As My Mad Fat Diary’s third episode starts, Pulp’s Disco 2000 provides the soundtrack to a clichéd image of two kids (younger versions of Rae and Chloe) running through a field in a hazy memory of happier times. This allows Rae to complain about how her friend is perfect and so much better than her. Then the memory stops and we see her perfect friend Chloe is playing rounders, because the summer holidays are over and the gang is back at school. Also, Rae has moved on very quickly from Archie and has shifted her attention to the PE teacher, Mr. Carrisford.
Of course, nothing can go as Rae wants it to and she discovers Chloe’s secret boyfriend is, in fact, the PE teacher. She found this out just as she was cheering herself up by imagining that her friend had made up the whole relationship thing because she clearly doesn’t like other people’s happiness. Oh, well. Things are about to get better as the gift of a ticket to see Oasis at Knebworth turns it from the worst summer ever, to the best. Chop thought of her first when it came to giving the ticket to someone (yay!) because he sees her as one of the guys (boo!). So, of course, she can’t possibly be happy about this turn of events. Looks like another hour of misery.
Time for an argument with Chloe about her relationship. It’s hard to feel that Rae is at all concerned about Mr. Carrisford taking advantage of her friend when she just seems so unbelievably jealous. If the tables were turned and she was in the relationship everyone would have to party and there’d be another cheesy fantasy sequence. Speaking of which, we get another segment of the cliché flashback. Just as the words “you’re a really shit friend” are uttered, we see the younger version of Chloe letting go of younger Rae’s hand while they jump around in a circle in that field. It’s literally the worst thing a person has ever done to anyone.
Back to Dr Gill and the level of shouting you’d expect to hear from someone trying to be heard in a crowd. What’s with all the shouting? She’s jealous. She’s not girly enough. One of the reasons she’s not girly is that she drinks pints. 1) She’s 16, shouldn’t be doing that anyway 2) She could just stop doing it. There’s no suggestion she’s alcohol dependent.
She also freaks out because she tells jokes and guys don’t like the idea a girl could be funnier than they are. So far, there has been no evidence of her being funny in the whole programme.
We get to see why the word ‘mad’ is in the show title. She’s back on her period again and is happy about it. Admittedly, that’s not why she was in a mental hospital but that’s quite insane.
Another trip to the toilet confessional results in a suggestion that buying a dress might make her appear more ladylike, this suggestion being provided by Danny, who was in the ladies toilet because the men’s was out of order. Apparently she didn’t see the irony of being told how to appear more feminine by a boy, but was instead confused as to why she didn’t think of that (probably didn’t think of it because she’s so manly). There are a couple of problems with the dress plan. She can’t find a dress that fits and doesn’t have £95 to buy a special one for larger ladies. Neither does her Mum.
Things aren’t getting better for Rae’s self esteem. Chloe turns up wearing the dress she really wanted and fits in it well. But, she’s only made an appearance to say she’s pregnant so wouldn’t fit in it for much longer. Cue a heart to heart about being young and up the duff.
There’s a genuinely horrific sequence when Rae goes to see Dr Nick about severe period pain. She imagines her tampon giving way and a bloody flood chasing him down the corridor. Though clearly intended to be funny, it’s just childish and crude. Sometime crude can be funny but this is just seems like the writers were so desperate for a cheap laugh they asked 13 year olds what would be amusing.
After having a hissy fit about Chop calling her ‘Raemundo’ (because apparently that’s not as feminine as ‘Rae’), she goes home with a ‘jam stain’ that is noticed by a local gang. Their taunts are cut short by a slow motion punch to the face by Finn. Now it’s time for him to be her dream guy, like he was in the last few minutes of episode 2. Episode 3 did focus too much on how she spent so much time lusting for Finn, treating it like he’s the one she’d spent her every waking moment thinking of. He isn’t and only people who just tuned into this episode could think he was.
Let’s cut a long, drawn out story of an episode ending short. Rae doesn’t go see Oasis. She decides she isn’t a crappy friend and stays behind with Chloe when she has an abortion. The trust Chloe had put in Rae means that it’s time for the big reveal. Unfortunately, when she admits she wasn’t in France for 4 months but was in a mental hospital because she “hurt herself”, she doesn’t get the “OK, cool” reaction she was hoping for. There’s a week long wait to see what Chloe thinks of the situation.
The main issue with this episode was the lack of flow between scenes. Without any smooth transition, it felt like a 17 year old edited the episode on their new laptop and hadn’t figured out the software yet. The most interesting character is Rae’s mum with her ridiculous diets, but she gets barely any time on screen. Rae’s constant complaints about Chloe are also really grating. I get it, she’s better at things. Chloe’s not better at not getting pregnant. Rae should try to embrace that.
Even the soundtrack wasn’t to the same calibre as the previous 2 episodes, which is a shame. Reminding people of 90s Britpop is likely why a huge percentage of the audience return.