Here's Why You Should Be Watching The Bold Type Right Now

The beloved Freeform series premieres its fifth and final season on May 26. If you're not already a fan, you're really missing something special. Adulting never seemed so relatable!

By Samantha Bergeson May 26, 2021 3:28 PMTags
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Thirty, flirty and thriving? That's not exactly real life. 

Freeform's beloved series The Bold Type beautifully dispels all (ok, well, most) unrealistic notions of crushing it in your 20s. The glamorous offices of Scarlet magazine bring three women—Kat (Aisha Dee), Jane (Katie Stevens) and Sutton (Meghann Fahy)—together, and the trio quickly become more than just stylish work wives. And yes, Dee, Stevens and Fahy are BFFs IRL too!

Instead of a revolving door of love interests, ridiculously expensive personal couture closets and overblown existential crises, these powerhouse women deal with real issues like assault, police brutality and women's healthcare rights. Oh and did we mention they do this while also reporting on timely news stories in the wake of #MeToo? With every laugh and fun fashion closet huddle at the Scarlet offices, comes challenging discussions about race, privilege, sexual politics, equity and the patriarchy. Yes, it sounds like a lot for a Freeform show about a women's magazine to cover—but The Bold Type just might surprise you.

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Fans fell for Richard (Sam Page) and Sutton's romance, cried over Jane's many personal heartbreaks and watched in awe as Kat challenged the Scarlet publishers' conservative ideals.

"Over the course of four seasons, we've had conversations about workplace politics, women's health, gun ownership...and while not every story is perfect, life rarely is," actress Aisha Dee wrote on Instagram in July 2020. "I'm proud to be part of something that inspired, pushed boundaries, subverted expectations, and started conversations. We got to talk about yoni eggs and yeast infections!"

Freeform

As audiences mourn The Bold Type ahead of its fifth and final season premiere, it's about time you watched. Sit down, strap in and start to binge because The Bold Type is the ultimate series for any millennial media mogul...or millennial at heart.

Keep scrolling to see the most memorable Bold Type moments so far, and every time the series took a chance at making a statement. 

Jane's BRCA Diagnosis

Jane (Katie Stevens) has won every possible award there is for "under 30," but the journalist's greatest strength has been sharing her relatable journey through women's healthcare. Jane lost her mom to breast cancer as an adolescent, and when Jane chose to be tested for the BRCA gene for a Scarlet story, the results were devastating for her. Stevens captured the cycle of shock and fear women face as Jane ultimately makes the polarizing decision to undergo a double mastectomy after freezing her eggs. Jane may be a sensationalized protagonist, but the series remains in the hands of its "tiny" leader who shows it's ok to be fearful, just not hopeless.

Carry The Weight

Scarlet Editor-in-Chief Jacqueline (Melora Hardin) is both the girls' guardian angel. Hardin is effortlessly chic and her EIC status suits her commanding onscreen presence. Every time Jane falters, Jacqueline is there to help solve the issue and offer wise advice. Jacqueline acts as a mother figure to her star writer, but it's the moments when she reveals more of her personal life that The Bold Type really flourishes. Audiences were moved to tears (come on, it can't just be us!) in the solemn season one finale when Jacqueline revealed she is an assault survivor, offering to "carry the weight" for a performance artist activist. It was Jacqueline's raw, emotional journey that made the episode unforgettable.

Sutton's Miscarriage

Sutton (Meghann Fahy) is simultaneously the comic relief and quiet heart of the series. Her romance with Richard (Sam Page) is by far the most adult aspect of the show. In between balancing her budding stylist career with Richard's timeline for starting a family, Sutton realizes she is pregnant. Her response to the news is complicated. Eventually Sutton has a miscarriage and with that comes a whole new set of emotions: Does she really want kids and what does that mean for her future with Richard? This is one of the most heartbreaking moments in The Bold Type, and Fahy beautifully captures the complex discussions around starting a family while staying true to yourself.

Kat's Coming Out

Kat (Aisha Dee) explores her sexuality throughout the series, but perhaps it's her coming out moment that resonated most with fans. Kat announces she is lesbian, then bisexual. She receives backlash from members of the LGBTQ+ community for not conforming to a certain stereotype, but ultimately Kat stays true to herself without social pressures to label her sexual orientation. Even Kat's ex-girlfriend Adena (Nikohl Boosheri) tells Kat that "some lesbians take issue when other people infiltrate their space," citing a different perspective on bisexuality as a whole. "Some women are triggered by people who they view to be on the fence."

As Head of the Social Media department at Scarlet, Kat uses her platform to advocate for human rights and continue to foster acceptance. As Jane encourages, "Bisexual, lesbian, queer, Kat: We love all of them as long as you're just being you."

Adena's Choice to Wear a Hijab

Kat's on-again, off-again artist girlfriend Adena (Boosheri) first confused the social media manager with her decision to don the traditional Muslim hijab. Kat first believed the hijab was symbolic of an oppressive cultural norm rather than liberating. In an episode where male strangers taunt Adena for her headscarf, Kat urged her to fight back; Adena doesn't want to engage. "I choose to wear the hijab," Adena tells Kat. "It does not oppress me, but liberates me from society's expectations of what a woman should look like."

Boosheri applauded the role of Adena for challenging stereotypes on a global scale. "She was just very fascinating to me when I read the characters because we don't usually see Muslim women represented this way," the actress told ELLE. "She's very much in the driver's seat of her own life, she's not a victim, she's not under the control of a man. I thought it was a great opportunity to normalize a Muslim presence in cultural spaces."

Yet like a page out of The Bold Type itself, Boosheri has had to fight to make her voice heard in the writers' room. "There have been times in my career where I've had to speak up to say, ‘This doesn't make sense,' or ‘I don't think she would say this,' or ‘This is really offensive!'" Boosheri explained of her "responsibility" to stay true to Adena.

Kat Confronts Jane's White Privilege

After being fired, Jane struggles to find a new job despite what she believes to be a stellar resume. Season two followed Jane's many failed job interviews post-Scarlet and she even goes so far to say that she is passed over for openings for being a straight cis white woman. Kat has to explain to Jane that her perspective is "problematic," and basically offers Jane the 101 on systemic racism. Jane points out that Kat comes from a wealthy family and doesn't have to worry about rent, while Kat explains that her own biracial identity affects all aspects of her life, not just when applying to jobs.

Stevens revealed that she was hesitant to discuss privilege as Jane onscreen. "When I first learned that Jane was going to talk about white privilege and be kind of white privilege-y, I was nervous," Stevens admitted to TV Guide. "But I love that it was more so the grey area of that, and it's not necessarily Jane saying that she's not for diversity, it was just kind of her being caught up in her own s--t and not realizing what she was saying. I think that that's common. I think a lot of us, we don't understand our privilege."

The Gun Debate

Jane discovers she's living with a third roommate: Betsy, also known as Sutton's rifle named after Betsy Ross. The two pals butt heads over gun ownership, the right to bear arms and what guns in America mean on a symbolic scale. Ultimately Sutton turns Betsy into earrings thanks to a Brooklyn artisanal shop and even gifts Jane a metal vase made out of a former gun. It's her way of burying the metaphorical hatchet with Jane and also moving on from her country roots, yet the episode was a realistic portrayal of friends' sometimes differing political beliefs and how to respectfully disagree. 

Kat Running For City Council

Kat takes matters into her own hands after needing "something to channel my rage and depression," and runs for city council in season three. Kat's past "strikes" against her campaign, from smoking marijuana to punching an Islamophobic harasser to undergoing an abortion, puts her public Scarlet persona at risk; yet Kat is determined to help make at least one woman feel less alone

Kat's campaign spans an entire season, but while she didn't clench the win, Kat's experience puts her career into a new light and confirms she is destined for more than perhaps what the Scarlet platform can give her. 

Alex's Accountability

Alex (Matt Ward) is the sole male friend to the leading ladies onscreen for quite a while. From discussing race with Kat, the only other Black employee at Scarlet, to becoming more than just friends with Sutton and later even moving in with Jane, Alex is been a supportive third (er, fourth) wheel to the group. Yet a pivotal episode challenges our impression of Alex: A former hook-up anonymously reveals that she experienced a sexual encounter with Alex against her will. The viral article titled "I Am Jeff" forces Alex to confront how he approaches romantic relationships, and question whether or not he pressured this woman into having sex with him when they were younger. Alex ultimately opts to publicly respond to her piece, and hopes to give the unnamed woman a sense of closure. 

Second Chances

The Bold Type surprised fans by showing Jane debating whether or not to stay with Ryan a.k.a Pinstripe (Dan Jeannotte), even after he was unfaithful. What she first thought was a kiss turned out to be a full-fledged one night stand, but Jane made the bold decision to try again with Pinstripe—especially since he was by her side during her BRCA diagnosis. Was this the right choice? Probably not, especially since they later parted ways, but then again, who are we to judge? The show opted to explore the more complex dynamic between two people who still love each other even after bad mistakes, and for that we can only applaud.

Racial Reckoning

Kat is a warrior for self-love, acceptance and racial equity both on and off-screen. After her character had a fling with a conservative pundit, Dee took to Instagram to voice her disdain at the lack of respect for Kat's integrity amidst the Black Lives Matter movement. 

"The decision to have Kat enter into a relationship with a privileged conservative woman felt confusing and out of character," Dee wrote. "Despite my personal feelings about the choice, I tried my best to tell the story with honesty, even though the Kat I know and love would never make these choices. It was heartbreaking to watch Kat's story turn into a redemption story for someone else, someone who is complicit in the oppression of so many. Someone who's politics are actively harmful to her communities." 

Dee called for more writers who would understand Kat's real-world experiences. "I'm ready to take a cue from my girl Kat. What would Kat do?" Dee captioned. "She would take a stand and advocate for herself and all other marginalized voices to influence change. I am ready to push harder and speak louder for what matters to me: The diversity we see in front of the camera needs to be reflected in the diversity of the creative team behind the camera...And even then, the responsibility to speak for the entire Black experience cannot and should not fall on one person."

It's clear Kat's onscreen strength and fearlessness is due to Dee's offscreen leadership.

Intersectional Feminism

Going into the final season, it seems The Bold Type will address upfront how feminism affects women of all races, orientations and backgrounds. The trailer shows Jacqueline looking to pass the Scarlet torch: "I think we owe it to this generation of women to make them feel heard."

Meanwhile, Kat points out the irony of the statement. "If they're only helping a certain type of woman," she asks, "what's the point?" Dee previously shared her thoughts on representation on the series. "The Bold Type has done so much good, but it struggles to understand the intersections many of its characters live in," Dee wrote on Instagram. "This is not judgment. This is a call to action." And it seems The Bold Type heard the call just in time.

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