Mark Watches ‘My Mad Fat Diary’: It’s A Wonderful Rae

I don’t normally stick these posts together, but the commission for the finale came in whilst I was on tour, and I did not see it. I did not want Nomie (who I met in Boston!) to have to wait even more because of my mistake, so both her and Laura (who commissioned the first half of the finale) get their video/review on the same day! AND OH MY GOD THIS SHOW.

So, the video commission for Part 1 can be downloaded with Quicktime Pro or streamed here. The Dropbox file is here. And the stream/Quicktime link for Part 2 is here, and the Dropbox link is here. Thank you to Laura and Nomie for your support!

  • To say this finale is hard to watch is an understatement. It is emotionally brutal, but it’s necessary to explore how Rae deals with disappointment, how her life has been affected by poor decisions (as part 1 is RIDDLED with poor decisions by nearly everyone involved), and how her relationship with her mother and Karim is not what she thinks it is. 
  • I’ve been fascinated and pleased with how this show portrays the gang and the method in which they all became friends. Up to this point, that friendship is genuine, and Rae doesn’t feel like the outsider she once did. That’s why Part 1 is such a challenge: Their friendship as a group begins to fall apart. First, that’s through Chloe pursuing Finn, despite that she clearly suspects that Finn and Rae are too close. It was hard for me to like Chloe here because she seemed so blatant in her disrespect of Rae, especially after she gave such horrendous advice concerning Rae’s desire to tell her friends the truth. Now, she’s rubbing her pursuit of Finn in Rae’s face, and it hurts to watch!
  • And it’s not just Rae who is dealing with all of this! Tix is trying to step out of her comfort zone with Danny. Chops has a deep-seeded love for Izzy, but is afraid to tell her. Archie is painfully in the closet. The rave, then, represents chaos for this group of friends. Because holy shit everything goes wrong there. Like, continuously wrong! It’s bad enough that Rae ran away because of what she did to Karim’s birds, but she also stood up Tix at an arranged meal that was supposed to help her get better. Sure, there are a lot of negative factors that contributed to Rae’s behavior in Part 1, but the show also makes sure to blame Rae where she is responsible.
  • Oh my god, poor Tix. I honestly thought she wasn’t going to survive. 🙁
  • This leads into the second half, which is about repairing all that was broken, but not before things get really bad. I lost the diary I kept as a teenager in a broken home, and to this day I still panic about it suddenly turning up. I have no idea where it is! And, like Rae, it was the most honest I ever was with myself. That journal was a confidente, and I’m sure I said some terrible things and some extremely depressing things. So I recognize Rae’s fear here. Plus, THE DIARY WOULD OUT ARCHIE. It’s not just about Rae in this case. Chloe reading the diary affects other people. And that’s one of the many reasons this destroys Rae to the point that she is triggered into trying to commit suicide.
  • I’m not a nitpicky sort of person when it comes to plots or realism, and this certainly doesn’t ruin this show in any way, but… what the hell, RAE GETS HIT BY A CAR REALLY HARD. I kind of don’t believe that she’d be able to just stand up and walk away without any sort of medical attention whatsoever? Granted, it sort of needs to happen so that Rae can confront the boy who bullied her. (HOW GREAT IS THAT SCENE?) Still, perhaps it didn’t need to be violent? Well, and we have to remember that this show exists entirely from Rae’s point of view, so maybe she perceived it as being more violent than it actually was.
  • Regardless, it sets off this chain reaction that’s both kind of cheesy and immensely powerful. The whole dream sequence, which draws heavily from A Christmas Carol, imparts the importance of Rae being alive so that she understands why she needs to try harder to be a better person. This is why I don’t ultimately care about being nitpicky: the car accident inspires Rae to finally open up to Kester about what triggered her suicide attempt the last time. And lord, can I relate to her sense of self-worth (well, the lack of it) and the terror of being abandoned. Hello, I’m adopted! That’s always haunted me.
  • The wedding. THE WEDDING. Perfectly, horrifyingly awkward, and one of THE best things I’ve ever seen for Mark Watches, hands down. My god, it’s empowering and terrifying at the same time, and I love it.
  • And I love that Finn’s declaration of love involves touch. As someone with intense body image issues and a desperation for physical attention, let me just assure you that there are few things more powerful than someone expressing a desire to touch you. What Finn does for Rae is equal parts erotic and emotionally devastating because he chose to touch her. I can’t. I CAN’T.
  • Rae is ready for therapy. What a perfect end to the season, and a brilliant way to lead into a second series.
  • THANK YOU. Thank you for commissioning me to watch this. It means a lot to me.


About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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