“I was not peeping!”
My Mad Fat Diary started two weeks ago on E4 and is a prime example of the mistakes that could have been made when Skins first started 7 years ago. While watching this less than inspiring, done so many times before on CBBC adaptation from a book it is clear that the producers first picked the soundtrack before deciding on the story and its plots. Most annoyingly I’m sure we are heading for a new breed of hipster prats listening to Oasis, Blur and The Stone Roses and claiming to have done so ‘before they were mainstream’ despite them being out of the industry for years now, despite Blur and The Roses’ recent reunions, I just mean they haven’t done anything significant since the 90’s.
The second thing that was thought about was being ‘edgy’ and doing something ‘different’ and in this very unfortunate case we see the casting of a morbidly obese Sharon Rooney in the part of Rae Earl. The character itself seems like a fine choice, if it was maybe alongside 7 other oddballs each with own ‘issues’ to deal with in teenage life, very much like Skins but instead we just have dear old Rae, week in, week out. The joy.
Earlier I mention the story having been done numerous times on CBBC, sure, this series has sex and swearing and general crudeness (edgy as hell) but when it comes down to it, this is just a crap Tracy Beaker without the dumping ground and more thought going into a ‘cool’ soundtrack rather than interesting stories.
I’m not being mean, but the character of Rae isn’t even a nice one, she has very few redeeming qualities about her and she can’t even fall back onto her looks to get by, no, instead the writers seem to try and make us feel sorry for this oaf who bounds around the scenes looking to sleep with any guy willing to look at her twice… she is such a wonderful role-model for a generation of idiots. As an audience we seem to be forced to feel for her because she has an eating disability, again, I’m not being hard-faced but come on, eating too much is not a disorder, it is greed. If you are willing to eat 10 buckets of KFC a week it comes hand in hand knowing that you will get fat, in the same way you know pointing a loaded gun at your temple and pulling the trigger is going to kill you. It is a choice and if you make that choice you are going to become unhealthy so don’t start whinging about it after or start feeling sorry for yourself and self-harming like her, instead, do something about it for yourself and do some exercise and eat some vegetables. Come on, just a stick of celery, it will help!
So in episode one it is set up with Rae getting out a mad-house having been cured of her ‘eating disability’ *cough* and then starts hanging out with a group of ‘cool kids’ who are seen constantly drinking and obsessed with the way they look and sex… actually, I have never seen them in any form of education despite being what? No more than 18 surely. Rae soon falls for obviously gay Archie who can play a guitar and sing indy songs and has glasses… so dreamy! The episode ends with Rae fitting in at a swimming pool after briefly almost losing her shit because she got her thighs out and everyone saw her scars then got her fat arse stuck on a slide. She gets in and everyone ‘accepts’ her. What a shallow group of individuals.
Episode two see’s not much change. Rae focuses all her attentions on sex and having an orgasm in this episode, the thought alone is enough to make the audience hurl in their own mouths. But nevertheless, love of her life Archie asks her out on a date! So soon!? Scream the mindless clapping audience who sit in front of their box under a padded duvet while stuffing another handful of rolos into their mouths while thinking ‘this is a character I can really relate to’. The date goes well and the pair kiss. Rae then lies to the girls and says he touched her up too and then later on in the episode we find out Archie is a peeping tom at the sports centre and is actually gay. Shocker. By the end of the episode Rae has already moved her sexual attentions to ex-Hollyoaker Newt (I think he’s called Finn in this).
However, there is one small redeeming feature from this heartless and simply despicable series (and I’m ignoring the music because the show itself verges on me starting to hate Oasis despite being a big fan the way fat Rae treats songs so deeply makes me feel ill) it is in fact a character called Tix, this is where the series actually works and as I said would probably have felt more relaxed and at ease focusing in on a character every week rather than solely on the obese struggles of Rae Earl who can’t stop eating. A 90’s version of Skins would work just as well as the original two generations and I would even hazard saying it would be just as enjoyable with a range of characters. Anyway, my point was that Tix is actually an interesting character with an obvious back-story begging to be told and explored, her experiences in the care home feel like something that would actually be worth seeing and in a strange way she is likeable and even grows on you although only being briefly seen in both episodes, maybe this is a character we will see more of soon enough though… If I can put myself through another episode…