About:

Title: My Mad Fat Diary S1.E01 “Big Wide World”
My Mad Fat Diary S1.E02 “Touched”
Released: 2013
Series:  My Mad Fat Diary

Source Material
Title: My Mad Fat Diary
Author: Rae Earl
Published: 2007

 

Welcome to the My Mad Fat Diary Rewatch Project! I’m so excited to spend the next few weeks with you, overanalyzing the show in a way that would make Rae proud.

If you’re not familiar with MMFD, it’s a three-season, sixteen-episode E4 show based on the book My Fat, Mad Teenaged Diary¸ and ended this past July. Rae Earl is a compulsive overeater struggling with depression on top of your average teen self-loathing, awkwardness, and overwhelming hormones.

It’s set in Lincolnshire in the 1990s, which means the soundtrack is top notch. Rae’s painfully honest, self-deprecating voice is aided by doodles and voiceovers to take us straight into her head…and anyone who has ever been a teen is going to find some common ground there. We are all Rae.

The Official FYA My Mad Fat Diary Drinking Game

Drink once every time:

Rae doubts herself
Rae compares herself to someone else
Rae’s diary includes a drawing of genitalia or swear words
Rae’s mum says something dorky but well-meaning
Karim manages to communicate how lovely he is

Drink twice every time: 

Rae sasses Kester
Rae gets positive attention from members of the opposite sex (take a shot if she actually acts on it without overanalyzing)
Rae does something to set back her progress
You exclaim, “I love this song!”

1.1 “Big Wide World”

Dear Diary

Meet Rae Earl, a self-identified fat girl who just got out of a psychiatric hospital after four months. She has been assigned to keep a diary by Dr. Kester Gill, who is helping her in her recovery. On her way home from the hospital, she runs into old friend Chloe, who is under the impression Rae has been in France this whole time (thanks, Mum!).

When she gets home, Rae find out that her mother is living with Karim, an immigrant in England illegally (she finds out when her mother opens the trunk of their car to show her), and promptly heads off to the pub to hang with Chloe and her friends.

Chloe’s nice, but even a few minutes into her interactions with Rae, you can sense the undercurrent of bitchiness and rivalry that plagues so many teen female friendships. Interestingly enough, that’s not present with the radiantly pretty and cheerful Izzy. Rae doesn’t see herself as the type of girl who could commandeer any attention from boys, but Chloe does!

Finn is described as a cute but grumpy sod, Chop is “a slice who doesn’t even go to school,” and Archie is the teen dream that sets Rae’s pants on fire. They all seem to get along, but when they mention a party without inviting Rae, and don’t call her the next day, she is deflated.

So Rae just shows up at the pub, to Chloe’s evident dismay, and faces off with Finn about music – her turf, as she puts it. The Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” is the key to “gang membership,” and she is accepted into the group.

Not so fast, though: Rae tries to check herself back into the psychiatric hospital, and only her friend Tix can talk sense into her. “I don’t like it in there,” Rae sobs, and Tix responds, “You don’t like it anywhere because you don’t like yourself!” This sinks in, and she attends the party (after a humiliating incident where she’s stuck in public in just her bathing suit and an inflatable alligator), and manages to brush off the others seeing her self-harm scars. Things are looking up. Or are they?

Shittiest Teen Comment

Rae: “And then I said it. The worst thing I possibly could have said. ‘It’s no wonder I went mental when I have the biggest screw-up in the history of screw-ups for a parent! Go on, say it! [imitates her mum] Rachel Earl!’”

Awkward Mum Moment

Who doesn’t want to be woken up by their mom banging her younger boyfriend, loudly, in the middle of the night? OH RIGHT, EVERYONE.

Best Song of the Episode

Archie’s acoustic cover of “Return of the Mack,” which gives Rae intense feelings in her bathing suit area. “Two words: Gushington Central.” (And frankly, “Return of the Mack” will be stuck in my head for the rest of the day now, along with Suede’s “Beautiful Ones.”)

The Moment When We Are All Rae

“If this [wrapper] goes into the bin,” she announces to no one, “Archie will definitely sleep with me.” Who among us hasn’t looked for a sign among the ordinary? (I used to tell myself “if there are more than five dogs at the dog park when my train goes by, I will definitely pass the Bar.” IT TOTALLY WORKS.)

Quotable Rae

Rae: “I’d shag him until there was nothing left. Just a pair of glasses and a damp patch.”

1.2 “Touched”

Dear Diary

Kester has told Rae that she needs to compliment herself more, which is both really good advice and also fairly asinine, and Chloe has announced that she has a boyfriend, which set the stage for the episode.

Rae fears she’ll never have a boyfriend while she’s fat, and while she’s looking in the mirror, she pictures just unzipping the “fat suit,” stepping out of it, and burning it to the ground. It’s one of those heartbreakingly real moments the show is so good at – who hasn’t wanted to be someone else or look a certain way? Who hasn’t stared in the mirror and thought, at least once, “I am disgusting?”

This is all compounded by Chloe (bitchily) suggesting that the gang talks about their sexual experiences, and puts Rae on the spot. YE GODS, that was a dick move, and unsurprisingly, it makes Rae obsess even more about her lack of experience. (#2 on her romantic checklist – see someone naked – is sadly fulfilled by accidentally seeing her 76-year-old neighbor changing.)

Much to Rae’s surprise, however, Archie asks her out. SCORE. But she’s so distressed that she tosses all the junk food and starts jogging (in public, and is promptly tormented for it). The food issue (along with telling everyone that the sex books she checked out and the condoms she bought are for her mother) earns her a grounding, but the solution to that is to sneak out. TEENAGE LOGIC.

Since Rae can’t be seen, Archie takes her to an empty pool. Then he kisses her – and asks her out again (perfect opportunity for Chloe and Izzy to perform a makeover on her)! Only this time, Archie doesn’t show, and Finn is the bearer of bad news. He tells Rae that he thinks Archie bailing is a shitty thing, and when Rae confronts him about it, Archie confesses that he’s actually gay. Rae promises to keep his secret, and they remain friends.

Shittiest Teen Comment

Rae: “Why is [Karim] going out with you? I don’t even get it.”

Awkward Mum Moment

I loved when Rae’s mum asked her if she saw the neighbor’s “credentials.” Both of them looked like they wanted to die, while the neighbor was sitting pretty with her outrage.

Best Song of the Episode

“Smack My Bitch Up” is an excellent “storming through the halls getting ready to read someone the riot act” choice.

The Moment When We Are All Rae

Mystical Orgasm Gateway: ‘nuff said.

Quotable Rae

Rae: “It was incredible what Archie’s tongue felt like…like a small, warm animal darting around inside my mouth.”

BRB gotta brush my teeth and never kiss anyone ever again, YIKES.


See you back here next Wednesday for episodes 3 (“Ladies and Gentlemen”) and 4 (“Don’t Ever Tell Anyone Anything”)!