I’m calling My Mad Fat Diary a guilty pleasure but it’s really not.
It’s just something I say to cover my grown woman back for watching and enjoying and actually getting emotional over a show aimed at teens.
My Mad Fat Diary was one of those shows I thought ‘Oh go on then…let’s see’. So I did, and I’m glad I did. Excellently written, fantastically cast and accurate in its capture of what it is to be a teen not quite fitting in with their world, youth and adults alike can definitely relate to Rae and her issues.
Set up north, in the 1990’s with nary an African-Caribbean in sight (of which I’m not bothered about before you start…I’m #justsayin’) My Mad Fat Diary cuts through the fluffy stuff and makes the viewer come face to face with a leading lady who’s not your typical leading star. Rae Earl played by Sharon Rooney is a big girl, like really big, in a real big way not in a slightly plump actress overacting to make us believe she’s fat kinda way…
Dealing with an overbearing, over-protective, naively negligent mother played by Claire Rushbrook, Rae’s stint in a mental institution, subsequent release and attempts to fit in with her so-called best friends’ new group of friends was often funny, poignant and more importantly accurate. It had me feeling Rae’s joy and pain with every situation she came into.
No, I was never a fat teenage girl, committed to a mental institute, but there were times during My Mad Fat Diary which evoked memories some happy some emotional reminders of my turbulent teenage years especially the times when a timeout in a room next to Rae’s would have been welcomed.
I loved the way My Mad Fat Diary didn’t make a ‘case’ out of Rae’s size or issues. It didn’t poke fun at the fat girl. It made you laugh WITH Rae as she negotiated therapy, boys and her obsession with masturbation and sex. It also didn’t get all politically correct and make Rae the perfect hard done by big girl. She made mistakes and acted selfishly on occasion.
The clever and responsible, if you like, way the show dealt with Rae’s issues also gets my seal of approval. The show creators did well to get across the message that no matter your problems there are always others dealing with worse. From Rae’s counsellor, Dr. Kester Gill played by Ian Hart who could do with applying some of his services to himself to Rae’s best friend in the mental institution Tix played by Sophie Wright who’s *spoiler alert* currently in a coma due to over-exercising, eating disorder type problems.
My Mad Fat Diary brought tears to my eyes, made me laugh, and made me sing out loud to the nostalgic 90s soundtrack. Can’t wait til season 2. Thanks for this Channel 4.
Watch Season 1 of My Mad Fat Diary on 40D Click Here