My Mad Fat Diary: Series 2 review (DVD)

When My Mad Fat Diary burst onto our screens last year, it was an instant hit. Audiences were enthralled by Rae's (Rooney) unique spin on the struggles that teenagers face.

Series two opens with Rae feeling on top of the world. She's finally got everything sussed after a tumultuous time in the first series. She's got the gang, she's got her man in the form of resident babe Finn (Mirallegro) and she's even getting on with her Mum (Rushbrook) and new stepdad Karim (Abedi-Amin). However, her therapist Kester (Hart) isn't so sure that everything is as rosy as Rae is making it out to be and tries to get her to join a group therapy session to no avail.

Kester is on to something as despite her denials, Rae is brought crashing back to earth by the realisation that college is starting much sooner than she thought. Having been bullied before about her weight, leading to her going 'mad' and being put in hospital, Rae is terrified by the prospect of going. Her anxiousness increases when Chloe (Comer) tells her and Izzy (Baxendale)  that they can't be virgins by the time college starts so a plan is hatched for the girls to lose their virginities on a camping trip that weekend.

Though like many schemes it goes awry as when faced with the actual situation of getting intimate with Finn, complete with secluded caravan and romantic candlelight, Rae balks. She just doesn't have the confidence to be naked in front of Finn, despite her earlier claims to the contrary she still has body image issues that she's determined to mash down and not face. It all comes bubbling to the surface the minute she walks through the doors at college leading her to flee through a nearby fire door.

Life is never simple for Rae Earl and this latest series of My Mad Fat Diary is a real rollercoaster of emotion, not just for Rae but her family and the entire gang. It's really given the opportunity for the whole cast to shine as an ensemble, growing beyond Rae's original story.

The stand out performances for me were definitely Rooney, Rushbrook and Comer. The show has never been one for shying away from the harsh realities of being a teenager and this new series is almost blistering in that respect. There are some brutal moments where Rae is viciously blunt in how she feels, one that jumps to mind is a moment towards the end of the series with her Mum which will leave you reeling in your seats.

Now the series itself is fantastic, I can't fault it as it's absolutely brilliant but I was let down by the extras on the DVD. What we have is nice but they're very short and very few in number. I wouldn't have minded seeing a blooper reel or some deleted scenes!

EXTRAS ★★★ There's some fun extra featurettes to enjoy: Behind the scenes at the photo shoot – Sharon Rooney and Jodie Comer take you around the cast photoshoot for series 2, giving a nice behind the scenes look at the cast when they're supposed to be working but really they're all just having a laugh playing table tennis; Rae Meets Rae – Claire Rushbrook mediates a short but sweet interview between Sharon Rooney and the real life Rae Earl; Friendships – a roundtable discussion between members of the cast on the friendships they've formed on the show and what they mean to them.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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