After waiting about a year for the sophomore season of My Mad Fat Diary, the show did not disappoint. Although naming My Mad Fat Diary as the best new show of 2013 raised my expectations for the show’s second season, it had no problem delivering. There was Rae’s (Sharon Rooney) difficult return to college, her rocky relationship with her best friend Chloe (Jodie Comer), and the unexpected surprise bestowed on their family by Rae’s mother, Linda (Claire Rushbrook). The second season was just as much of an emotional rollercoaster as the first season–and just as enjoyable.
Many season one characters returned–while others did not–and viewers were even introduced to new characters such as Liam (Turlough Convery). Although I was disappointed that Rae’s primary tormentors (who turned a corner at the end of season one) did not return, they did make way for the mean girls of college: Stacy (Sacha Parkinson), Amy (Susie Potter), Vicky (Jodie Hamblet), & Lois (Kirsty Armstrong). The handsome Dr. Nick also did not return, but Kester (Ian Hart) seemed to be doing alright following his divorce and breakdown last season. These were the answers to some questions I had about season two before it began. Now that all of My Mad Fat Diary’s seven-episode second season has aired, let’s talk about the answers we got to the bigger questions. (Beware, there will be major spoilers.)
Will Archie come out as gay?
My prediction was: Archie (Dan Cohen) might come out to his friends, but to no one else.
Right or wrong: Half wrong.
Archie had a major character arc in season two as he struggled with coming out to his friends. First, he secretly dated Lois because he couldn’t bear to reject her–or tell her the truth. Then, after Rae told Lois the truth so that Lois wouldn’t have to feel the same way Rae had felt in the first season, Lois gave Archie the option of telling everyone himself, or she’d tell the whole school. Although it was easy to feel sad and scared along with Archie, his plotline led to one of the best moments of the season: when Archie sits the gang down to tell them about his sexuality. He’s most worried about what Finn will think since they’ve been friends for so long, but Finn already knew and he was just waiting for Archie to be ready to talk about it. It was a sweet moment that caught me off guard and made me love the characters even more.
I was really glad that My Mad Fat Diary took the time to fully explore Archie’s storyline, rather than leave him in the closet for three seasons until forcing him out and resolving everything in a single episode (which is the case on many teen dramas). It also felt genuine that not everyone in the gang was as accepting as Finn and Rae–well, really only Chop wasn’t quite okay with Archie’s sexuality, but that was resolved by the end of the season.
What will happen to Tix?
Right or wrong: So, so wrong.
One of the biggest shocks of the whole season–but especially the premiere episode–was the reveal that Rae’s best friend from the hospital, Tix, was dead. As I stated in my original question post, I wanted to know even more about Tix–more about her background, her family, how she came to be in hospital, and what would happen to her relationship with Rae. Tix’s fate especially came as a surprise because of the way it was handled: the viewers were only told weeks after the fact. In the premiere episode, Rae hasn’t been writing in her journal and she thinks she’s fine, but at Kester’s urging, she begins writing again in the form of a letter to Tix. It’s only at the end of the episode that we found out Tix was dead.
It was beautifully well done and, personally, I had no idea the episode would take that turn. Although I also felt a little cheated–since I still had so many questions about Tix–it was handled far too realistically for me to complain much.
Are Rae, Linda, and Karim a family now?
My prediction was: Rae, Linda, and Karim grow closer, but still fight occasionally. Rae is a teenager after all.
Right or wrong: Right (sort of).
The Earl family, especially Rae and Linda, went through a harder time this season than in the premiere season. Between Rae’s rocky return to college and the announcement that Linda was pregnant, there were plenty of fights that were worse than anything that occurred in the first season. Additionally, there seemed to be some bumps in the road as Karim joined the family. When Karim got a job as a crossing guard, he stumbled across Rae and her friends smoking. After he told Linda about it, Rae and her mother got into a huge fight. For the first time, Rae had two parents, and by the end of the season, Rae also had a baby sister. Within the course of the series, Rae’s family has doubled in size. Although it took some adjustment, the season finale seemed to show some hope.
Season two also featured a storyline in which Rae met her biological father, Victor (Keith Allen). After Rae discovered Victor had never tried to get in touch with her in season one–since those regular post cards had actually been sent by Linda–Rae requested Victor’s contact information from her mother. When Rae was feeling left out from her own family because of her mother’s pregnancy and new husband, she decided to meet her father. Inevitably though, Rae made the choice to stay with her mother and her new family–and I think they’re stronger because of it.
Will Finn and Rae be able to make their relationship work?
My prediction was: Rae and Finn take a break at some point in the season because Rae needs to focus on herself. But, inevitably, they’ll end up together again.
Right or wrong: Right.
My Mad Fat Diary is not a show about romance, but it is a show about teenagers, and romance is pretty important to teenagers. With that in mind, Rae and Finn are the great romance of My Mad Fat Diary. Fans were all happy at the end of season one when Finn admitted his feelings for Rae and they were even more elated at the beginning of season two when Finn and Rae were together. Although, as I predicted, the happy couple didn’t stay happy forever, they did get back together in the finale. The scene in the finale in which Rae and Finn reunite–and have sex for the first time–is one of the sweetest scenes of the season and possibly the whole show. As I said in my questions post, I really want these kids to work it out; I was not a fan of Liam.
To be fair, it was easy to predict that Rae and Finn wouldn’t be able to make their relationship work at first. It’s Rae’s first relationship and she was going through a hard time after spending three months in the hospital and then losing one of her best friends–those aren’t ideal conditions for anyone trying to start and maintain a new relationship.
Can Rae survive college?
My prediction was: Despite her support system, Rae will need to learn how to support herself amidst a tumultuous environment such as school.
Right or wrong: Right.
There were a few moments throughout season two in which I had serious doubts that Rae could stick it out in college, but she managed. Between pulling the fire alarm on her first day, having a panic attack when she got trapped in a bathroom with Finn, and then adapting her eating habits to fit her school schedule, it was a rough couple of weeks for Rae. She quit college twice: first–and unofficially–after the alarm incident, and second when she dedicated more of her time to finding Chloe and escaping her embarrassing stage incident. But, with help from her friends, Kester, and her new baby sister, Rae learned how to handle the daily ups and downs of school.
Though I often say certain scenes from My Mad Fat Diary are fantastic or the best, the scene in which Kester helps Rae treat herself better was not only well done, but seriously powerful. There are few people who are wholly confident in themselves and to depict a way in which Rae could be less self conscious, or at least stop loathing unchangeable aspects of herself, was important for both Rae and the viewers to see. I have high hopes that this lesson from Kester will carry over into season three (if there is a season three).
What are some questions you had about season two that were answered–or unanswered? Let me know in the comments!