What The Bold Type Gets Right (And Wrong) About NYC Apartments
One of the greatest gifts the gods of Summer TV have bestowed upon us mere mortals in recent years is back. If you haven’t tried Freeform’s delightful dramedy The Bold Type yet, first, what even is your life? The series follows three best friends, Jane (Katie Stevens), Kat (Aisha Dee), and Sutton (Meghann Fahy) as they navigate the NYC magazine world in their twenties. There’s so much about this show to love—the complex female friendships, Queen Jacqueline Carlyle (Melora Hardin), the balance of fun, flirty storylines and tackling topical issues, and yes, the clothes—but like any TV show set in NYC, it’s the living situations that interest us the most on Apartment Therapy. [Season two spoilers ahead.]
The Bold Type, refreshingly, does not shy away from talking about money issues, especially money issues related to living situations. Kat is the Social Media Director at Scarlet magazine and comes from a well-off family, so it isn’t too much of a stretch to believe she can afford her Brooklyn loft (Brick Underground agrees that most of the apartments on The Bold Type feel realistic). Her buddies Jane and Sutton, though, are a newbie writer and a fashion assistant respectively, and the two women shack up together in a converted two bedroom apartment.
Sutton, in particular, struggles financially (just because it’s your dream job, doesn’t mean it’s your dream paycheck!), and in a season one storyline, she is in such a bind that her friends work out a plan for her to live rent-free at Kat’s, while Jane sublets her room. It’s a relatable moment for, well, anyone who has had to pay rent in an expensive city. And in season two, with Jane freshly unemployed, the whole “how will I pay the rent” dilemma may come up again—especially since we’ve finally gotten an up close and personal look at their apartment. And it is most definitely a little more unrealistic than they were letting on.
In “The Scarlet Letter,” Jane spends her first day out of work cleaning her apartment when the job hunt becomes too overwhelming (been there, sister), so we can gaze a little longer at some of the elements in the apartment we’ve only gotten glimpses of before. Some of the setup rings true: the bathroom is cramped, Sutton’s bed is in the living room. There are some elements, like the incredible built-ins and the french doors to Jane’s bedroom, that seem a little high-end, but not totally unbelievable—NYC is full of architectural gems tucked inside tiny spaces.
But the apartment keeps going. It has an actual entryway. Those babies are luxury items in NYC. And then there’s the kitchen. You guys, it’s big! Okay, not Nancy Meyers movie kitchen big, but big for an apartment rented by two gals struggling to pay the rent. There’s a counter with room for stools and a kitchen table. That’s some real spaciousness right there.
Now, we don’t know exactly which neighborhood the girls live in, and that could account for some affordability. Regardless, this apartment may not be as spacious as the Friends apartment, but it would still be a dream place for a twenty-something to have as her home base as she sets out on her NYC adventure.
It’s hard to fault The Bold Type too much for taking liberties with its leads’ living situation. The show mixes a lot of relatable elements with the dream New York we’d all like to visit. It’s something that feels familiar mixed with a little fantasy—and isn’t that what summer TV is all about anyway?