A few months ago, I discovered (read: binge-watched) the gem that is My Mad Fat Diary, a British drama about Rae Earl, an overweight English teenager with a history of self-harm. The first seasons follows her journey as she returns home after being hospitalized and her quest for a somewhat normal life. The show follows her struggles with her mental illness, while she simultaneously deals with a changing home life, makes new friends, reconnects with an old one, and of course, develops crushes on boys.
Even though it has been a while since I was sixteen (6 years!) and I’ve never dealt with body image or self-harming issues myself, Rae is a thoroughly relatable character—you want to laugh with her and you most certainly cry with her at times.
The drama is actually based on the real Rae Earl’s teenage diaries, written in the 1980s and while it deals with difficult topics like mental illness and abortion, it tackles them with refreshing honesty. Unlike a lot of other television shows, it doesn’t cheapen tough issues for the “shock” factor, but instead handles them with genuine care. The characters are fleshed out, charming, and true to real life.
So when I saw the trailer for the second season (it will air sometime this February), I was naturally super excited. If you haven’t checked out the first season yet, definitely do so right away, so you can watch along when the second season airs! It’s only six episodes long and I promise it will be time well spent (and not just because adorably shy Finn is played by the gorgeous Nico Mirallegro).