Wednesday, 8 August 2018

The Bold Type Season Finale We'll Always Have Paris Review: "Massive Disappointment"

If we viewed this finale as being a mid-season finale? It wouldn't be as disappointing. Because on the face of it, that's exactly what this finale was. There was very little closure to be found anywhere, just cliffhangers galore, and it's all of course a set up for the 3rd season, as the show was renewed for 2 seasons at the end of season 1.

Honestly season 1 feels like a long time ago. It was a season full of magical, empowering moments, with a finale that made tears roll down my eyes as Jacqueline took up the mantel.

There were no tears to be found with this finale and it truly is such a shame how bad season 2 has been compared to its debut.

First I'll start off with the big storyline that has been on a lot of people's minds since the premiere; Kat and Adena. These two have faced a rough time of it this season, and that didn't get any better tonight. Whilst it started off well enough with Adena getting her visa and going to Paris with Kat and Sutton, things quickly went downhill after a chance encounter with an art critic. It led to Kat seeking out Coco who informed her Adena had no art for Coco to display in her gallery, and the revelation from Adena that since she and Kat became official? Her inspiration for art has dried up.

Being an inspiration, the thing that makes the person you love tick and basically be filled with hope and joy? That's all anyone wants out of a relationship aside from monogamy. So having the person you love point blank come to an extremely quick conclusion that you're not inspiring to them, and being with you is so soul sucking that their art, the thing you originally bonded over, has completely dried up, and they were far more creative with their ex despite hardly ever seeing each other because they were so busy?

It's completely soul destroying and I completely felt Kat's devastation with this. But the relationship in itself? Its been pretty nonexistent for most of the season and that is a massive fault on the writers half. They could've carried on from the first season with the immigration storyline, and had that be Kat & Adena's main issue for the season. Kat trying to support Adena who was cut off from her family, an alien in a foreign country, struggling to make ends meet as she attempted to find work, whilst dealing with the United State's tricky immigration system and the racism that comes with it. That would've been an interesting enough storyline and had the reveal in the finale that she had indeed got her visa feel like a massive payoff.

Instead this season we were treated to Kat wanting to put her relationship with Adena into the spotlight, despite not being ready to go down on her and then of course going down on her. Kat feeling insecure over being surrounded by Adena's exes and Adena saying she didn't tell Kat because she didn't want her to be worried. Kat having a sex dream about Adena's friend and then kissing another woman in a club, because we just love feeling the groove to Hayley Kiyoko. Kat confessing to Adena who then decides an open relationship is the best solution to Kat's curiosity, because a temporary break-up where Kat actually feels sad for how she's hurt Adena and the awkwardness of Adena doing shoots for Scarlet because she is after all a photographer would've been too much. Kat exploring said sexuality with hook-ups and then telling Adena all about it, and instead of having Adena feel uncomfortable with this simply cheer Kat on. Even realizing that a hook-up had prevented her from attending a gallery with Adena, wasn't enough to stop Kat making out with another random on the road, before work drama made her realize Adena was the one for her.

And now, in the finale, after weeks and weeks wasted on all of this nonsense, we get a tiny scene of Adena finally admitting ever so slightly that the relationship isn't really doing a lot for her and even then? We're left on another cliffhanger, because Kat knows Adena is what she wants but now apparently Adena doesn't know that and they can't do an open relationship again, because Kat's realized that hasn't really worked for her.

Adena has had absolutely no agency in this second season, and that's a massive shame because Nikohl is a superb actress. Kat's motivations this season haven't really been understood, outside of her impulsiveness and even that's washed over. The open relationship really served no plot at all, except to do one because The Bold Type is all about risks. Now we await to find out whether Nikohl will even be in season 3, since Kat and Adena ended the season in no clear standing. It almost feels like an insult to viewers who have been on this journey for 10 weeks, to provide absolutely no closure because they know they have more episodes.

The finale also saw the Jane/Pinstripe/Ben triangle for some unknown reason resume, and a cliffhanger be who exactly Jane picks out of them. Because for a show all about empowering women, why not have the cliffhanger being about which dude she truly wants. The one who has only really shown a firm interest in her since she got a boyfriend, and before that just couldn't handle an exclusive relationship, or the boyfriend who has been caring and understanding of Jane since they first met and honestly deserved better than being cheated on. It's not cool to chase a person who has a partner just because you've had a lightbulb switched on moment. It's not cool to full accept they have a partner and not care, because you want what you want. It's certainly not cool to then be texting the person to ask if they've thought about what you said and dumped their boyfriend for you.

Yet these actions are painted as romantic when they're really not. I honestly get considering the Network? Love triangles are gonna pop up every now and then because Freeform can't help themselves, but if you're going to force one down our throats at least make it interesting. Pinstripe is not a reliable guy that can be called boyfriend material, because you just know as soon as he's with Jane he'll get bored and look elsewhere. Ben is clearly not the right guy, if despite being with him Jane is lying about her whereabouts and flirting up a storm with her ex. Considering how much of a moral high ground Jane wears? Reciprocating a kiss and being confused over her feelings is not a good look, but we of course have to wait till next season to find out who she chose.

One person whose love life is in order is Sutton. Following his father's death, Richard apparently had a lightbulb moment and turned up in Paris to rekindle his relationship with Sutton. All the fears over being seen as someone just screwing the boss have been erased. Sutton was previously just afraid of what being with Richard would mean for her professionally and afraid she couldn't have it all, but she can. They're honestly the most harmless relationship on the show, and if it means we don't have to deal with another pointless love interest in season 3? Have at it.

The biggest cliffhanger the finale left on the table was Jacqueline related. Over the last few episodes they've been dropping crumbs that all is not well with her at Scarlett. Now those crumbs have apparently transformed into the board wanting to get rid of her and sending Richard an email of replacement. Why exactly have the board suddenly decided to get rid of Jacqueline? What exactly could she possibly have done to merit this? We don't know because the show neglected to tell us. It could be something to do with Cleo, it could be nothing and maybe next season we'll just begin things with Jacqueline fired and a new head chief causing havoc.

The finale ended things with Jane and Sutton comforting Kat over her potential break-up and the girls being adorable as always. Clearly the showrunners know that this ot3 is at the heart of the show and that is lovely. But if they aim to see a 4th season? They have A LOT of rebuilding to do in s3 and given how badly they struggled this season with 10 episodes? I do not see that rebuilding being done to a level good enough to get the show back in anyone's good books.

Fellow journo's have joined me in criticizing the shows lack of direction this year, aimless plots and a finale that resolved nothing. Fans have turned on the show for the terrible writing, and being blocked on social media for daring to critique the show.

We'll Always Have Paris was a fitting enough finale for a season that has been full of disappointments, and the long break for season 3 will probably pass quite quickly, given you can't really miss something that's given you no reason to care in the first place.