"I Stood You Up and You Still Brought Me Breadsticks?": Why I Love The Bold Type and You Should, Too.
I feel like I held off for a lot longer than I thought I would when it came to falling into this new show. You guessed it. I’m gonna talk about The Bold Type. I briefly mentioned it the other day, but we’re just gonna blow this up to a full long post about my feelings toward this show. Again, the apocalypse is nigh. I have more faith in this show on ABC Family than I have in Supergirl. (Supergirl, coincidentally, is having their Comic Con panel today. Will I probably write a blog about how shitty the second season was after I watch their panel for tomorrow? It’s more likely than you think.)
Anyway, back to a show that hasn’t let me down yet.
The Bold Type is about three girls, whose names I have now learned, and their careers at a magazine called Scarlet. I think it’s loosely based off of Cosmopolitan in some capacity. There’s Jane, who grew up in Colorado with only her dad and brothers and who relied on Scarlet to kind of guide her through life. It’s been her dream since she was a kid to be a writer for Scarlet and the first episode is her first day officially as a writer.
There’s Sutton who is a mess, but I love her. She’s the only one of the three still working as an assistant. She’s also making questionable choices with this older guy who’s on the board. But since it’s ABC Family, he’s not actually that much older and he’s still a babe. She’s got all this practical economic and sales knowledge and the safe bet would be for her to go into marketing, but she loves fashion. And she’s good at it.
Finally, there’s my girl, Kat. My lil definitely maybe baby gay director of social media. Who, in the first episode, is like ‘nah I ain’t gay,’ but is one hundred percent ready to start an all-out Twitter revolution in the name of the cute, lesbian Muslim photographer she just met. And, yeah, it’s because the photographer, Adena, is being detained wrongly at immigration, but it’s also definitely because Kat’s feeling some type of gay way.
They’re best friends and are the cutest little support system for each other. It’s nice that the central female friendship is made up of actual friends and not frenemies like Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill. They’re like the only example of strong female friends on TV that I can think of. And isn't that sad? The fact that television thrives on creating conflict between women who are supposed to be friends. What a novel concept. Female friendship with no underlying jealousy.
On the subject of ladies, the boss of the magazine, whose name I don’t know and don’t intend to find out, spends all of her screen time building up the three young girls. There’s no animosity whatsoever. Even Sutton’s boss, Lauren, who is a little standoffish is one hundred percent ready to help Sutton get the job of her dreams because Sutton has been a hard worker for her. They're there to build each other up.
But the show’s the perfect bubblegum summer show. It’s equal parts heartwarming and ridiculous. Like Jane exposes this senator (or congresswoman, I don’t know) for using fashion as a means of taking over the news cycle when she votes for something unfavorable. Every time the senator’s about to make an anti-environmental stance, she wears a truly horrific outfit so that news outlets, because they are incapable of ignoring women’s fashion choices, will focus on that and not her policies. On one hand, that’s genius. On the other, people need to stop giving a shit about what women wear. And on the other hand, it’s an utterly ridiculous way to wrap up a plot and I love it.
Here’s the thing, I am capable of appreciating things for what they are. Like I don’t particularly like action movies, but I know a good one when I see it. Like Mad Max: Fury Road and Power Rangers. They’re both great movies I enjoyed even though they’re not my go to genre because they know what they are. They aren’t having an identity crisis. Mad Max: Fury Road knew it was going to be a rollicking, dystopian action flick and Power Rangers knew how to balance campiness and action. Because let’s face it; nothing sums up how truly great Power Rangers is except to say that their final fight scene takes place at a Krispy Kreme. All set to Kanye West’s Power. It’s one of the greatest uses of product placement in a movie I've ever seen. (Nothing can or ever will trump Josie and the Pussycats.)
Shows and movies fall apart when they try to stretch themselves too thin to cover a million different genres. It doesn't work. It's never going to work. It's why you get confusing movies like Atomic Blonde and Table 19 that could've been great movies if they didn't dream too big.
That’s what’s good about The Bold Type; they know what lane they’re in and they’re staying in it. So, consider me convinced and invested. Especially with the LGBT storyline. While it does appear that there will be a coming out narrative, I have faith in them to execute it well and treat Kat as a fully formed character. So far, she’s had plots and stories about her life that don’t focus on her sexuality. Same with Adena. Honestly, they’ve both gotten more character development than Kara Danvers did the entire second season of her own damn show. (AM I STILL BITTER? YOU BET I AM AND I WILL BE UNTIL THE DAY I DIE.)
So, it’s the year 2017. I’ve been let down for years by LGBT representation on television, but it looks like the tides could finally be turning
or I’ll be writing about the flaws of this show in a few months.