Monday, July 31, 2017

The Bold Type

One of my favorite shows that premiered this summer is The Bold Type. I hadn’t really heard too much about the show prior to its premiere, but a friend suggested I watch it because it seemed right up my alley and she was absolutely right. On the night of the 2-hour premiere, my sister and I put on our pajamas and settled in for a girl’s night and The Bold Type did not disappoint! I’m excited about this show and think it contains a lot of important messages.  

So, what exactly is The Bold Type about? According to IMDb:
The Bold Type is inspired by the life of "Cosmopolitan" editor in chief, Joanna Coles. The show is a glimpse into the outrageous lives and loves of those responsible for a global women's magazine. Their struggles are about finding your identity, managing friendships and getting your heart broken, all while wearing the perfect jeans to flatter any body type.

The show centers on three main women: Kat, Jane, and Sutton, who work for a popular women’s magazine called Scarlet. Each girl faces their own set of problems. Kat, the social media director, is discovering that she may be bisexual when she finds herself attracted to the Muslim model she works with in the pilot episode. Jane has just been promoted as a writer for the magazine and has to search for inspiration and fight to be heard. Sutton, who remains an assistant at Scarlet, wants to branch out and experiment with new departments, specifically fashion, at the magazine. The three girls are extraordinarily close and serve as one another’s support system. Each girl is headstrong, intelligent and driven.

As Karey Burke, the executive vice president of programming and development at Freeform, said in an interview to Variety: The Bold Type is our love letter to modern feminism and aims to be a destination for authentic female friendship and empowerment.” 

After watching the episodes that have aired thus far, I can say that the message has been delivered effectively. When I watch the show, it feels very authentic and definitely empowering for females. It is very feminist without coming across as “preachy” or over-the-top. I love it!  

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One of the reasons I find The Bold Type to be an important television show is because it deals with a lot of significant issues going on in society in a tasteful way. The show writers do an amazing job of addressing tough topics.The show touches on matters of race, sexuality, feminism, and identity.

Obviously, no show is perfect and there have been some critiques that The Bold Type could be more inclusive in terms of diversity with the main and supporting cast. It could also be more realistic in its representation of junior-level staff. For example, an article on Bustle mentions that “there's the mystically large salary of the early-career media professional. The Bold Type characters haven’t mentioned where in New York they're living or how far it is from the office, but Jane and Sutton do live together in an apartment that doesn't scream downtown Manhattan.”

Another great aspect of The Bold Type is that it pushes back against stereotypes of women in the workforce. The three main girls wear fashion-forward pieces that could be deemed “inappropriate” for an office environment. Kat wears a crop top in one episode, Jane sports an all leather look, and Sutton struts around in a semi-transparent top. These are not looks typically seen for the business casual category but I think they work really well and I would categorize them as appropriate for their specific work environment. 

Additionally, the show fights back against the cunning and manipulative female boss often seen in television shows. In an article written by TVGuide,
The erasure of any kind of nurturing or compassionate femininity is a very real thing in the business world for women who want to climb the ladder, and it's something that's seeped its way onto TV. The purpose of female characters like this is two-fold: one, a harpy woman creates a funny and yet challenging obstacle for our compassionate and girlish main character to overcome; two, it reinforces the idea that for a woman to succeed in a man's world, she must become cold, calculating and heartless. 
Watson says that this mentality is something that older generations of working women recognize as normal behavior, which is exactly the kind of mold she wanted to break with The Bold Type.

The article goes on to state that:
This depiction of a powerful, beautiful and well-balanced woman is where The Bold Type really thrives. By creating these supportive female dynamics in the workplace that feel instantly intimate, we get to see women who have personal lives in the office, and outside of it, too.

As Matt Seitz said for Vulture:
It’s part journalism drama, part Sex and the City–style female-bonding comedy with sex and romance; it’s equally interested in being both things at once, to the best of its ability, and damned if it doesn’t pull it off more often than you’d think.
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Right now, on RottenTomatoes, The Bold Type has a 100% rating. This is mostly due to the fact that it does not have a lot of critical response because it’s still fairly new, but I’m certain it will continue to maintain a high rating. The Bold Type is on Freeform (previously known as ABC Family) every Tuesday night at 9pm (Eastern time).

I highly recommend giving this show a chance. As both a feminist and entertainment enthusiast, I find the show to be extremely well done and entertaining. I’m excited to see where the show goes and will continue to read critical response to it. I think it’s an important show because of the topics it deals with and the way it handles matters of representation.

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The Bold Type

One of my favorite shows that premiered this summer is The Bold Type . I hadn’t really heard too much about the show prior to its premiere,...