First look UK TV review: The Bold Type Season 2
Jo Bromilow | On 20, Jun 2018
Warning: This contains spoilers for Season 1. Not seen The Bold Type? Read our spoiler-free review of the first season.
Welcome back, The Bold Type! Mere months after the first season graced UK screens on Amazon Prime Video – all off-shoulder tops and off-the-shelf feminism – the second season is back with a crash and bang, but without, thank God, that teeth-grindingly terrible voiceover (past the first episode).
So puts on plummy English voice, let’s just quickly recap. At the end of the last season, we had Jane jumping ship from Scarlet for her own column at hard-hitting political clickbaiter Incite, after a final piece that contained a hard-hitting revelation about her boss, Jacqueline. Sutton, meanwhile, was killing it in her new styling job and potentially resuscitating her romance with Scarlet’s dreamy in-house counsel Richard, and Kat was swapping heart emojis in her high-powered social media director job for heart eyes, as she jetted off into the sunset with her girlfriend, Adeena. It’s all go for the women of The Bold Type.
Season 1 gained positive press – not just from us – for being the perfect balance of fluff with fierceness, a show unafraid to pull punches with its handling of mid- to heavy-weight modern topics that are largely missing from female-aimed, fashion-heavy shows. From being a good boss to being a BCRA gene carrier right through to being in the closet or being a sexual assault survivor, the show presented a line-up of (admittedly conventionally beautiful, mostly privileged and all svelte) young women who go through issues that don’t always make front page news. But they make front page of women’s magazines and, like the magazine the show revolves around, the show made compelling feature pieces out of the issues it handled, bookended with wit, wisdom and some pretty strong looks (and tunes).
So Season 2 has a hard act to follow. How will the show fair with our girls spread across different outlets? And which societal issues will be next under its gaze?
Thankfully, while the jokes tale a little while to warm up (a few too many pauses for laughs and knowing smiles after each pun in the opening few scenes – strange, given how tight-knit our girl gang is both on and off-screen) the show gets going pretty quickly, diving right into a season set against the backdrop of #MeToo, and, it seems, gearing up to handle the intricate politics of the modern workplace. After Jacqueline’s revelation at the end of the previous season – her assault by a former colleague – to Jane, it was clear that this would spill over into the topics that dominate this run. And from workplace relationships – and the judgments people make about them – to the role of gender, class and race in one’s successes, this season may turn a little more introspective than the last.
It may also, to this writer’s particular delight, turn the lens a little more away from our three stars (although Aisha Dee, Meghann Fahy and Katie Stevens remain a compelling, dynamic and infinitely watchable trio with fantastic chemistry) to other players, including Jacqueline (Melora Hardin). Others have discussed the slight ridiculousness of the Scarlet editor’s benevolence, so they may enjoy a more barbed side to her this time around, as a potential foil arrives on the scene. Jacqueline’s firm but fair treatment of our trio of Scarlet starlets helps tease out their best traits, so it’ll be interesting to see how her being tested – on the familiar battleground of print vs. digital – ends up trickling down.
All in all, Season 2’s opening episodes mark a compelling return from a fun show flexing a new formula. We’re looking forward to the next episode already, so much so we may have to rewatch the first season yet again to tide us over. Bright, bold and infinitely bingeable. What more could you ask for?
The Bold Type: Season 1 to 4 is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £9.99 monthly subscription. Season 1 to 3 are also available to watch online on Amazon Prime Video as part of a Prime membership or a £5.99 monthly subscription.