Love shows about empowering women, fashion, and hard-hitting journalism? Looking for a modern day, more “woke” Sex And The City?
Try FreeForm’s The Bold Type about three strong women exploring life, love and fashion.
This provocative show has had me hooked since it first aired in 2017. The Bold Type follows three best friends who working at women’s magazine, Scarlet. The premise sounds boring and trite, but each episode pushes the envelope on provocative topics like immigration, gun reform, sexual assault, BRCA breast cancer gene mutations, and exploring sexuality.
The show is full of fashion and relationship drama like many shows in this genre (like Sex and The City, Gossip Girl before it) but it also touches on hard-hitting issues that reflect our real lives. Sure, we tune into television to take a break from the real world, but it’s nice to see real life on TV sometimes too.
The emphasis of the show on its characters, their friendship, and their careers — the three best friends work together at a glossy magazine inspired by Cosmopolitan; as a writer, social media mogul, and, of course, a fashionista. The show itself is glossy and high-budget, so it comes as no surprise that their outfits are lust-worthy (my girl Jane Sloane carries a black Saint Laurent Sac De Jour bag).
Sure, they have girlfriend meetings in the “fashion closet”. Sure, they’re self-involved… but their dilemmas are not just what shoes to wear. The characters are self-aware, concerned about hot-button issues like Islamophobia, immigration and media ethics. There’s sexually-fluid social media director Kat (Aisha Dee) who battles with her biracial identity and an explosive career; journalist Jane Sloane (Katie Stevens) who tackles the #MeToo movement, infertility, and her own white privilege; and the talented fashionista assistant Sutton (Meghann Fahy) who has a loving and respectful relationship with older man in a powerful position, which is rare on TV.
I want to see social issues on TV, especially in context of the digital mirror that we consume our lives by (tweets by Kat regularly have moment-to-moment consequences; Jane goes on live TV to renounce an editor after an article she wrote).
The series is based on Joanna Cole’s experience as editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine. Ms. Coles has supplied the writers with plenty of stories, who is an executive producer on “The Bold Type.” She’s also the inspiration for a character, the editor of Scarlet, played by Melora Hardin, the unexpectedly supportive boss (I was expecting a ferocious Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada” type boss). It’s a departure from the women we usually see on TV who are tough and not rooting for other women to succeed.
It’s great to see girls uplifting each other, rather than tearing each other down.
The Season 2 Finale just aired last night, so there’s plenty for you to binge now.