In the episode titled “Betsy”, Sutton Brady’s hidden shotgun is discovered by Jane Sloan. Pitched by writer Matt McGuinness the episode intended on showcasing two perspectives on the gun debate but according to the showrunner Amanda Lasher, aimed to approach the often polarized subject with a more personal stance (Britan).
“We felt really strongly about normalizing those conversations about gun ownership and taking it out of the political so we could make progress on this issue…“And as long as we stuck with our guiding light by doing it through the lens of the friendship and the girls’ experience, we thought we would be OK.” – Amanda Lasher ( showrunner )
The episode focused on writing parallel stories of Sutton’s reliance and safety behind her gun and Jane’s distrust and fear for guns. The Bold Type deliberately used a debate like setting by placing a meaningful dialogue between Sutton and Jane while using Kat, Ryan, and Jacqueline as moderators. This structure enables the audience to hear both sides of the argument while also understanding both the characters on an emotional level through the medium of their strong friendship ( that thankfully could not be broken by this debate).
Ryan’s conversation with Jane on this issue is one way the show draws parallels between Jane and Sutton’s differing stance on gun control. Ryan pitches the question, “What do you think will happen with her gun in your apartment?” to which Jane replies, “I am going to feel uncomfortable in my own apartment.” However, Ryan rebuking this statement by saying Jane’s argument is weak and encouraging Jane to try harder to understand Sutton’s viewpoint shifts the conversation back to Sutton’s perspective implicitly hinting that perhaps Sutton too will feel “uncomfortable” in her apartment without her gun.
Although the show often attempts to occur within our reality and while this episode name dropped plenty of current events such as the Parkland and Vegas mass shootings, the episode does not exploit these events. Rather than writing in a traumatic crisis to the storyline, the show explores the issue of gun control in a more small-scale angle through the relationships of its three best friends. It does not stray far from its characters. From having Sutton name her gun Betsy to explaining why Jane is so apprehensive about being near a gun, the show allows its characters to explore the topic of gun control in a more personal level.
Bitran, Tara. “’The Bold Type’ Boss and Star on ‘Normalizing Conversations About Gun Control’.” Variety, Variety, 18 July 2018, variety.com/2018/tv/news/the-bold-type-gun-episode-sutton-1202872954/.