Television

Every Terrible Article Someone Wrote on The Bold Type

A comprehensive guide.

Jane Sloan works at a pink laptop, her hand wearily on her forehead.
Star writer Jane Sloan. Freeform/Universal Television

Maybe it’s the social isolation. Maybe it’s that we’ve started to run out of new TV. Maybe we’ve all been secretly watching the whole time. (Guilty!) Whatever the case, The Bold Type—a Freeform show, now in its fourth season, set at a Cosmo-like women’s magazine—has gained steam as something of a buzzy quarantine watch. HuffPost is opining on it; so is Vogue. We welcome the discourse! But another way of enjoying The Bold Type—one especially beloved among journalists and writers—is snarking about how unrealistic it is. It’s become a media Twitter parlor game to poke fun at what a bad journalist the show’s main character, Jane, is, even if sometimes you’re also privately wincing with recognition and self-loathing. The show provides ample material to work with in this respect, often in the form of occasional pans over Jane or someone else’s work on screen. Not since Carrie Bradshaw couldn’t help but wonder have we been so captivated by a blinking cursor. In fact, it’s kind of impossible to get a look at any piece of writing The Bold Type shows and resist the temptation to rip it apart.

Just in time for the show’s season finale on Thursday (alas, plans for a longer season were dashed by the coronavirus crisis), here is nothing more or less than a collection of screenshots of every single draft or published piece of writing that has appeared on The Bold Type. Whatever, you know you wanted to read them! Consider it a gift, from our dot-com to yours.

"O Hell No!"
Screenshot from The Bold Type

Season 1, Episode 2:

“O Hell No! Never Had An Orgasm? Me Neither. What It’s Like When The Big O is The Big No.” by Jane Sloan for Scarlet

With my best friend’s fingers twisting frantically inside of my vagina as she (very bravely) helped me dislodge a rogue yoni egg, I realized how much pain women go through on our unique pursuits of pleasure.

So why the egg? And why oh why did my friend have to play back-alley-obstetrician? I was trying something new in yet another failed attempt to experience something that would be

Our first ever glimpse of Jane’s writing for Scarlet magazine. Seems like there might have been other ways to learn about women’s pain, but OK.

"Why Some Girls Fake It and Do We Even Care?"
Screenshot from The Bold Type
"Why Some Girls Fake It and Do We Even Care?"
Screenshot from The Bold Type

Season 1, Episode 3:

“Why Girls Sometimes Fake It And Do We Even Care?” by Ryan Decker for Pinstripe

If you ask a hundred women why they fake their orgasm on occasion, and you’ll likely get a hundred different answers. But, this isn’t an encyclopedic look at why women don’t climax. This isn’t a treatise on locating the clitoris. And this definitely isn’t an essay about giving your girl an Earth-shattering O. Don’t worry; you don’t have to look too far into Pinstripe’s back catalog to find such pieces authored by yours truly.

This is an article about reality: no matter how hard you try, no matter how good you are in bed, sometimes, she’s not going to orgasm. Sometimes, she’s going to fake it. And that’s okay. Look, we at Pinstripe aren’t just here to help you pick out the best cardigans. We also want to turn you into sex gods (or at least someone who is good at sex). And that means caring why your partner might sometimes fake it.

Biologically speaking, getting a man to orgasm is about as easy as eating a sandwich, and can be achieved with far less effort. Getting a woman to orgasm can be more difficult than walking, chewing gum, dribbling a basketball, and reciting a sonnet at the same time. For women, achieving and orgasm is about a confluence of things coming together––literally and figuratively––in a perfect storm, from the shape of your penis to

Another first: first Pinstripe byline! As an example of an annoying male magazine writer’s take on “faking it,” this works. Since we get to see both the draft and the published piece, we were hoping Ryan would cut the sentence that goes, “Biologically speaking, getting a man to orgasm is about as easy as eating a sandwich, and can be achieved with far less effort.” No such luck.

"My Night With the Feminist Stripper"
Screenshot from The Bold Type

Season 1, Episode 5:

“My Night With the Feminist Stripper” by Jane Sloan for Scarlet [read aloud by Jane]

Strong, sensual, powerful. These are the adjectives describing the Wall Street banker in front of me. But as I continue watching, another adjective buries them all: free.

This lede is only slightly better than beginning your article with, “The dictionary defines blank as …”

"Trusting Your Love Life to the Ones Who Love You"
Screenshot from The Bold Type

Season 1, Episode 7:

“Trusting Your Love Life To The Ones Who Love You” by Jane Sloan for Scarlet

With heavy legs and the lowest of expectations, I walked into the dimly lit restaurant in search of the man with a peg leg or the woman with the beard. I scanned and saw nothing until I saw him staring directly and intently at me. This had to be him but also, how could it possibly be him?

Close your eyes and think about the absolute worst things you have done to your best friends: the time you vomited on their favourite outfit, the time you embarrassed them in front of their crush and let’s not forget all the times they’ve had to drop everything to save your butt. True, our best friends are saints but even the disciples couldn’t hold it all-the-way-together for one dinner.

With that in mind, close your eyes again and think about handing over your phone to that same best friend to setup a blind date for you with any person of their choice. Hence why I was completely surprised that my friends took the keys to my heart and didn’t steer it into a swamp (just for the hilarious story of course) but instead, into the company of the kind of good man I would have never noticed yet constantly complain I can’t find.

This is the premise behind SetMeUp, a new app with a blind

The problem with this one is more conceptual than anything else: Why is Jane acting like she’s the first person who’s ever been set up on a date?

"To Three or Not to Three"
Screenshot from The Bold Type

Season 1, Episode 7:

“To Three or Not to Three: A firsthand account of a night with two girls” by Ryan Decker for Pinstripe

It’s every man’s fantasy: one guy, two girls, at the same time. It’s considered the holy grail of sex, a gift for the chosen few. But is it all that it’s cracked up to be?

It was an honor and privilege to get to the bottom of this.

The first hurdle for most guys is getting two girls to agree to the whole damn thing in the first place. But that’s the part I found easy, as long as you are up front with the women you want to hook up with. “Honesty and an open mind are the two most important parts of a healthy sexual relationship,” says Dr. Ilyana Johannason, a licensed sexologist. “If either partner keeps their sexual desires close to the chest, it will lead to an unsatisfying relationship for both.”

So with two girls ready for a threesome, you’d think that it’s all pretty straightforward from there, right?

Wrong.

I found it extremely challenging to keep everyone thoroughly satisfied, including myself. Think about it: when it’s just you and one girl, you both have one goal: to make your partner climax. But add another one, and suddenly your duties are split. And in my case, it left one of the girls wanting more, and there was nothing I (or the other girl) could do about it.

“It’s not in our nature to have multiple partners at the same time,” Dr. Johannason

On the one hand, huge, huge eye-roll—this would have been edgy maybe 30 years ago. So it hurts to admit that “To Three or Not to Three” is actually a pretty clever headline. It’s also kind of commendable that the show made up a source to quote (“Ilyana Johannason”) for the piece. This might be the most rigorous made-up journalism we’ve seen up to this point.

"Feminism Cannot Exist Without Intersectionality"
Screenshot from The Bold Type

Season 1, Episode 9:

“Feminism Cannot Exist Without Intersectionality” by Lauren Bridges for Incite

As our society grows increasingly diverse, how can we ensure inclusivity in the feminist movement? The answer is intersectional feminism. When a black woman is discriminated against, she does not know which identity is at fault: her blackness or her womanhood. She is at an intersection of two potential explanations for the discrimination. Intersectional feminism captures this idea that gender is not a single category: women have different identities based on race, sexuality, class, nationality, religion, and language and the rights and empowerment of them need to be addressed in the feminist movement. A common misconception of intersectional feminism is that it dilutes the feminist cause by dividing feminists. However, in actuality, intersectional feminism is inclusive, because by first addressing the needs of those who are the least privileged, the most privileged women will still receive the advantages.

Mainstream feminism, or one-size-fits-all feminism, is the notion that middle class women are the mold that others

The insurrectionist political website Incite lured Jane away from Scarlet in Season 1. What kind of radical, gonzo stuff does it publish? Wikipedia-grade prose about intersectionality!

"How to Tell to If It’s Time To Move On From Your Job"
Screenshot from The Bold Type

Season 1, Episode 9:

“How to Tell to If It’s Time To Move On From Your Job.” by Jane Sloan for Scarlet

The door feels a little heavier, the lunch options less palatable and doing the work feels a lot more like … work, so now you’re left wondering: is this still the job for me? There are hundreds of songs, sonnets and stories written to help people decide if it’s time to leave their lover but not much is made in consideration of loved lost at work. How do you know when it’s time to leave your comfort for your potential destiny?

1.    30 minutes into your work day and you are:

a.    Diving head into the day’s tasks and mapping out what to do first

b.    Texting your co-worker to figure out where you’re doing lunch and when

c.    Stressed the hell out and gulping back coffee number two

d.    Counting down the hours until you get to leave

2.    Your boss requests a meeting with you during your lunch, so you:

a.    Put it in your calendar and work around it

b.    Request a reschedule and say you’ve got a conflicting appointment

c.    Agree to the meeting but feel sick with nerves

d.    Send back a paragraph from the labour board that affirms employee’s right to an uninterrupted break

3.    Someone asks your opinion about applying for a position at your job. Your response is:

a.    “Apply immediately! Job openings are rare and fill up fast.

b.    “Sure, the hours are flexible, the vacation time is good and the Christmas parties are decent.”

c.    “Wait, what position are they hiring for??”

d.    “How desperate are you for work?

4.    When you were a kid you dreamed of a job …

a.    Just like the one you’re in now.

b.    Where you ate gummy bears for a living

The text we see on screen doesn’t get into whether you should write about leaving your job while you’re still at that job, but for Jane, the answer was an enthusiastic yes.

"Feminist Army: Me, Emma Cox and the Messy Truth"
Screenshot from The Bold Type

Season 2, Episode 1:

“Feminist Army: Me, Emma Cox and the Messy Truth” by Jane Sloan for Incite

I had many ideas of how I wanted to launch my column at Incite. I walked away from a lot to be here, so I had to ge

Let’s talk about headlines. More often than not, writers do not write their own headlines. And they definitely do not give headlines to their drafts. They also don’t usually include a byline on those drafts because, well, who else would it be by? But Jane makes the good point that she walked away from a lot to be here.

"Emma Cox: Bloody Fraud"
Screenshot from The Bold Type
"Emma Cox: Bloody Fraud" body text
Screenshot from The Bold Type

Season 2, Episode 1:

“Emma Cox: Bloody Fraud” by Jane Sloan for Incite

If what everyone says is true—there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women—then the devil better make room for Emma Cox, the vile CEO of Off The Rag, a company specializing in menstrual cups. (And if there’s any hope for this world, then she won’t be for long.)

For years, Emma Cox manipulated investors and customers by pimping a phony giveback program that gives homeless women free menstrual cups. It did exist at some point, but not anymore. Why? Because the cups made homeless women sick.

Several women from a downtown shelter were hospitalized after getting infected by OTR’s cups. Anyone with a conscience would stop the program and inform investors. Cox got halfway there and stopped. Why? Because all greedy Emma Cox cares about is lining her pockets, no matter who gets hurt. “A huge part of OTR’s branding is our giveback program,” Cox says. It’s so huge that she decided to cover up

For some crazy reason, Jane’s editor didn’t like her headlines and lede, seen in the previous screen. Those headlines did suck. But Jane thinks the editor butchered the piece, and she’s not completely wrong: The “special place in hell for women who don’t help other women” quote makes no sense in context here: Emma Cox, the CEO of a menstrual cup company (naturally), isn’t being criticized for “not helping” women, unless getting them sick qualifies as not helping them … ? But anyway, it also doesn’t seem like good journalism to hold off on publishing a scoop because you’re afraid of tearing someone down. Clearly this one really gets into the thorniest issues of the free press.

"The Domino Effect"
Screenshot from The Bold Type

Season 2, Episode 6:

“The Domino Effect: How One Voice Can Inspi” by Jane Sloan for The Daily Review

Back in September, I was given the opportunity to sit down with Jacqueline Carlyle as she opened up about being a victim of alleged sexual assault. What began as a story about alleged-rape-victim-turned-performance-artist Mia Lawrence became something bigger than what Mia, Jacqueline and I could possibly imagine. “Carry The Weight” became Scarlet’s most retweeted article of all time and offered ample fuel to the ever-growing #metoo movement sweeping the world. But what’s so captivating about this movement is how many voices have come out, and each one is different in so many interesting and complicated ways.

I spoke to several women who were inspired by not just my article, but what both Jacqueline and all women of the #metoo movement stand for. A waitress in Indiana grew the courage to speak out against a sous chef who allegedly abused her in a restaurant after Mario Batali’s accusers went public. A photographer’s assistant here in Brooklyn spoke out after allegations against Bruce Weber came out. There was even a park ranger who filed a complained against a former head of the U.S. Forest Service. With so many women speaking out against their attackers, it’s easy to forget that this is still an issue that leaves many of these women traumatized. 

Elena Vira, one of the most prolific news journalists of our time, found herself in the same situation Jacqueline did over twenty years ago. “I was an assistant at … the same news magazine Jacqueline worked at when she was assaulted,” Vira says, alluding to the senior editor who allegedly raped Jacqueline. “I was there five years after her, but he was still there. And he assaulted me, too.”

Vira’s story is almost verbatim what happened to Carlyle. The editor posed as a mentor, offering to help Vira professionally when, as they were alone together late one night in the office, he allegedly assaulted her. “I thought I had closure when he died las

So Jane decided to write an article about how successful and inspiring a previous article of hers was. Jane is the real hero of the #MeToo movement.

"Are Babies the New Bling?"
Screenshot from The Bold Type

Season 2, Episode 8:

“Are Babies the New Bling?” by Jane Sloan for Scarlet

Millennials are asking themselves, “Are babies the ultimate accessory or a soul crushing anchor?”

It’s fun to get a closer look at the show’s janky version of Microsoft Word. But more importantly: Are babies the ultimate accessory, or a soul-crushing anchor? It’s definitely one or the other.

"I Don't Need Prince Charming. I Need Safford to Provide Equitable Healthcare."
Screenshot from The Bold Type
"I Don't Need Prince Charming. I Need Safford to Provide Equitable Healthcare."
Screenshot from The Bold Type

Season 2, Episode 9:

“I Don’t Need Prince Charming. I Need Safford To Provide Equitable Healthcare” by Jane Sloan for Scarlet

We all know the fantasy: a woman, in her deepest moment of sadness and despair, is saved by brave, beautiful prince on horseback (or, in my fantasy, a convertible) and takes her away to a better place.

Or how about this one: a woman getting affordable reproductive services through her health insurance.

Both fantasies came crashing down on me when I decided to freeze my eggs. As the carrier of the BRCA gene, I only have a short time to get pregnant the old-fashioned way before I get preventative surgery on my ovaries. However, if I freeze my eggs, I’ll end up having as much time as I need. Only problem is, Safford Publication’s healthy insurance won’t cover the operation. I figured that out the moment I was asked to cough up $750 at the fertility clinic. FOR A CONSULTATION.

$750 is an insane price to ask a 25-year old to cough up, let alone the $12,000 it would cost to freeze the eggs (also not covered by Safford’s insurance policy). Maybe by the time I’m 30 that won’t be a problem, but by that time I won’t be ovulating. Something is seriously wrong here.

This problem made me realize how unfair (read: SEXIST) Safford’s insurance policy truly is. Male reproduction surgeries like vasectomies are covered

Bless the optimism in Jane’s assertion that by the time she’s 30, it might not be much trouble to pay $12,000 for a medical procedure.

"The Pursuit of Happily Ever After"
Screenshot from The Bold Type

Season 4, Episode 5:

“The Pursuit of Happily Ever After” by Jane Sloan for Scarlet

Ask a million people what they think a perfect wedding looks like and you’ll get a million different answers. Some cling to something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Some prefer to honor the tradition of the bride and groom and not seeing each other on the day of the wedding until they make it to the altar. Some consider these rules archaic, a relic of a past built on superstition and an age-old patriarchy. This begs t

Apparently, Jane needed 76 words to address what anyone could learn from typing “wedding” into Pinterest: Not all weddings look the same. Also, this is a rip-off of one of Pinstripe’s ledes from Season 1, and it wasn’t clever the first time.

"The Failing Feminist"
Screenshot from The Bold Type

Season 4, Episode 10:

“The Failing Feminist” by Jane Sloan for Scarlet [via voice-over]

“We think we know who we are, who we want to be. But some, most times, the truth gets in the way of that. But when we manage to look truth in the eye, the person who we are is finally revealed. Just like everything, the truth comes with consequences, repercussions. Sometimes it’s painful, but sometimes it’s pure joy.

Living our own truth isn’t always comfortable. But ultimately, it takes us where we need to go.

This piece has the depth and clarity of a horoscope (which is to say, it has none at all).

"Empowerment Is Always In: Fashion Through the Ages"
Screenshot from The Bold Type

Season 4, Episode 14:

“Empowerment is Always In: Fashion Through the Ages” by Jane Sloan for Scarlet

As women’s rights have evolved over the centuries—from suffrage to liberation to #MeToo—fashion has evolved right with it.

Each movement has made a visual statement to go along with the iconic voices, leaving a mark that inspires the next movement.

One of Jane’s worst headline attempts. Would make any SEO editor cry. Too bad, because the article itself is really offering some food for thought about fashion and how it’s changed over time.

An untitled piece by Scott Coleman
Screenshot from The Bold Type

Season 4, Episode 15:

An untitled piece by Scott Coleman for Scarlet

“HR said it was ‘cause we came in hungover. But everyone in the office was hungover” after the party, Baker recalls. “You should have seen some of the executives. They were the ones pouring us shots.”

Considering that every man kept his job after the party, one could certainly infer that Baker and the other women were let go under dubious—and, let’s face it, sexist—circumstances. But truth is stranger than fiction, as the women fired at Bumani were replaced by other female associate—albeit much older than the ones fired.

The dilemma facing Bumani—this kind of “reverse pretty privilege”—is becoming increasingly common in the corporate world. So much so that Baker, a Georgetown graduate with several endorsements from Bumani, struggles to find a job in this new era of wokeness.

“Honestly, I don’t get it,” Baker says. “Last year, I got offers left and right. Now I can’t get past round one.”

And it’s not just Bumani Investments. It’s Wall Street, and advertising agencies, and consulting firms.

In the post-#MeToo era, too many men don’t trust themselves around young women.

Especially those they find attractive. And so, in male-dominated industries, we are seeing a trend of yo

By this point in Season 4, Jane has graduated to editing her own vertical at Scarlet. We see her get mad at her underling for writing a piece differently than she would have—while also nursing a crush on that underling, whom she hired and who reports to her. So far, so good: At this rate, she’ll be editor in chief by the end of the next season.