How The Bold Type Took Over My Summer
By: Frances Nieves
After watching the premiere of Freeform’s newest show, “The Bold Type,” I realized this is the show every woman needs this summer – they just don’t know it yet. I’m hoping we can get the word out and let them know exactly why “The Bold Type” is worth their time. I’m going to be honest with you and say that a show about a women’s magazine didn’t exactly sound like my cup of tea. I’ve never been one to read any of the usual women’s magazines or tabloids, they just never interested me. However, I’ve definitely found myself captivated by that world when expanded upon in media, i.e. The Devil Wears Prada. It might have something to do with curiosity surrounding how women excel in a profession that is so competitive and highly scrutinized under the male gaze or maybe it’s the fast paced environment that seems thrilling. Whatever the case, I found myself tuning in on July 11th for that two-hour premiere of “The Bold Type.”
Continuing the honesty, I only watched the first episode in the first place because I was too lazy to change the channel after the “Pretty Little Liars” finale, which let’s be real left us all reeling in the first place. For the first time in my life my laziness paid off though because I can safely say I was not disappointed in anyway. “The Bold Type” is really taking its name seriously and creating a brand for being blunt, current and very, very bold. That’s the kind of writing I’m here for. In the first two hours we see our three main characters Jane Sloan (Katie Stevens), Kat Edison (Aisha Dee) and Sutton Brady (Meghann Fahey) deal with normal everyday issues and have normal everyday conversations yet somehow it looks and sounds like a new revolutionized television show. Too many times have I seen female friends on tv discuss things that seem so unrealistic and far from how I really talk to my best friends.
Sure, they talk about the guys (and girls) they are into, but they also talk about their jobs and their goals, the years of work they’ve put in to get to where they are, their shitty (or not so shitty) bosses and how they can help each other stay on track to go after their dreams. The ease with which they refer to the fact that women are out here working hard every day and deserve to be in the positions they are in is really refreshing. It’s the kind of feminist writing that makes it clear that women aren’t here to fight against men, but rather fight for themselves and each other. It isn’t preachy though which I’m grateful for, not because I can’t get behind kind of feminism that makes headlines and gets so in your face you can’t ignore it, because I can. Rather, it’s because stories like these need to be normalized. Telling a story from a female perspective should not be shocking anymore. It’s 2017 for crying out loud! Shows like this are helping pave the way for all the women in entertainment to feel empowered to tell their REAL and honest stories.
As a 22 year old trying to figure out her first summer post grad, I’ve never seen a moment on television as relatable as when Jane walks into the Scarlett building for the first time as a writer. That feeling of overwhelming excitement quickly followed by the panic that you aren’t good enough is basically my life in a summary these days. “The Bold Type” might easily have become my summer show in that instant. It was relatable in the way it probably wasn’t trying to be and I found that charming.
After spending two years working my ass of for free at internships, I’m now trying to break into the entertainment world on my own. As I continued watching the show, I thought Jane was going to be my girl. She embodies the next stage of my life. The one that starts with booking that big gig, the one that makes you feel like all the years of studying and working at it are worth it. She’s where I hope to be in another year or two and she gives me hope for actually getting there. She is also surrounded by the best support system anyone could ask for. She’s got her ride or die girls by her side with her every step of the way, her tribe per se. I’m lucky enough to say that I too recently have found my tribe and can’t wait for the moment I get to celebrate a big win with my girls. Jane’s arc got me hooked from the first moment, but it wasn’t the only one that pulled me in. Don’t get me wrong, I do see myself in her, but I also see myself in in the other girls.
In Sutton I see a girl with a spirit so free she is unable to be caged. Sutton embodies making a bigger and better life for yourself. She knows what she’s worth both professionally and personally and she is going to fight for it. We haven’t gotten too much of her backstory yet, but we did learn there’s a “home” she ran away from and is afraid to have to go back to empty handed. The scene where she talks about the $100 bill as a fallback in case she needs to buy a train ticket home really brought me back to when I started college. In that moment, I was reminded of the girl that moved from Florida to New York City for school having never set foot in The Big Apple once in her life. I see the girl who when questioned about her “crazy” plan simply said. “If I don’t like it, I’ll come back,” with full knowledge that she never would. I see myself at a time when no one I knew understood me or what I wanted. Sutton’s journey is going to be one that is going to be much closer to my heart than I originally intended and I can’t wait to see it play out.
And then there’s Kat, played by the amazingly talented Aisha Dee who I fell in love with in “Sweet/Vicious” (still bitter about this loss but holding out hope… cc @Netflix). Kat is the girl we all want to be. She has the perfect job at the perfect company with the perfect friends in the best city in the world. Clearly, she has things figured out…except when she doesn’t. One second she’s pulling off running an article that was pulled by the subject herself and the next she’s being harassed online to the extent of rape and death threats on the eve of her big presentation to the board. She is not going down easy though and three episodes into the show and we can safely say Kat is going to pull at our heartstrings this season. She is the girl who cares so much she is willing to start a full on social media blitz to free a woman she met all of two times. She is powerful and opinionated. She is strong willed and stubborn.
In Kat I see the girl who knows that when it comes to her girls, there’s not a thing she wouldn’t do to support them. She is also the girl who isn’t going to let labels and boundaries get in the way of her life, even when she isn’t sure which labels those are. She is finding herself after thinking she already had and it’s beautiful. It’s organic and natural. In her I see myself in five years (hopefully), but I also see myself a year ago. In her I see a girl who struggled to come to terms with her sexuality because she was overwhelmed by feelings that seemingly came out of the blue. I see the girl who wanted to know what was going on so that she could accept it, the girl who decided she was going to finally go for what she wanted to ultimately get a little bit heartbroken. Here’s hoping Kat’s story ends a little differently than mine.
These girls have me on board. I’m here for their supportive friendship and comfortable banter. This writing staff has me on board. They seem to be hitting us with all the elements of a perfect story. “The Bold Type” is fun and flirty, but also really freaking honest. I’m looking forward to getting to know the characters as the season progresses and get even more invested than I already am. I mean they’ve already tackled orgasms (or lack there of), sexuality and what questioning yourself really feels like AND threw in a Hamilton reference. Suffice to say, I’m here to stay. Hoping all the Janes, Suttons and Kats of the world tune in each week and don’t throw away their shot to see the magic that is happening in this show.