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TV Series Review

Print may be dying, but society might have to figure out a way to keep glossy magazines going for a while anyway. Because if they go, where will hip, fictional Millennials work on television?

Sure, magazine offices might not be as popular TV workplaces as, say, bustling hospitals or urban police departments. Still, they've been a popular feature in movies and television for decades, and it almost feels as though their fictional popularity has risen even as newsstand sales fall.

The latest example comes courtesy of Freeform's The Bold Type, which follows three young women navigating their careers, love lives and myriad insecurities as they also spelunk through the world of New York City's high-fashion publications.

It's a little like a lighter version of Sex in the City. But lighter doesn't necessarily mean better.

Hot off the Dresses

Scarlet, a Cosmopolitan-style magazine, exists in an exclusive bubble that feels oh-so hip—one filled with all-night parties and endless expense accounts, where people actually wear Gucci instead of just telling it to a grumpy baby (as in, "Gucci-gucci-goo!").

Jane Sloan was one of Scarlet's best up-and-coming writers until she up and left for another publication. But don’t worry, she’s got plenty of work to do at her new gig, and a new boyfriend to keep her otherwise occupied.

Jane's former roommates, Sutton and Kat, are making it in New York—often in every which way one can interpret the phrase "making it." Sutton, a writer and designer at Scarlet, hasn't been exactly discriminating with her physical favors, especially with her new live-in boyfriend that’s a mere 20 years older. Kat, getting over a long-term relationship with her lesbian lover, Adena, has now set her sights on a new career path … and a new girl.

This is not to say that these young professionals are both gluten-and moral-free. They care deeply for one another, and each tries to hold firm to her own sets of (admittedly flexible) values in a high-pressure, largely amoral industry. They may want a bite of the Big Apple, but they don't want to choke on the core.

But while The Bold Type's characters are engaging, sometimes sympathetic and may even make heartening decisions on occasion, the road to those decisions can be fraught with some alarming potholes.

Change the Chanel

The Bold Type, airing as it does on Freeform, doesn't engage in the extraordinarily salacious flights of fancy that HBO's Sex in the City dabbled in. It steers clear of that show's explicit sexual visuals and hard-R content. It still feels like a titillating, but curiously teen-centric show, à la the CW's Gossip Girls or Freeform's own recently departed Pretty Little Liars.

But we didn't have a lot of great things to say about Gossip Girls back in the day, either.

Sure, the camera might not linger on bedroom scenes in The Bold Type. But our characters don't hesitate to go in themselves with a significant other. Or their current crush. Or, let's be honest, maybe someone they just met. All three believe that sex is less about marriage and more a potential stepping stone to a more committed relationship. Or, potentially, not. It kinda depends on how they're feeling that evening. Or how angry they are with their ex. Or how much they've had to drink.

And these women do drink and dance and club the night away whenever they're able, really. The real "charm" of shows like The Bold Type is that they give viewers access to a mysterious, alluring world filled with shimmering celebs, high fashion and exclusive nightclubs that most of us (well, I) would never, ever be allowed into. The world of The Bold Type is that of the Kardashians and Katy Perrys of the world—a world that magazines like Scarlet (and shows like The Bold Type) allow us to imagine just a bit. This is escapist television—as tawdry as a 1980s primetime soap in its own way, albeit a bit better written.

Does the glittering world of high-fashion magazines have any resemblance at all to this show? Who knows? But I would suggest this: The Bold Type, like the magazine at its core, looks awfully glamorous … but it could use some harder edits.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

May 21, 2019: "Mixed Messages"
June 26, 2018: "OMG"

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Katie Stevens as Jane Sloan; Aisha Dee as Kat Edison; Meghann Fahy as Sutton Brady; Matt Ward as Alex; Melora Hardin as Jacqueline Carlyle; Sam Page as Richard Hunter; Nikohl Boosheri as Adena El Amin; Stephen Conrad Moore as Oliver Grayson; Adam Capriolo as Andrew; Dan Jeannotte as Ryan Decker; Alexis Floyd as Tia Clayton; Peter Vack as Patrick Duchand

Director

Distributor

Network

Freeform

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

Released

On Video

Year Published

Awards

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