Patsy Cline sums up Episode 4 of The Bold Type with her famous saying “If you can’t do it with feeling, don’t.” Three millennial women in NYC pursuing not only their careers but their personal growth into adulthood, mentored by none other than a Joanna Coles inspired Editor-in-Chief at the fictitious Scarlet magazine has us all jumping and screaming in elevators too (if you saw Episode 4 you’d get the reference). As Season One ends, now is the time to bing watch all at once on Hulu.
I couldn’t adore this show more. Positive roles for women. Career-centric. Set in the digital age, featuring impassioned and emboldened millenials, setting out to change their lives, break barriers and improve the world at large because that is the mindset of millenials…and women. The show is written and produced by women too. Sarah Watson, the show creator and writer was inspired by her friendship with Joanna Coles, Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan Magazine and brought Joanna on board as a producer, sharing her stories and insights in what we hope truly is an inside glimpse into the world of NY magazines.
And while Sarah Watson writes great female characters, she hasn’t left the male characters wanting, nor has she painted them as the typical, sexist men we see over and over again on television. Sarah’s male characters are enigmatic and encouraging, the share their feelings and support the women in this show, encouraging them to do and be more. Why isn’t more television like this? This show is Sex in the City for a new generation but with more good guys like Steve as main characters.
We’re back in NYC again, the stomping ground of the determined and media savvy. It may be the digital age but magazines haven’t lost their allure. They’ve simply expanded their reach. Kat, the Social Media Director of the magazine is a bit too fearless and is learning to curb her impulse to immediately share every crafted response. As her friend Adena, reminds her, sometimes its nice to “like something without ‘liking’ it.” Weaving Adena’s character, an influential artist and Muslim lesbian into the storyline offers the characters and the magazine an opportunity to push boundaries and discuss social mores, especially in today’s climate.
Sutton is the practical dreamer, who works hard and finally pushes herself to pursue her true ambitions, with the coaching of her two besties, her boss, and even her secret boyfriend. And that other BFF? Jane Sloan, the writer. She’s a Carrie Bradshaw for today, sweeter and less affected but equally as introspective. The cherry on top? The moniker on the door – Steinem Publishing. God love you Sarah Watson for writing a smart, feminist and heartfelt show for women. I was so disheartened when Amazon canceled Good Girls Revolt, as this was the first show in a while to show women excelling in their careers and assisting each other to achieve more (albeit the 70’s outdated sexism) but this…this is fresh and inspiring for young women everywhere who are reaching for their dreams.
When Sutton negotiates her salary and perks with her new boss in Episode 5 she exemplifies how to do it right, for young women watching everywhere. While Scarlet’s Fashion Department is unable to match her current salary she demands perks to offset her living costs and a three month review to discuss her salary again, because as she puts it, “I will be indispensible to you.”
When I was a twenty-something working in the publishing world, I had hopes and dreams much like those of the women in The Bold Type. I worked crazy hours, in a demanding environment, producing more than sixteen events in a year. From awards dinners to networking events, our company was the go-to resource for Atlanta’s business professionals and everyone wanted to be part of our events. It was the height of Atlanta’s dot.com days and we were building readership, one event at a time.
I too was lucky in that I had the mentorship of a strong CEO boss, who was tough and demanded the best of us. She taught me much in those years. I’ve had several tough, demanding mentors in my career, all who I still call my friends and who I look to for continued inspiration and guidance.
Joanna Coles, if you truly are the mentor your character Jacqueline Carlyle portrays on the show, then my hat is off to you. There is nothing more rewarding in a woman’s career than achieving something for oneself, but having a mentor in your corner to challenge you, push you, inspire you and look out for you, well, that in itself is a reward.
And for those of you tuning in to The Bold Type for the first time, you will be rewarded too. It’s a joy to watch.
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