Thursday, January 23, 2020

REVIEW: 'The Bold Type' - A Change to the Scarlet Power Structure Has Major Repercussions in 'Legends of the Fall Issue'

Freeform's The Bold Type - Episode 4.01 "Legends of the Fall Issue"

Scarlet reels over their new dynamic, forcing everyone to adjust. Jane, Kat and Sutton join forces to show Jacqueline how much she means to them.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the season premiere of Freeform's The Bold Type.

"Legends of the Fall Issue" was written by Neel Shah and directed by Geary McLeod

The future of Scarlet magazine was in limbo at the conclusion of the third season finale. The entire season saw Jacqueline and Patrick clashing over the various responsibilities they had over this brand. And now, it seems as if Patrick walks into the workplace victorious. He won in the end. He is now editor-in-chief after Jacqueline was fired by the board for the latest issue of the magazine. That would be a remarkable change-of-pace for the series. It would ensure that the instability of this world is felt amongst the entire ensemble. Of course, that's not actually the reality for this season. The premiere sets out this stark new reality before putting everything back together again. Once more, the central trio are at the center of the action. Their colleagues know that they can look to them for guidance during this difficult time. Andrew, Alex and Sage fear the unknown. They know their colleagues will formulate a plan. Jane, Kat and Sutton just go to the fashion closet in order to calm down and cope themselves. They do have a strategy but it's very vague. It eventually leads them into trouble. They are technically breaking and entering as well as stealing the intellectual property belonging to Safford. However, they feel empowered and emboldened to do so. Someone has to take action in order to sing the praises of Jacqueline's final executive action. She took a stand for something she believed in deeply. It was important to her that the magazine reflected the world around her. It didn't have to further prop up the idea of unobtainable beauty standards. She no longer wanted to be beholden to those rules. The board disagreed because they feared the loss of revenue. They didn't think this would play to the broad base of their subscribers. They were wrong. Once the issue is leaked, everyone becomes incredibly supportive. It's all played as Jane, Kat and Sutton doing a heroic thing. Sure, they absolutely should linger in the concern that they could face significant legal troubles. Richard understands that better than they do. He is still supportive of them in the end and wants to help them out. Sure, he has a conflict of interest because he's been tasked by the company to propose the legal recourse after the culprits are found. Of course, the female friends weren't the ones who leaked the issue to the press. Instead, they simply made the magazine available to those who would be most affected by seeing the visuals. That means it is distributed to those who have a personal connection to it. They viewed that tactic as being the thing to reignite the fire within Jacqueline. She is seemingly content with all of this knowing that she stuck to her guns no matter what. She will always fight for justice. She will empower women throughout the world. However, her husband wouldn't mind a slight change to their lives and how often they see each other. He may pursue his own work once more but he also yearns for more intimacy between them. That may not happen anytime soon though. Jacqueline is eventually brought back to Scarlet. Patrick decides to walk away completely because he realizes this workplace isn't the place where he needs to be right now. The uncertainty of it all comes from the magazine being discontinued and the staff moving entirely to digital. Again, the show plays with these relevant themes in the hopes of telling an important story about journalism. This is a twist the show has been building to for awhile. Jacqueline remains in control. She may still feel like she's in a new position though. That can be exciting. But the show mostly wants the audience to be reassured that nothing is going to change anytime soon. These characters will remain working together and fighting for the causes they are passionate about through their voice in the media. Meanwhile, their personal lives are basically the same as where the previous season left them off. Sutton is letting Richard go off to Silicon Valley to explore a new job opportunity. Ryan returns to the city in order to be with Jane. And Kat decides to be single for awhile to rediscover herself. All of those stories have potential. And now, the season starts with a clean slate to do whatever it wants.