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Welcome to The Bold Type, home of Scarlet Magazine and my new Tuesday night obsession. The show follows the lives of three young women, Jane, Kat, and Sutton, as they navigate life in New York City while working for a popular women’s magazine run by the boss we all wish we had, Jacqueline. The show wastes no time getting into the heart of it all so we won’t either. Join me in the fashion closet and let’s talk about what happened in the series premiere.
JANE TIME | Our story begins in the lobby of Scarlet Magazine as Jane Sloan (Katie Stevens) enters with her two best friends, Kat Edison (Aisha Dee) and Sutton Brady (Meghann Fahy) for the thousandth time. What makes this day different is it’s Jane’s first official day as a writer and she is commemorative-selfie-level excited. They convene in the fashion closet (already my favorite set) to toast the big day with some champagne but they are interrupted by various tasks and the upcoming board meeting so they stash the bubbly for later and head to the meeting. Jane, being a writer now, is welcomed to sit at the big fancy table with the other writers and board members. Jacqueline, the editor and walking definition of the word “goals”, comes in accompanied by the best walk out song imaginable and I want it playing when I enter every room but I am not yet worthy. Someday. Because she is THAT cool, it is as she is walking in that Jane gets an email from Jacqueline about her first stab at assignment ideas but unfortunately they didn’t quite land with Jacqueline so it’s back to the drawing board. Sutton’s boss, Lauren, holds the floor to pitch what the magazine has in the pipeline to the board (which is made up of a whole lot of old white men) to make sure that their panties are not in a bunch about any of the upcoming articles.
After the meeting, Jane tries out some of her ideas on fellow writer Alex so that she doesn’t make a fool of herself in front of Jacqueline. Because Jaqueline has super powers and can sense when she is needed she appears in time to hear that and tells Jane that the problem is she is pitching what she thinks Jacqueline wants to hear and not using the fresh voice she was promoted for. Jane gets the same advice from her friends but the next morning her pitches are still playing it safe. Jacqueline jedi mind tricks Jane into opening up about her most recent breakup that didn’t end well and the fact that he is not even on social media for the obligatory “just checking” perusal of an ex’s page that we all do. Jacqueline assigns her a how-to on stalking an ex that is not on social media and Jane enlists Kat and Sutton to help her. The three of them take an Uber to Brooklyn to sit outside the ex’s house (as one does) and are aided in their efforts by the best Uber driver in all of the northeast, Carl the Driver. While Carl the Driver is valiantly examining the call box for the ex’s name, they spy the guy in question coming down the street and hastily call Carl the Driver back and speed away.
Jane approaches Jacqueline about changing her assignment but Jacqueline would rather see where this story goes (and she’s got jedi master plans for young Jane). So Jane buckles down and goes to a party she thinks her ex, Eric, might be at, and brings along Alex as her wingman. At the party he gets her to open up about the breakup (dumped in a train station on her birthday with no explanation) and about how growing up, Scarlet was something she read when she needed a strong female influence in her life. Like a big sister she always wanted. It would appear Eric never showed and Jane deals by getting drunk and marching back to the Scarlet office with the intention of anonymously calling him from the office phone to spill her feelings. She calls Sutton first to test it but when she catches Sutton in a lie, gets distracted worrying about her friend and doesn’t end up calling Eric. The next day, Jane tells Jacqueline that she is having trouble finishing the article and Jacqueline uses her Glam Yoda skills to make Jane realize that maybe talking to him in person is how to get that final closure.
That night at the 60th Anniversary Gala for the magazine, Jacqueline gives a speech that inspires writers, executives, assistants, the catering staff, and that one guy walking by who kind of heard it through the glass window. For Jane specifically, she mentions reading an application of an intern all those years ago that likened Scarlet to a big sister she never had and that those words will always stay with her. After the gala, the three girls take a much needed scream at the subway and then dance and laugh and hold each other because they know somehow it’s going to be okay. Newly inspired to be the best Jane she can be, Jane tracks down Eric and they have a chat (I assume as it happened off screen). Jane turns in her article and it was personal and full of heart and Jacqueline is proud of her young padawan. Did you forget about that bottle of bubbly waiting dutifully in the fashion closet for our trio’s return? They sure didn’t. They finish the week by sitting on the floor of the closet and celebrating each other as true friends do while Jacqueline walks past, smiling.
DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE | Social Media Director, Kat Edison, has never met a challenge she didn’t take even if it wasn’t technically issued to her at all. At the board meeting, Kat is upset that the magazine is pulling a story on a lesbian muslim artist, who’s name we learn later is Adena, after the artist in question decided to not let them publish her pictures. Kat is determined to change Adena’s mind and tracks her down through her manager, Firuze. She goes to Adena’s gallery, who was not expecting her and is not happy about it. Kat tries to pitch the magazine to her but Adena is convinced that the magazine is un-feminist and doesn’t want her art to be associated with it. Kat leaves but not before taking in the subjects of Adena’s pictures and commenting that there is more to her than meets the eye as well. She sends Adena a picture of herself holding a sign that says “Misunderstood” – a reference to Adena’s photo series and that is enough to get Adena to come down to the Scarlet offices to talk to Kat in person again. Adena is leaving in the morning for a photoshoot in the middle east so Kat has one more shot to sell the magazine to her and she seems to be making headway but Adena is delightfully distracted by a vibrator focus group going on in the conference room. Yes, you read that gift of a sentence to write correctly – a vibrator focus group. Adena tells her that those are illegal in her country as her government is repressive but that she doesn’t follow that law and then saunters away to let Kat do with that information what she will and Kat’s face does A Thing.
Kat has the idea to help Adena sneak the vibrators into her country while on her trip to give to women there and goes over to her place to help her pack them. While there, the two of them get personal and Adena asks Kat what her sexual orientation is. Kat calls herself a “proud hetero” to which I replied through a mouthful of chips I was inhaling while watching this, “Sure Jan.” Adene clarifies it wasn’t a come on but Kat says it wouldn’t have bothered her if it did and that she gets the whole girl thing she just couldn’t get past the whole *makes a sweeping gesture over her crotch*. Adena tells her that it’s more about the heart for her by putting her hand over her own chest and Kat jokes that she isn’t much of a boobs gal either. Adena notes that Kat uses humor to avoid talking about actual emotions. It’s Kat’s turn to ask a person question and she asks why Adena still wears a hijab. Adena tells her it is her choice to wear it and that rather than oppressing her, it liberates her from society’s expectations and she’s always loved making people uncomfortable by refusing to be put in a box. They just kind of stare at each other while I yell “KISS” at my screen but the show takes my hand and whispers, “Patience, Taylor. Patience.” Kat has to run to be a good friend to Jane so they part ways for the night but not before Adena tells Kat that she will let Scarlet run the article.
The next day, Kat gets a panicked call from Firuze that Adena has been detained in her home country because they found the vibrators. She goes to Lauren and Jacqueline for help and they reach out to friends at the State Department. Things aren’t moving fast enough for Kat though and she wants to start a hashtag to put pressure on the authorities holding Adena. Lauren tells her doing so would only do more harm to Adena as they would take it out on her and even though it kills her to sit around and do nothing, Kat doesn’t post the tweet. Jane and Sutton try to make her feel better but Kat isn’t in a mood to be helped right now and storms off. After the gala, the girls have a sleepover and Kat gets a call in the early morning from Adena after she was finally freed. At the office, Kat thanks Jacqueline for her help but Jacqueline tells her that it was mostly Adena, refusing to sign a shame document that got her out. She tells Kat that not sending the tweet was the right thing to do this time but not always so keep on keepin on my little rebel. Kat goes into an office, closes the blinds, takes her shirt off and snaps a selfie that she then sends to Adena but not before putting a big heart emoji over her exposed chest and a caption “You touched me here.” Adena gets the text and her face also does A Thing.
SECRET ROMANCE | Sutton Brady has been Lauren’s assistant for three years and counting and is damn good at her job but she wants to be more. She also has a secret relationship with the younger of the board members, Richard, as we learn when the two of them have an elevator makeout session as soon as they are alone. They exit the elevator as if nothing happened but we know, you two. WE KNOW. Over at Richard’s place the next morning, he notices her using Snapchat to give Jane a peptalk and jokes that he doesn’t know how to use it. She laments that Jane has a big meeting with Jacqueline while Sutton’s important task for the day involves color coordinating macaroons for the gala. She promises him that she isn’t about to dump her feelings on him as that isn’t what this relationship is (though his face does something that says maybe he would like it to be) and jokes she is using him for sex.
Later, she gets a text from him at her desk that he downloaded Snapchat and wants her to teach him how to use it. She looks around before unbuttoning her shirt enough to take her bra off and send him a delightfully witty snapchat of her “in a bra” which is really her bra in front of an actual picture of her. The joke seems to land on him as well as he chuckles to himself after opening it. Now it’s Richard’s turn to be the teacher and he calls her while she is talking to Jane and tells her to describe her panties. She does a truly entertaining bit of physical comedy with the phone and shoo’s Jane away before getting creative as to a way to…ahem…convey that information without raising suspicion.
When Jane catches Sutton in a lie about her whereabouts, she and Kat use Find My Friends to track Sutton’s phone to Richard’s building in time to see the pair exit together. Sutton gets about five feet before spotting her friends, jaw on the ground, staring at her from across the street. She is furious that they tracked her phone and they argue that they were just worried about her and what would happen to her if people at work found out. Sutton tells them that she actually has feelings for him. At the gala, she talks to Richard in private and tells him that she wants more than just a secret fling at his apartment out of this and leaves him to digest that. The next day, he calls her at the office and formally asks her out on a date.
• Line of the Night goes to the Glam Yoda herself, Jacqueline for the last part of her speech. “I expect you to have adventures. I expect you to fall in love, to get your hearts broken. I expect you to have sex with the wrong people. To have sex with the right people, to make mistakes and make amends, take a leap and make a splash. And I expect you to unleash holy hell on anybody who tries to hold you back, because you don’t just work for Scarlet. You are Scarlet.”
• I would like Carl the Driver to turn into a recurring guest star. Every time they need to go somewhere SOMEHOW they always end up with Carl. Car chases with Carl. Awkward pre-date car rides with Carl. The possibilities are endless.
• The look on the old white male board members’ faces when Jacqueline started talking about the sex positions article added ten years on my life. The captions even said [men murmuring] just in case I wasn’t already cheering.
• Only unrealistic part of the entire episode was Jacqueline telling Beyonce she’d call her back. You don’t tell Beyonce to wait. Even God takes Beyonce’s calls.
So what did you think? Are you ready to walk the halls of Scarlet Magazine alongside our new favorite trio? Who was your favorite new character? On a scale of one to “I’m ready to single handedly take on the patriarchy”, how inspired were you by Jacqueline’s speech? Let us know in the comments below!
Be sure to watch The Bold Type Tuesdays at 9/8c on Freeform!