Tuesday, April 9, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Bold Type' - Jane, Kat and Sutton Adjust to Having a New Boss at Scarlet in 'The New Normal'

Freeform's The Bold Type - Episode 3.01 "The New Normal"

Jane, Kat and Sutton are back in New York City and dealing with the aftermath of some major decisions. Scarlet Magazine brings in Patrick Duchand to run the digital branch, effectively knocking Jacqueline down to only running the print magazine. Jane has picked her guy but is frustrated that a man is put in charge of a women's magazine. Kat struggles to keep up happy appearances on social media. Sutton and Richard enjoy their romance in the limelight and discuss moving in together.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Freeform's The Bold Type.

"The New Normal" was written by Wendy Straker Hauser and directed by Victor Nelli Jr.

The season premiere picks up shortly after the events of the previous finale while also presenting its main trio of characters in changing dynamics at work. With Jane, she continues to come across as a little entitled and out-of-place with some of her beliefs. She opens a taxi door onto an incoming biker and doesn't apologize for it at all. She just wants to yell at him for not biking in the designated lane. She was distracted by Sutton walking in on Ryan while he was naked and seeing everything. She is also trying to be in the moment with Sutton and Kat when they need their friend. Jane isn't wrong to doubt the ability of a man to lead a women's magazine into the future. She blames herself for this sudden change though because she made Jacqueline print that article calling out their parent company for the lack of health care options for their female employees. She doesn't really stand by her convictions. She isn't even consistently angry with Patrick because she soon learns that he's her new boss. She is also trying to appease people. She doesn't want Sutton to worry about leaving her without a roommate even though that's at the forefront of her mind throughout this entire story. She cares only to the point of how it could possibly change her life. Sutton worries about that as well. She needs Jane's friendship and doesn't want to lose the time they spend together. But things wouldn't change that drastically if she moved in with Richard. That would be them taking the next step in their relationship. They are trying to figure out if they are ready for that commitment after being together again for a month. They are putting in the time to consider the options. That's not something that Jane is really doing. She is encouraged to be firm with what she wants and appreciative of what she is able to achieve. She can now successfully freeze her eggs without having to come up with the money herself. That proves that the board was willing to listen to this criticism and immediately change their health care coverage as a result. It's almost radical that it happens that quickly as well. Of course, this premiere wants to make that a footnote to the story because it is more interested in Jane worried that Patrick will come in and destroy the business model that Jacqueline has created. Jacqueline is open to new voices and the perspective Patrick could bring to the digital world. However, he also makes a habit of telling his new employees what they have to do. That means Jane is suddenly the head writer for the digital site, Alex is given a column to offer advice from a straight man who works at a women's magazine and Kat is told that she has to keep posting content on her personal social media pages because she is an extension of the company. Kat can't take a break even though she is heartbroken over her breakup with Adena. She is doing her best to process these emotions by herself. She doesn't feel comfortable sharing them with the world or even her friends. When she does, it is incredibly empowering. These are profoundly relatable themes that so many people can understand. She gets so much support by sharing her story. It just continues to be something she does in private instead of talking about it onstage and getting that immediate reaction from the crowd of supporters. As such, everything is in turmoil at the moment. Patrick will continue to shake up the business while Jane, Kat and Sutton continue to weigh how to make immense private decisions while the world seems to always being looking on to see what is being done and how it could be perceived.