The pilot of The Bold Type opens with three women, dressed to the nines, holding hands and screaming their lungs out as a train flies through the 59th and Lex MTA station. It’s a visually cathartic experience, and one many New Yorkers have either dreamed about, or straight up enacted, at one point or another in their stay in the city.
Here is where The Bold Type, Freeform’s newest hour-long dramedy aimed at those who are looking to fill the void in their heart left by Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl enters. (Though there are 100% less drugs and shady dealings in TBT.)
13 Going on 30. Devil Wears Prada. How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Sex and the City. All iconic tentpole pieces of entertainment for females, aged 18-34. The Bold Type takes cues — whether it be verbal or visual — from all of the aforementioned. At first, you may dismiss them all as ‘rom-com’ tropes about women find love.
Take a second glance.
They are all about being ambitious and succeeding as a journalist. Makeovers, romance, and some time travel are all merely results of the instigating drive in these women. And so, The Bold Type brings all that to Freeform.
In The Bold Type we meet three women, Sutton, Kat and Jane. Three 20-somethings who all started at the renowned Scarlet (a fictionalized stand-in for Cosmopolitan) as assistants and find themselves years later not that much further progressed in their careers.
Jane is the newest writer for the outlet, Kat is their social media director, and Sutton hints at feelings about being left behind, she is still manning the desk of her intimidating boss Lauren. Like Cosmo is to Hearst, Scarlet is to a bigger publishing company, and this is how they found a way to get actor Sam Page into a suit, or, more often, out of one — as the corporate ad exec is having an strictly secret, but still sincere, relationship with Sutton.
About the Bold women:
Jane Sloan (Katie Stevens): Scarlet‘s newest writer. Hired out of the assistant pool and now officially armed with a couple of bylines, she is eager to write about politics and the real issues – not “just” sex.
Sutton Brady (Meghann Fahy): Since graduating Penn State four years ago, Sutton has been working as Lauren’s assistant for three years. She aspires to work on the fashion side of Scarlet, but more often than not is fetching her boss’s green juices.
Kat Edison (Aisha Dee): Social Media Director for Scarlet, Kat finds herself in the trenches with the worst – Internet trolls – and tries to solve political issues in less than 140 characters. She’s got a I’m Tough As Teflon exterior, but a waveringly insecure interior.
Jacquelin (The Office‘s Melora Hardin), the Scarlet boss, presides over the entire magazine and instead of acting as a hard-beaten editor we are accustom to seeing depicted on television, she thoroughly supports these women up. They get frustrated when she dismisses an article’s first draft and asks for better work, but that is a vital part of her job – she pushes her writers to become better and that doesn’t happen when you stay in your comfort zone.
Based on Joanna Coles, Cosmo‘s IRL former-EIC, Jacquelin emboldens the women employed at her magazine to get after what they want – the story, the job, the woman and the man.
She pushes her employees, Jane, specifically, beyond what she believes are her limits, but in a way foreign to Miranda Pristely, she doesn’t want these girls to fail. It’s the moments after you rip your hair out and you’re worried you’re going to get fired, that you realize your boss only wants the best for you.
Cosmo, and many ‘fashion’ mags, have been underestimated for years now. The Devil Wears Prada came out over a decade ago and even then, Andi was fighting against the grain of leggy models decked out in couture, to cover the politics and hard-hitting stories she was used to covering in college, in her cerulean sweaters. Anyone who overlooks these publications today hasn’t been on Teen Vogue’s twitter page in a while.
Where Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte had dark corners of clubs and secluded brunches, our three girls of The Bold Type have a fashion closet (and apparently the rest of Scarlet merely overlooks the clothes and accessories available to them beyond those double doors).
The Bold Type takes all the stereotypes we’ve expected from female-targeted magazines portrayed on screen and twists them. Yes there is sex, and relationships and fretting about guys, but there’s also women who work to feature controversial topics, profile female politicians (through the lens of fashion, brilliantly enough) and explore their sexual identities. All without undercutting one another.
Above all, this show feels real to the lives that are being portrayed. We get caught up in our own world and issues that sometimes, we neglect to support our friends in times of need. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, because you recognize and course-correct, but it does happen.
Refreshingly, there is no fellow writer angling to take Jane down, or outside force trying to destroy the magazine or dismantle Jacqueline. The antagonist is, quite frankly, reality. It’s the culture we live in today. It’s the people who tweet maliciously, and the inner voices in our heads that make us doubt our talent and dreams.
The Bold Type premieres Tuesday, July 11 at 9/8c with a two-hour series premiere on Freeform.