TV Review: “The Bold Type” – A Guilty Pleasure

Written by Sydney O'Keefe September 16, 2017

the bold type

The Bold Type follows the lives of three millennial women Kat Stevens, Sutton Brady, and Jane Sloan as they embark on their lives and as they try to climb the corporate ladder at the Cosmopolitan inspired magazine Scarlett. They all come from a variety of  of backgrounds and pursue different jobs within the magazine.

The writers have gone out of their way to draw parallels and contrasts to the hit movie The Devil Wears Prada, which also centres around young women at a magazine. And the parallels don’t stop there, both The Devil Wears Prada and The Bold Type have older female bosses that run the magazine. For The Devil Wears Prada it’s the iconic Miranda Priestly and for The Bold Type it’s the equally captivating Jaqueline Carlyle. However this is where the similarities between the two end. Jaqueline Carlyle’s character inverts the stereotypes that The Devil Wears Prada perpetrates. At first she seems like the classic callous, dominant, straight up mean, female business woman we expect to see. This is furthered by her rejecting all of Jane’s story pitches, even though she sent 20 instead of 10. But instead of pulling you into to a misogynistic story of women keeping other women down, The Bold Type makes Jaqueline a mentor that believes in Jane and challenges her to write about things that scare her, to really get herself out there in order to get the best possible story. Throughout the 10 episode season Jaqueline continues the narrative of being a tough, fair, and caring mentor to the protagonists. Someone they can idolize and work to impress. They even write in a kind and understanding husband for Jaqueline, a direct contrast to Miranda’s Priestly numerous divorces.

“I expect you to make mistakes, have adventures, sleep with the wrong people, and sleep with the right people.”

Jaqueline is integral to the story line and became a fan favourite as she is the kind of idol that continues to impress you as you get to know her. In the finale, the protagonists tactfully tackle one of the most sensitive and popular topics in media today. Sexual assault. The show manages some very chilling imagery as the protagonists grapple with how sexual assault effects all women. Jane interviews a survivor named Mia. Mia and the magazine have an event where survivors hold up weights to symbolize the burden of trauma. This provokes two of the greatest moments on the show. Jane is incredibly moved by Mia’s project and though she says she can’t take the weights from her, because she is not a survivor, she asks if she can stand with Mia for a while. This moment has proved to be incredibly powerful as a way to show that the burden of personal trauma cannot be shoulder by another, but having support makes the weight easier to bear. The kicker was when Jaqueline took the weight from Mia to tell her own story of sexual assault as a young reporter. The candid moment has been allotted as one of the most powerful and amazing representations of rape in film and on TV.

THE BOLD TYPE

The writing has failed to take on other serious activist movements like police harassment. When Kat was being harassed with her Muslim love interest the show does not address Kat’s own race and how it effects her interactions in the world as a black woman. However, they have also managed to discuss other movements such as the free the nipple movement. The show talks about female friendships, goals, the freedom to love who we want. It takes on misogyny, fashion, and the mistakes we make.

“Some of us have plans to drink alone tonight.”

Altogether,The Bold Type is an entertaining an relevant show though, while rife with unrealistic expectations for the job aspirations of 20 somethings. The first season is over and the fans are awaiting its renewal. While it’s not perfect, there’s something very entertaining and honest about this portrayal of the day to day struggles millennial women often face.

My Rating: 7/10

the bold type

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