In a world where many millennials can quote The Devil Wears Prada, cite Carrie Bradshaw as their spirit animal, and aspire to be a how-to girl like Andie Anderson from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days one thing is clear: magazines rule everything. And as someone who currently works at glossy, I can wholeheartedly agree.
That's why I was SO excited when I heard about The Bold Type. Officially premiering on Freeform tonight (!), though the pilot aired about a week ago, the show follows Jane, Kat and Sutton three best friends and magazine staffers navigating through the wonderful world of publishing working at Scarlet, a fictional Cosmopolitan-esque brand. But, while inspired by the life of former Cosmo Editor-in-Chief Joanna Coles, who serves as an executive producer, I must admit that I was initially skeptical. As an avid TV watcher it's no secret that real life is often sensationalized and the magazine world is a place I know all too well (i.e. I didn't want to see it get the "fictionalized treatment"). Luckily, the show was closer to reality than I could've imagined and here's how:
Magazine editors aren’t all extra bitchy
Miranda Priestly set the bar pretty high for horrible bosses. And while 99.99% of assistants have had at least one annoying boss, it’s important to note that many aren't like that at all. Take Scarlet EIC Jacqueline (played by Melora Hardin). The show's writers could have easily made her act like a bitch to main character and newly promoted staff writer Jane (Katie Stevens). So often, when the boss of a certain company is a woman, she's made out to be mean and high demanding. But this was so much better! Jacqueline’s interactions with Jane were motivating and pushed her out of her comfort zone to help her succeed, really setting the tone for what's to come this season. And they reminded me so much of my first boss. Aww!
Social media plays a huge role in the stories told
Love it or hate it social media is here to stay. Just ask Kat (Aisha Dee), Scarlet's fearless Social Media Director. In the pilot we're given a taste of just how passionate Kat is about social media when she uses her millennial expertise to fight for a story, deliver one of the episodes best lines (Other editor: “Any problems with the words ‘vajayjay’?” Kat: “Uh, yeah. It’s not 2006.”) and to keep tabs on a character who I'm predicting will become her love interest. (No spoilers here! Go watch for yourself!)
Fashion Closets Can Be Good Hangout Spots
Every time I turned around, Jane, Kat and Sutton (Meghann Fahy) were chilling in the fashion closet whether it was trying on sunglasses, venting to each other, or celebrating with bubbly. And yes, that's what really goes down in there. You know besides work. My first magazine job was as a fitness assistant for a health mag. I can remember plenty of days when my editor and I sat around, chatted, and sung along to '90s R&B while we sorted sports bras. Good times.
Sometimes Assistants do fetch coffee food
In the pilot Sutton, who's still an assistant, goes to fetch a green juice and lunch for her editor Lauren. All I could do is shake my head because I remember that day like it was yesterday. Luckily, I've only done it once, but I've done it nonetheless. Of course assistants wonder why the heck the editor can’t get their own damn salad from the cafeteria, but again: everyone has done it. It's kind of like a assistant right of passage and proving you can get a complicated order right means you'll be ready to handle a story in no time.
Your personal life will be used for a story
Speaking of stories....Can I just say that this is actually my favorite part of the job? I chose magazine journalism over other traditional forms of the industry because I wanted to report facts with feelings (i.e. I wanted to be real and talk to real people!). Jane was subjected to reliving a terrible breakup to satisfy a assignment and shuddered at the challenge. Luckily after some support from Jacqueline she knocked it out of the park. While it’s a testament to personal strength to be so open (especially with how cruel people can be on social nowadays), in the end it’s super rewarding to see something that’s authentically you on the page (or online).
Other assistants will become your best friends
One of my other concerns when I first heard about this show was that it would have the female characters either competing with each other for work related stuff or over a guy. But I saw the complete opposite! Both Kat and Jane have gotten their dream job while Sutton is still working as an assistant, but she never lets that get in the way of her excitement for her friends. This is definitely true for real life assistants/staffers. Some over competitive bad apples are sprinkled in, but some of my closest friends have come from work. And they make all the long, crazy, stressful, bitchy-boss-filled days absolutely more than worth it.
Overall, I loved The Bold Type and can't wait for what's to come.
Catch the official premiere tonight at 9/8C on Freeform!