Tuesday, May 21, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Bold Type' - Kat and Tia Face Racial Profiling While Out Canvassing for the Campaign in 'Mixed Messages'

Freeform's The Bold Type - Episode 3.07 "Mixed Messages"

When Kat faces racial profiling while canvassing for office, she is tempted to call the woman out on social media in order to find justice. Sutton realizes that Richard is keeping something from her. Jane and Jacqueline make headway on the workplace harassment investigation.

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.

"Mixed Messages" was written by Wendy Straker Hauser & Nikita T. Hamilton and directed by Geary McLeod

This show understands that the people of this world have vastly different experiences based on race, gender and sexual orientation. It has proudly told stories that empower the central women and what's going on in their personal lives. However, it has never shied away from the brutal realities of the world. As such, Kat and Tia are racially profiled while canvassing the neighborhood for the election. It's this thing that happens very suddenly and makes them very afraid for their own safety. They also have different reactions to the experience. The show rightfully understands that the way one person of color experiences the world isn't how they all deal with it. The same is also true for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Kat and Tia were already dealing with the latter in the previous episode where Kat is free and strong in her identity while Tia is so unsure and tentative. This is a rewarding episode for them as a couple because it closes with them being more intimate than even before - even though the show is also bringing Adena back into the picture now. But that moment comes after an episode of drama where they both try to articulate their point in the best way. Kat wants to put this woman on blast because of her actions. It made her feel so powerless and abused. She took to social media in order to feel empowered once more. She is met with a rallying cry that also understands the impulse to expose the horrors of the world and those who still hold onto these regressive views. However, Tia explains that releasing a video of the incident will take the focus away from the core social issues that the campaign should be concerned about. Kat always has to be at the center of the overall message. That's the priority for this campaign. She takes that approach by the end while vowing to represent everyone in her district and to let her constituents know exactly who she is. That seems very healthy. However, the precise details of this story are muddied a little bit because Tia keeps explaining over and over again that this is the first time Kat has ever been profiled. Yes, Kat grew up in privilege and still has a number of opportunities afforded to her. However, it's just silly for the show to suggest that this is the first time the world has judged her based on how she looks. The show has even told this story before in a way to first articulate just how impulsive Kat can be. As such, it very easily falls apart despite the earnest and solid message at the heart of it all. Meanwhile, Sutton and Jane's stories are defined by their struggles with actual communication in their individual relationships. That is relatable. However, it just seems incredibly forced here in order to drive some plot points home. The show wants to recognize that Richard hasn't really dealt with the sudden death of his father. He is just choosing to keep running instead of talking about it with Sutton. As such, he is ignoring her needs which has been a small pattern of his this season. Of course, it shouldn't be destructive to their relationship. It may even set up Sutton's own father being introduced at some point. And then, Jane is more than fine with Alex becoming her new roommate. She sees it as doing a favor to a friend. Ryan has a problem with it and the show just refuses to explain why for the longest time. There is always the understanding that he is already living in the apartment and doesn't want to share the space with anyone but Jane. But that's not a conversation they have until the very end. And even then, they mostly just admit that this is something they have both thought about even though it won't happen anytime soon.