a phone box, receiving the wise advice "count to 10" from Tix and waiting 40 minutes for her lift, Rae is finally on her way home with her mum, who is on day W of the Alphabet Diet (but she can eat Blue Ribbons because, as Rae so helpfully points out, they have wafer in). On the way home, Rae spots Chloe, an old friend, on the back of a hot guy's motorbike. Wowzers. Mum told Chloe that Rae was in France for a while (instead of, you know, in the psych. hospital), and so Chloe invites Rae to the pub with the gang. Rae says yes. Because this will go well.
When they finally get home, Mum opens the boot of the car and lo and behold out pops Karim, her illegal immigrant lover. Yeah. Rae stresses the difference between snacking and binging (while looking at the glowing food cupboard), and then goes to her room, which she calls the "scene of the crime". This, and the suspicious stain on the carpet that someone has tried desperately to bleach out, suggests that Rae was in psych. hospital for self harm or a suicide attempt.
Rae and Chloe then go to the pub and meet up with the gang to drink (most probably underage). All seems to be going well so far, and Rae is in love (lust?) with Archie who, as well as being cute, can sing AND play guitar. We all like a guy who's good with his hands after all. Afterwards at the chippie, Rae discovers the rest of the gang which consists of Chloe, Izzy, Chop, Finn (whoa...) and Archie (as I say, lust at first sight for Rae). A food fight ensues and they all get kicked out. You know, typical cool kid stuff (yeah, me neither). The atmosphere is dampened slightly for viewers when Rae reaches out for the camera to take a photo and has to quickly zip her jacket sleeve up to cover her scars. More evidence for self harm?
Back home, Rae plays the old "if this crumpled ball of paper goes in that bin over there, Archie will have sex with me" game. She misses. Repeatedly. Then she has a VERY erotic dream of Archie and her (complete with condom - good girl). The noise turns out to be Mum and her lover, which is a bit of a downer. When confronting Mum about it, Rae gives us a countdown of the 3 worst things she's ever said to her Mum. Number 1 is calling Mum a screwup and blaming her for all Rae's mental health problems, which is way harsh.
Rae gains membership of the gang with her awesome music taste (despite initial apprehension from Finn) and gets invited to Chloe's pool party and in her panic drinks a pint in one go. Not a good idea. Later, while swimwear shopping, Chloe sets the smoke alarms in the shop off (smoking) and the shop gets evacuated. Rae must stand outside, on a busy street, in her bra and with just a blow up crocodile to preserve her modesty. OMG. Mortifying. There is a difference between snacking and binging. Unfortunately, this experience led Rae to binge. Big time. And run back to the psych. hospital toilet in tears.
She pours her heart out to Tix before realising that Tix isn't in her usual cubical. When Tix comes in, she shows Rae no sympathy when Rae says she wants to go back to the hospital. Good. I think Tix's berating is just what Rae needed. She returns home and decides that she won't swim at the pool party, but will take a ton of her mum's booze over so no one will notice (why do teenagers on TV always think this?). She tries to sneak out of her bedroom window (why do they always do this too?) and falls on flowerpots, cutting her arm and back. In the end, she needn't have bothered sneaking out because her mum patched her up and gave her more booze anyway.
When she gets to the party, Archie makes a big deal out of his "backne" and makes a deal with Rae that he'll go swimming if she does. I strongly suspect that there wasn't actually anything wrong with his back (or if there was, he wasn't self conscious about it) but he just said it for Rae's benefit and I love him for that. Chloe calls Rae boring for not joining in and getting involved in the fun so Rae DOES get involved and ends up stuck in the pool slide. Awkward...
It fades to black and goes back to the present, and Rae's session with Kester. Rae is not saying much so Kester complains about his life instead (kinda nontraditional but hey ho) which gets Rae to relax and feel a bit better. Kester then throws the artwork from the walls out of the widow because Rae doesn't like it, and says he'll just blame Rae if anyone asks. I feel like Kester is the kind of therapist that, if you saw him in action, you would NEVER allow to counsel people, but his method really does work.
Flashback to slide and Rae is stuck and panicking. Everyone can see the scars on her legs. Everyone - all the people she so desperately wants to impress and fit in with. However, she manages to laugh it off (good for her!) and Chop frees her from the slide. Everyone is laughing in the pool, then the sauna (seriously, how rich is Chloe?), then the pool again except for Chloe who finds Rae's psych. hospital bracelet. Uh oh.
Finn is so hot in that "grrr I'm sexy and mysterious" way. So hot!
I can't decide so far if Chloe is a slut or just an attention seeker, a snob or an actually nice person. Hmm...
Also, did anyone else notice that Kester has kinda sticky-out ears? Just me?
"Everyone in here is holding onto their lives by their fingertips, Rae, and you've been given the chance to start again and you don't want it?" - Tix, when she's telling Rae off for trying to go back to the psych. hospital.
So that concludes the first episode! This post ended up being a lot longer than I thought it would be, but hopefully not too long for you guys. I'll post the same for the second episode next week. My next post will probably be a book review so see you then!