A current trend in the US is taking television shows based in the UK and recasting them with American actors. There are still shows from the United Kingdom that leak into the US and are enjoyed as they are. One of those shows is “My Mad Fat Diary”, a true to life television series based on the life of Rae Earl when she was a 16 year old living in Lincolnshire.

It’s a comedy show about teenaged Rae, played by Sharon Rooney, and her friends, relationships, and school life. The plot point that makes the show eye catching is that it shows Rae’s life the day she checks out of a mental hospital and how she adjusts to a “normal” life. The show is quite relatable as it shows Rae struggling with anxiety, depression and self harm, which are all problems that children, teenagers, and adults all deal with.

Rae goes through a lot in her life after the hospital, and one of the primary sources of her feelings is her weight. Rae is a plus sized teenager, which is a rather common situation for most young adults. This piled on top of her other issues makes Rae feel rather unstable, and she struggles to feel grounded again.

Thankfully, she meets up with her former best friend Chloe, played by Jodie Comer. They rekindle their friendship, and Rae meets Chloe’s new friends. They all become very close, but she hasn’t completely cut ties with the hospital. Along with her therapy sessions, she has two best friends in the institute, Tix and Danny. While Rae’s eating disorder stems from binge eating to cope with depression, we see the other side as Tix shows the backlashes of anorexia nervosa and the tolls it takes on mental and physical health.

Now that she has her support system, she can try to deal with her slightly unsupportive, more than slightly unstable mother, portrayed by Claire Rushbrook. Rae’s father isn’t in the picture, and she has to adjust to her mother having met a man while she was in the hospital. It seems that her mother has developed a life without Rae, and fitting back into that life is a very hard thing to do with such a strained relationship.

“My Mad Fat Diary” has a lot of very serious issues addressed as the viewer sees Rae try to work through her issues with the help of her friends and her therapist, Dr. Kester. The dark themes are balanced out by comedy as Rae narrates the show with witty commentary, as if she were reading her diary entries out loud. We hear Rae’s thoughts and feelings on situations, people and places.

The show is not yet available on a US television channel, but is available online through Channel 4’s website. Season two is available for streaming, and season one is available for purchase on Amazon.com. There has been no news of the show being renewed for a third season. The show is rated NC-17 for sexual content, strong language, violence, depictions and references to serious mental illnesses, and harassment.

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