Season four of FreeForm’s The Bold Type premiered last Thursday, picking up right where we left off. At the end of season three, Scarlet’s editor-in-chief, Jacqueline Carlyle (Melora Hardin), had been ousted by the board of directors for pushing out a magazine issue that was deemed not fit for Scarlet or the overall company standards. In short, showcasing real people and not unobtainable lifestyles was a breaking point for the board.
Let’s take a step back. Over the years, in media especially, there’s been an outcry of online commentators voicing their opinions of wanting to see more authenticity. Gone are the days of filters (although, an Instagram filter is fun now and then) on every single person. More often than not, people want to see someone they can relate to and will swipe left on seeing lifestyles they could only dream of in a million years. How to lose your leg fat in eight days? No, thanks. Unedited photos of girls of various sizes and skin color? Sign us up.
The type of content we want to consume vastly differs from ten years ago. Opening up a piece of content and seeing someone that looks exactly like you or going through the same thing as you is a win for publishers everywhere. However, it’s still something some companies and organizations refuse to see. Similarly, The Bold Type’s board of directors, which consists of mostly older white men, don’t see this. Their mind goes to revenue versus sentiment, business ideals versus what will actually gain them dedicated followers. It’s something that we still see to this day, what with the Oscars, the Grammys, and so on.
In true television fashion, the outcome of this episode is gets tied up like a present with a bow on top. The board overturns their decision to release Jacqueline with the only caveat being that printed issues will no longer be available. (Again, reflecting the changing times of the once beloved medium.) Despite this perfectly depicted conclusion, this episode featured a highly unlikely, but ideal, moment of what happens when the head of a company actually listens to the feedback of their core consumers. What a concept!
Now that Jacqueline’s back, here’s to seeing more real and authentic content on Scarlet’s digital platform.