Warning: This post contains a LOT of gifs.
This week's spotlighted programme is:
MY MAD FAT DIARY
If you like contemporary YA, I can almost guarantee that you will love this show. My Mad Fat Diary follows sixteen year old Rae Earl, who is about to be released from a teen psych ward after attempting to kill herself. Rae has a lot of issues, and there is not a single character on television who is like her. There is also no one who I can relate to more than Rae. I may not always like her, but I understand her because I more or less was her.
Sharon Rooney as Rae Earl
Rae is my favourite part of this show. She's awesome. She's frustrating and naive and closed off and insecure, but she's awesome. I was a lot like Rae when I was a teenager, but way less cool. I also didn't have quite as serious mental problems. That's not an insult, that's just an acknowledgement that Rae's had a lot of issues, and still struggles with them. I actually can't rewatch this show because I can't put myself through some of her more awful scenes twice.
Nico Mirallegro as Finn Nelson
Everyone should have a Finn. Just saying. I should have a Finn. Finn is the nicest guy on TV, and super sexy to boot. The only problem I have with Finn is that sometimes he can be too perfect. I'd love to see more of what's going on in his life, though the fact that we see him through Rae's idealistic eyes definitely skews the opinion of the viewer.
Jodie Comer as Chloe Gemell
Chloe is Rae's best friend. She can be kind of awful, but she has a good heart. Chloe is pretty self-involved, but what sixteen year old girl isn't? The thing about Chloe is that we see her though Rae's perspective, which means that we get mad at her for not noticing what's going on in Rae's life. It's not a fair view, but it makes sense coming from Rae. She wants her best friend to be there for her, but Chloe isn't capable of providing the help that Rae needs. It's also partially Rae's fault for keeping things from her and then expecting her to just know the truth. We get a better idea of what's going on with Chloe in season two.
Claire Rushbrook as Linda Earl
Rae's mum can be hard to watch. She's a single mother trying to reclaim her youth through a relationship with a much younger man. Rae finds her infinitely embarrassing and annoying. She's pretty harsh in the way she treats her mum. I certainly don't relate to Linda, but I have a mum who's quite a bit like her so I was able to understand what was going on between her and Rae to some degree. She's not the greatest mother, and she has a quick temper and not much patience for Rae, but she does try. She and Rae disagree about pretty much everything, and she can be quite immature in the way she treats her daughter. However, for all the blow-ups between mother and daughter, there are a number of really tender moments as well. It's clear that they love each other no matter what.
My Ship: Rae/Finn
These two are just the cutest things. Their relationship is really different and true to life in how it comes about. They have a really organic relationship - they became close friends long before anything romantic came into play. Rae's insecurity in their relationship and the fact that she feels like she's not good enough for Finn really comes in between them. They're so freaking cute though! Also, who doesn't want to see a girl like Rae with an amazing guy like Finn? Funnily enough, they have the same names as Finn and Rachel from Glee. Don't hold it against them. This Finn is way more likeable than that Finn.
- The soundtrack. This show features some seriously great music. It's actually something Finn and Rae bond over.
- The setting. MMFD is set in 1996, which is really special and different. It really really works, and it's fun to see all of the stylistic choices that were made to make such a seamless step back in time.
- The relationships. It isn't all about romance on MMFD. Rae has really complicated relationships with her friends, her mum, and her therapist. It's interesting to see the different dynamics in her life and how compartmentalized she makes things.