Fact checking The Bold Type: 'Babes in Toyland'
Welcome to Fact-Checking The Bold Type! A weekly post where we recap the week’s episode, but also add some insight into which of the editorial storylines would actually happen at a magazine — since, you know, EW is one of those! Let’s get into it.
We kick things off this week with Jane and Ryan discussing something getting hard. Yeah, not what you’re thinking. Since they’re still having troubles in the bedroom, they’re doing face masks instead and they invite a poor, unsuspecting Alex to join them. The next day at work, Sutton and Kat stage an intervention, telling Jane she needs to sort out her intimacy problems with Ryan. Luckily, in their pitch meeting, a helpful opportunity presents itself. Sage pitches attending a sex party to see why they’re so popular among millennials, but can’t go herself because she’s having a little herpes flair up, so with quite a bit of nudging (and after pitching a snoozefest of a story on face masks), Jane says she’ll go instead and write the piece. What other pitches come up in the meeting? Glad you asked. Having experienced the thrills first hand, Kat wants to find a way to promote Sage’s friend’s new line of vibrators without crossing over into what would be considered advertorial content. The whole office is buzzing about these vibrators (apart from Tiny Jane, natch): Kat’s been trying them all and Sutton’s even gotten one that can be controlled long-distance via an app so she and Richard can have bi-coastal fun. Jacqueline, whose husband is now overseas, pockets one too.
Elsewhere at Scarlet, Alex has been given his own live podcast of his “Ask Alex” column and he is scared. The first episode becomes a bit of a mess when he gets flustered and overwhelmed. Luckily, Kat is around with a pep talk. She tells him that as a straight, black man working at a women’s magazine he has an opportunity to make a difference. She advises him that just because it’s called “Ask Alex” doesn’t mean he has to have all the answers and that he should think more of it as listening and starting the conversation. Alex isn’t the only one Kat’s advising. Sutton’s still struggling to be her authentic self in the pics she’s taking for her new brand on Instagram. She can’t find a way to reconcile her two selves: the assistant who makes $750 a week and the version of her who lives in a $4 million apartment. She tried taking pics there and at Jane’s place and neither of them seemed right. In the end, it’s some candid photos snapped by Kat of a little-bit-scattered-and-messy Sutton that incorporates all her different facets. She posts them and engagement is high.
Speaking of social media, Kat is incensed to find out that Broad, the company that makes the new vibrators, has been banned from putting up a billboard because it promotes female self-pleasure. She and Sage go on a tweeting spree pointing out the disparity in treatment between this female product and ads for an erectile dysfunction medication called Rect. As a consequence of their tweets, other social media users start advocating for a boycott of Rect and that’s when Jacqueline has to call Kat and Sage into her office because Rect is threatening to sue Scarlet. Kat says she’ll change the messaging she’s putting out there and Jac tells she’s proud of her from promoting female pleasure and sexual independence.
Alright, sex party time! Jane invites Ryan to go with her and he reluctantly agrees until he realizes she means for them to potentially have sex there too. He feels like she’s putting pressure on him and somehow they end up with Jane suggesting maybe she should kiss someone else too, so they’re even and he’ll feel better. She doesn’t really mean it, but Ryan doesn’t shut it down either. So off she goes to the sex club alone, calling in Kat and Sutton to meet her there. They all, obvs, look fab in lingerie-eque outfits. At the party, Jane completes maybe half of one interview with a might-be-too-old-to-be-a-millennial-anyway dude before making out with a random. She hates it, yay! She’s relieved because she finally gets how Ryan feels and now just wants to be with him which is super lucky because he just walked in the door. He really wants to talk but she drags him to a bed and, after telling him about kissing a stranger, they have sex. Ryan was definitely trying to tell her something important though…
Elsewhere in da club, Sutton gets a call from Richard that activates her vibrator and has to hobble off, while Kat gets a “work angle” by watching a bunch of women masturbate. She interviews them about choosing self-pleasure over being with a partner and posts it to Scarlet‘s Instagram. The next morning at work (how are they not more tired?!), Jacqueline congratulates Kat on her work but tells her she should make time for a personal life too. Kat redownloads a dating app. Somehow, Jane has also found time to file her story, “How Millennials Saved Intimacy” and Jacqueline loved it too. Jane uses this opportunity to ask for her own vertical and Jac cautions that it’s a big undertaking and tells her they’ll see how her next piece performs. Having heeded Kat’s advice, Alex brings the girls in to help on his podcast as part of his new approach to ask questions as well as answer them.
A fact check or two:
- Jane pitches a really lame story and isn’t pressed for any better ideas: Inaccurate. Even if she wasn’t pushed by an editor to come up with something else, it’s unlikely she would’ve shown up to the meeting with just one story idea in mind.
- She also seems to only ever work on one story at a time: Inaccurate, though it would be nice.
- Alex has an interview with Antoni from Queer Eye set for next week and no further questions are asked: Inaccurate. Pretty sure your EIC is going to want to know what your angle and hook are, at very least.
- Sage scores tickets to a sex party: Accurate. One perk of the job is that journalists are invited to a whole bunch of weird events. Can’t say I’ve ever been to sex party for free, but there was that brunch with the strippers and mimosas…
- Jane does one interview for a story that’s supposed to represent millennials as a group: Inaccurate. I’m sure she filled her word count with lots of interesting personal anecdotes and advice, but the girl needs to learn to be a more thorough reporter.
- Jane asks for her own vertical but doesn’t actually pitch what it would be: Inaccurate. Gotta come prepared for ALL the questions, Tiny Jane!
- Alex was super nervous and his first live podcast sucked: Accurate. We’ve all been there, friend.