THE BOLD TYPE Series Preview
*Warning this preview contains spoilers from The Bold Type‘s pilot episode so proceed at your own risk.
“I’m a feminist. I’m political and so is this magazine.”
“It’s about clothes and make up and how to get boys.”
“I dare you to tell that Jacqueline. When she took over the magazine, she shifted the focus; she calls it self feminism.”
It’s easy to write off Freeform’s The Bold Type as just another show about millennials or another magazine drama, but after watching the pilot I was pleasantly surprised by how the show’s values line up against NiceGirlsTV.com’s own with its celebration of strong women. Inspired by the real life experiences of Joanna Coles (Chief Content Officer of Hearst Magazines and former Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire magazines, who also serves as an executive producer on the show), The Bold Type follows three 20-something best friends who work for one of the world’s leading magazines, Scarlet. Reminiscent of a younger version of Sex and the City, the show is also set in New York City and follows the trio’s professional and personal triumphs and mistakes.
After paying her dues as an assistant for four years, Jane Sloan (played by Faking It star Katie Stevens) has just been promoted to writer for Scarlet, a role that she has been dreaming about since she was a teen. But is achieving your dreams all that it’s cracked up to be? Jane struggles when her boss and Scarlet magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Jacqueline Carlyle (played by Melora Hardin from The Office, Monk and Transparent) pushes her to dig deeper and use her own personal experiences to find the story. She may appear bright and bubbly but Jane has some personal issues that she’s not ready to face including the break up with her ex-boyfriend and growing up without a mother. However, what makes The Bold Type stand out from the rest of the shows and films set in the magazine world is that rather than portray Jacqueline Carlyle as your stereotypical fire-breathing dragoness of a boss ala The Devil Wears Prada, the show sets her up as a mentor to Jane. Yes, she pushes Jane to go out of her comfort zone to produce the best story that she knows the young writer is capable of, but she also believes in her potential and encourages her. Heck, she even has Beyonce holding on the line so that she can counsel Jane! This celebration of women supporting each other is one of the reasons while I’ll be sticking around for this show.
One of the most intriguing characters from the pilot is Scarlet‘s social media manager Kat Edison (played by Chasing Life and Sweet/Vicious‘s Aisha Dee), a confident and outspoken young woman who is not afraid to fight for what she thinks is right but also has a habit of acting first and thinking later. Not to mention, social media itself has a prominent role on the show, something the writers have cleverly tapped into to make the show relevant with today’s audiences. In the pilot, Kat befriends a lesbian Muslim artist named Adena, who is later detained in the Middle East for being in possesion of vibrators that Kat gave her. Kat leaps into action to try and get Adena freed, tempted to start a revolution via trending hashtags. As the show goes on, we’ll see Kat confused by her feelings for Adena. Out of all the characters we’re introduced to in the pilot, Kat is definitely one we’re most drawn to and are intrigued to see what is in store for her.
Rounding out the trio is Sutton Brady (played by Meghann Fahy from Political Animals) who has to watch as her friends move up beyond the assistant world (these best friends began as assistants at Scarlet) while she is still an assistant. Sutton may still be lower on the Scarlet hierarchy but she’s got her own share of secrets including sneaking around with the company’s lawyer, Richard Hunter (Sam Page from House of Cards and Switched at Birth) because hey, this is Freeform after all and it wouldn’t be a Freeform show without some sort of scandalous affair, right? That being said, there are hints in the pilot that Sutton fears of being left behind from her friends and yearns for more in her career and we’re sure this will be explored as the show goes on.
Interestingly enough, The Bold Type was originally pitched to NBC with a male protagonist named Alex, who was a Wall Street type journalist who ends up at Scarlet. When NBC passed on the project and Freeform eventually picked it up, it became a show about three female best friends and having watched the show, it’s hard to imagine the show any other way. Alex is actually a secondary character in this show as a fellow writer alongside Jane and is played by Matt Ward from the Canadian drama Remedy. Cliches aside, The Bold Type is not just a great guilty pleasure but also a rare show celebrating females in today’s professional world and is worth a watch.
The Bold Type premieres on Freeform on July 11 at 9/8c.