Thursday, February 6, 2020

REVIEW: 'The Bold Type' - Kat Showcases Empowering Stories of Female Runners While Jane and Sutton Feel Stagnant in 'Marathon'

Freeform's The Bold Type - Episode 4.03 "Marathon"

Sutton works to prove her value to Scarlet, while Kat tries to help a transgender runner get into the New York City Marathon. Jane and Ryan try a different kind of marathon.

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 next episode of Freeform's The Bold Type.

"Marathon" was written by Matt McGuinness and directed by Kimberly McCullough

At its core, The Bold Type is an aspirational show. It follows three young women trying to make their mark on the world by engaging with the culture around them and fighting for what's right. They have a powerful platform at their disposal that allows them to take a stand on serious issues. That makes it somewhat frustrating when both Jane and Sutton's stories are somewhat stagnant at the moment. Once more, Jane is having problems with Ryan stemming from a lack of physical connection. She can't look him in the eye after learning that he kissed another woman. She didn't want to know more of the story. She welcomed him back knowing just how apologetic and devoted he was to her. And yet, nothing really seems to help them get their groove back. And yes, it will be a long process. Connections between people don't just happen overnight. Trying to find that bond again after trust has been broken can be equally difficult. The feelings are present to express their love. And yet, they both struggle to rise to the occasion because of their insecurities and feeling as if they can't provide what the other needs right now. It is a struggle. But it's also told in that familiar way where if Jane simply writes about her personal issues in Scarlet she suddenly comes to a realization about it. That has been a formula across the series so far. That runs the risk of trivializing what the Scarlet platform can do. It's making a huge push into being inclusive and telling a wide range of stories. But Jane is writing about her relationship problems because she has this outlet to vent about her life. She has a vertical waiting for her when she decides to tackle a serious issue. But she doesn't have that inspiration at the moment. She only has problems with Ryan that she is only somewhat comfortable talking about. Her friends help her but it's familiar and formulaic as a story overall. Meanwhile, Sutton believes she has made a massive mistake in her career by choosing to remain a stylist at Scarlet. That isn't her exact job though. Sure, Oliver has relied on her for so much. They are incredibly close. However, she is still his assistant. She can't get a promotion she believes she has earned. She deserves to be working full time on the various shoots the digital site now offers. But she is also running errands in a way that makes it feel as if she has backtracked in her life. She is engaged to Richard. That is an accomplishment worth bragging about. But she also spent so much time in the fashion class. And now, her peers are selling their designs. She was the big showcase winner and has seemingly given all of that up for a life where she no longer feels clear about what she should be doing. This scattered nature to her life has been a consistent part of the character before. But again, it's annoying and familiar. It doesn't feel like the show is actually challenging her in a way that actually makes a statement about what she can do next in her life. It instead embraces the power of social media to manipulate big corporations into doing the right thing. Again, she deserves to be Oliver's equal. She has proven her worth to the company. There just happens to be a hiring freeze during this transition. The most engaging story of this episode centers on Kat. That isn't atypical. She has long been the most interesting character despite how bad her election story was last season. She is devoted to Scarlet now. She can instantly come up with a winning pitch when Jacqueline mentions the marathon. She finds several inspiring stories and helps another woman achieve her dream of running. It's a celebration of joy and human connection. It extends from having the right intentions. People don't have to be politically correct all the time. They can make mistakes but only if their intentions are in the right place. It has the potential to be limiting. But it can also open the world up to so many more possibilities that allow humanity to express the very best we have to offer. Kat provides that to the world which further proves just how powerful she is in this role within Scarlet. Jacqueline relies on her tremendously. And yet, her focus remains with Scarlet even though her marriage is falling apart. It's maybe too late for her to do anything about that too.