Tuesday, May 28, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Bold Type' - Kat and Adena Have Surprising Reactions to Seeing Each Other Again in 'Revival'

Freeform's The Bold Type - Episode 3.08 "Revival"

When Adena returns to New York, Kat debates whether she's ready to see her, but quickly realizes she might not have a choice. Sutton is stretched in too many directions between styling for Oliver and designing for her seminar, causing friction with Richard.

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.

"Revival" was written by Matt McGuinness and directed by Geary McLeod

The relationship between Kat and Adena has been the most groundbreaking dynamic on the show. It was two queer women of color in a relationship. That visibility was so important and powerful. It ended at the conclusion of the second season for vague reasons that weren't easily explained. This season has seen Kat on the rebound dealing with heartbreak and trying to move on with her life. She has done so with Tia who encouraged her to run for city council. That hasn't been a great story simply because it seems too unlikely that Kat would actually leave Scarlet for a life in politics. And yet, it's still something she has been encouraged to do by everyone. It also presents as her running a very effective campaign. Now, that comes from her opponent not really being a character in this story at all. As such, the resolution of all of this could be very murky depending on what happens. But it's more important to refocus on the personal dynamic especially as Adena is back in town. She tells Jane that she will be in the city for a few weeks. That means she will very likely be around for the final portion of the season. Her return could certainly stir up some trouble with Kat that could knock her off her game because she is surprised by how much it still hurts. Right now though, the focus centers on both of them admitting the breakup was a mistake and trying to move forward. That could very well lead to them rekindling their relationship. That would be painful to Tia. It would be a massive betrayal. And yet, it wouldn't sting all that much to the audience because she has barely been a multi-dimensional character. She has simply been Kat's campaign manager who became the nice girl she started dating. That was it. That's as much depth as there is to her at this moment. There is just more baggage and history when it comes to Adena. It's just easier to get wrapped up in the emotions of her finally being able to articulate the insecurity she felt from not being able to provide for herself while in the relationship. That's vital. It also comes at a time when the three leads are also trying to define their independence in this world. Sutton doesn't want to rely on anyone. She prides herself on being able to pay for everything she gets in her life. She doesn't want to become too dependent on anyone. And yet, that feels like she is pushing Richard away when he offers to buy her a new sewing machine. It also makes her look at her fellow fashion students as if they don't have to struggle and thus shouldn't be rewarded as much as she deserves it. That's a naive perspective on the world that immediately goes away as soon as she befriends one person in the class. It's not wrong for Sutton to ask for help every once in awhile. Again, it needs to be an ongoing conversation she has with Richard instead of just trying to keep her emotions and insecurities at bay. Elsewhere, the show is putting in the work to show that Jacqueline and Jane are equally responsible for the creation of the story that could expose the abuses done by photographer Pamela Dolan. Sure, Jane is the one actually writing the article. But Jacqueline is the one who helps the models feel empowered and willing to come forward despite the NDAs they have signed. The show keeps talking about how this is a powerful story that shines a light on an important issue. However, it also presents as a case of telling the audience how they should feel instead of just letting us experience it for ourselves.