Thursday, February 20, 2020

REVIEW: 'The Bold Type' - Jane Questions Her Story Because of Her Personal Insecurities in 'Tearing Down the Donut Wall'

Freeform's The Bold Type - Episode 4.05 "Tearing Down the Donut Wall"

Jane's in-depth look at millennial weddings comes to a screeching halt when she uncovers a secret about Jacqueline. Overwhelmed by her current assignment and against uniforms of all kinds, Sutton decides to focus her energy on helping Carly take on her school uniform policy, without running it by Oliver. Meanwhile, Kat thinks she can handle uncomplicated dating.

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.

"Tearing Down the Donut Wall" was written by Sascha Rothchild and directed by Erica Dunton

A discrepancy between how the audience may feel about Jane and how the show expects the viewer to respond to Jane can really sink any episode of the series. That has been apparent for awhile now. The show wants the viewer to believe that Jane can handle responsibility just as well as Kat and Sutton. She is just as successful a writer as they are in their respective careers at Scarlet. She should be propped up with a sense of importance and on the path towards promotion. And yet, each season only further reaffirms how she doesn't exactly learn anything despite being constantly challenged at this workplace. She can effectively pitch stories to Jacqueline. She may even receive awards for her work. However, it overwhelmingly feels as if she doesn't know how to properly communicate with people and form the necessary connections to tell those stories in an authentic way to the public. That is a significant problem. It doesn't matter that this story is built around a more fluff-based piece of examining how weddings are evolving thanks to millennial culture. She even conflates the concepts of weddings and marriages. One is an event that is meant to provoke these strong feelings. The other is a relationship that can ebb and flow for years after a wedding. Jane eventually grows uncomfortable with the content of her pitch because she learns that Jacqueline and Ian are in a rough patch. They have essentially separated while he is away. They have to rediscover themselves. That may not lead them back to each other. That is difficult. And once again, Jane projects her own sense of needing to believe in happy endings onto the proceedings. Plus, it's ridiculous and forced how Jane discovers this information in the first place. This show states over and over again that the more personal these stories get to the writers the more powerful they will be in print. That isn't really the most beneficial advice to journalists out there. It gives off the impression that everything comes from a place of personal passion which may inflict a sense of bias that may not sway anyone in the end. That would be perfectly fine if Scarlet didn't present itself as an important place in the media landscape where bombshell stories are broken. It wants to be all things to all people. It has made the transition to digital this season. Jane has confidently asked for her own vertical. And yet, there is absolutely nothing in her handling of this pitch that would make anyone feel safe and secure in giving her that responsibility. She has to be coddled all the time. Yes, she can have meaningful conversations with those close to her. She values their opinions. However, it's odd that her father doesn't even know she has been in a serious relationship with Ryan. She places distance in these relationships because she would much rather live in the fantasy of what could be. She doesn't want that to be ruined by the reality of her life. That makes her standoffish though. It makes her feel stunted in a way that has grown incredibly annoying with each passing season. The show wants to say something provide with all of its stories. Jane is hardly the only focus each week. And yet, this episode is wildly all over the place. It's meaningful to watch as Sutton comes to accept the beauty of a wedding dress. She sees its value even though she doesn't want to conform to some predestined tradition of what a wedding should be. She wants to express her individuality. She helps Carly figure that out as well. But again, the story is basically saying that these characters make a bunch of mistakes all the time and may learn something afterwards. It's mostly just reassuring to the point of making the audience believe that everything is resolved neatly by the end of each hour. Meanwhile, Kat just wants to have sex. She wants that in her personal life even though she gets attached too easily and hurts people. That is the extent of her story here. It doesn't go that deep which again makes it all seem like surface level flash without much substance underneath it all. That's unfortunate because these characters can be very winning and charming together.