It’s back to Lincolnshire for episode 2 of My Mad Fat Diary, with the only cool people that live there and Rae’s desire to be part of their group. Straight away, there’s a cliffhanger that has to be expanded on. Chloe found Rae’s hospital tag at the end of the last episode and, sure enough, it’s the first thing to be mentioned at the start of this one. It’s only been 2 days since the dreaded discovery and Chloe hasn’t even mentioned it. She may see that as nice but to Rae that’s unnecessary torture. The suspense of “will she mention it” is, however, very quickly broken when she asks to meet up and says… she’s got a boyfriend. Being pleased for her friend is a little too much for Rae; instead she chooses jealousy and, when her friend tries to reassure her, comes out with “How will I get a boyfriend?” Well, you could try cheering up a little.
To the tune of Fake Plastic Trees by Radiohead (don’t know if the first episode mentioned it but it’s set in the 90s), she unzips her fat body and burns it in a fantasy about the body she wants to have because everyone can get a relationship but her. It’s a shame that this is her imagination; they could’ve attracted some of the audience who are missing Doctor Who and said it’s a spin off.
And then we’re back to the pub (yeah, I keep forgetting she’s 16, too). As she arrives, Archie is very pleased to see her in the hopes that she’ll save him from a conversation about orgasms. Yes, please save him from the conversation, Rae. It’s another attempt to tap into the comedy hole left by The Inbetweeners that just doesn’t work. If she had successfully changed the subject, she would’ve been saved by Chloe asking her about her best romantic/sexual experience. Time for a quick escape. “I’ve gotta put the tea on for my mum” does the trick. The pub conversation results in the making of a very important list. Her ‘Romantic Milestone Checklist’. It’s important to someone that seems to think having sex means you’re a better human being and more deserving of a life, at least.
Want to know her deep and meaningful list? Here it is:
1. Pass through the mystical orgasm gateway
2. See someone naked
3. Kiss someone
Lucky her, she gets to tick number 2 off her list straight away as, when innocently looking out the window, she’s presented with an eyeful of her 76 year old neighbour’s boobs. For some reason she doesn’t seem happy about this, despite not specifying what gender she wanted to see naked. Next time she should make it more clear; supernatural forces can’t do everything.
A visit to Dr Gill means we get another insight into her self-centred nature, as she is annoyed that her mum can get a boyfriend despite being ‘a blob’ like herself. Nice little attack on her Mum there for no reason other than she’s happy. Being back in the hospital means Tix makes another appearance. For about a minute I was thinking she’s the nicest person in the world, saying there’s nothing she doesn’t hate about Rae, but then she tried to beat a guy to death with a dinner tray because he surprised her. Mystery solved about why she’s in the hospital, anyway.
After leaving the hospital Rae meets up with Chloe, who is really excited that she’s going to have sex at the weekend and has a question to ask about what she found at the pool party. Archie rescues Rae because not only has he got amazing timing, but he also wants to hang out with Rae. Just the two of them. Like you would on a date. Because it’s a date. This turn of events calls for a montage. She’s got to get fitter because, if he’s going to touch her, she wants there to be a lot less to touch.
But she keeps putting on weight. Oh. That was a waste of a perfectly good montage.
Anyway, despite getting herself grounded after throwing away £35 of extremely tempting confectionary, she sneaks away to her date to the most romantic of locations- a leisure centre. Then, in a blue glow that makes them both look like horny smurfs, they kiss and he grabs her breast. That’s number 3 checked off her list with a little bonus. Life couldn’t get better for her right now, right? Wrong! She gets the crucial second date.
There’s a lot of lead up (including a makeover that makes her look a little like Marilyn Manson) but she ends up being told by Finn, her least favourite member of the group, that Archie won’t be turning up. After a lot of crying and listening to Champagne Supernova, it’s Finn that turns her into a woman on a mission, saying Archie is a dick and telling her he’s working at the leisure centre. Finn told an accidental lie. He said Archie was at the leisure centre but he was, in fact, peeping….on the men! It’s a twist worthy of Hollywood. And a confusing one because, despite all the time Rae spent crying into her pillow, she takes the news of his sexuality incredibly well. You’d think someone who has such little self esteem would really be more offended that she convinced a guy that heterosexuality wasn’t for him.
At least Rae finally seems to be getting a more positive outlook on the world. She was able to look at herself in the mirror (apparently an impossibility earlier in the episode) and, at the end of the episode, she crosses number 1 off her list…without a man.
This episode was an improvement on the last one but it’s never good when the soundtrack is the best part of a show. There’s an as yet unexplored story behind some scars on her legs that the writers clearly want people to be incredibly interested in. It’s difficult to be so interested in something that isn’t a major plot point or that prominent. It’s not like she’s the Joker or anything.