Deputy Editor-elect Kat Smith gives her rundown of Ordeal by Innocence, Sarah Phelps' most recent Agatha Christie adaptation for the BBCWritten by Kat Smith on 22nd April 2018
The Bold Type: Fearless Feminism at its Finest
Jessica Green reviews Amazon Prime's recent original series The Bold Type, as it tells a story set in a fashion magazine with an empowering feminist angle for a new generation
Being hailed as the new Devil Wears Prada for a generation of young women empowered by movements such as the #MeToo campaign, The Bold Type follows best friends Kat Edison, Sutton Brady and Jane Sloan and the upwards trajectory of their careers at global women’s magazine Scarlett. Going far beyond the bounds of a mere office-drama though, this hit US show leaves no stone unturned when interrogating issues surrounding gender, sexuality, friendship and love by delving deep into the personal lives of these three young New Yorkers.
Seen throughout the series sporting an enviable collection of outrageous heels, it’s only fitting that we’re first introduced to Editor-in-chief of the magazine Jacqueline Carlyle with a close up of her striking red stilettos marching down the hall. Everyone’s thinking the same thing; this woman means business, and if she can do it in 6-inchers on a daily basis, then props to her. Jane is eager to impress her no-nonsense boss on her first day as a newly appointed writer, but is instantly shot down when she receives an email saying that her pitches aren’t quite up to scratch. It turns out that the email is from Jacqueline herself, who casts Jane a meaningful glare and a pursed lip across the room to go with it – not quite how you want your first day at your new job to go, and Jane is understandably stressed out about the whole thing.
“The people behind The Bold Type have no intention of falling victim to the overused stone-cold-female-bitch-of-a-boss stereotype
Whilst she (begrudgingly) explores these new avenues, Jane is forever conscious of being branded as a ‘sex writer’ or a ‘fashion writer’, and continues to search for bigger subject-matters to write-up. Jacqueline occasionally relents, praising Jane in particular when her profile piece on congresswoman Helen Woolf has an unexpected angle. Jane ends up with a series of both political articles and relationship columns published in the magazine and the message to viewers here is clear; if a woman enjoys reading about fashion, makeup, sex and relationships, she can still be smart and politically engaged. If a woman picks up a copy of the magazine to read about world issues, she can still be feminine and care about her appearance. And the novelty idea that a woman could be simultaneously interested in a feature on oppressed groups breaking through the glass ceiling, and an advice column on the best technique to get their winged eyeliner looking on point? That’s okay too. It’s a learning curve for Jane and for us as viewers, as we realise that a woman doesn’t have to be shoehorned into a one-dimensional category – she can be interested in multiple things, and by extension, be multiple things.
“The message to viewers here is clear; if a woman enjoys reading about fashion, makeup, sex and relationships, she can still be smart and politically engaged
Some have branded The Bold Type as just another rom-com, attempting to entertain its viewers with nothing more than trivial relationship crises and a couple of makeup and fashion tips thrown in for good measure. But to those people I say, give Amazon’s American drama another chance. So much more than a mere chick-flick to myself and many other young women, this show is unembarrassedly bold, unabashedly brave, and most importantly, unashamedly feminist.