Last week, we spoke about our favourite looks from Bold Type, and we can still not stop talking about the show. My usual TV speed is a good British crime drama featuring twists and turns and a surly detective with a deep dark secret or two (I’m looking at you Line of Duty). Although I do succumb to the hype around Bridgeton and other Netflix classics, I rarely find myself completely engrossed in this type of TV fare…that is until The Bold Type came into my life.
For those of you that follow the world of TishTash you will know that we are a group of women who all love beauty, health and wellness and of course hold a lot of respect for the world of media and publishing. So, when The Bold Type found its way onto Netflix recently our office was buzzing with conversation about the show and this got me wondering…but why? And more importantly why as a woman in my thirties, do I feel connected to these 20 something women who I have very little in common with now, as I wipe baby sick off my t-shirt and try and write this article with a 2-year-old on my knee.
And this is what I came up with:
- It deals with REAL Issues – From sexuality, race, assault and class divide, The Bold Type doesn’t shy away from talking about these subjects. More importantly in just a single episode they often (but not always) succeed in getting to the heart of these matters without taking on a tone of preaching.
- The Characters aren’t perfect – All of these women have flaws. They make questionable decisions and are left having to work out how to recover from mistakes. They are not always nice to each other or to those around them. Ultimately, they are always learning, and on a path of self-discovery which we can all relate to.
- Your Career Matters – Perhaps the most obvious reason us TishTash folk love The Bold Type so much is that it puts female career success at its heart, in the most unapologetic way. It’s ok to want to be something, to choose your career over a man and at the same time not know the exact path your life will take, but know you ultimately deserve something better than what is on offer. These women are doing what we should be encouraged to do, all be it from a place of privilege (but that’s a whole other article).
- Women supporting women in the workplace – The other day one of my team told me I reminded them of Jacqueline Carmichael, the fierce but kind Editor in Chief of Scarlet magazine, and this made me smile a lot! Jaqueline represents the kind of leader men and women should aspire to be, and how refreshing to see this represented on screen. No more Devil Wears Prada style leadership that encourages competitiveness and cruelty to get ahead. Instead, a woman who cares about her staff, pushes them to be their best, doesn’t hide her own humanity and as a result commands respect. Being this type of leader is not easy, but nor does The Bold Type suggest that it is.
So, in summary, The Bold Type is giving us something we all needed. Representations of women (and men) that aren’t always what you expect from TV. It is ripping up the rule book of the Rom Com, Melodrama space and paving the way for TV shows that celebrate both the sexes in ways that feel real and honest. Of course, the show isn’t perfect, there are far too many strange fashion choices, and the dialogue can be a little too ‘on the nose’ but the feminist in me is thrilled to see a show that doesn’t rely on stereotyping and is shedding light on real people and real issues all through the lens of fun, guilty pleasure TV.
Polly Williams, MD of TishTash