Fri
Aug 18 2017 1:00pm

Kat and Adena’s Romance Makes The Bold Type Even Sweeter

Kat and Adena of The Bold Type

Freeform’s women-driven new drama, The Bold Type, is my new TV love and I have a new ship—Kadena!

Please don’t get canceled.

Whether or not you’re a lover of portmanteaus, Kat Edison and Adena El Amin are two powerhouse ladies that you’re absolutely going to fall for and their (kind of) bittersweet romance.

The Bold and the Beautiful

Warning: spoilers ahead!

I’d been planning on tuning into The Bold Type for a while, hoping that it was all the things I wanted Younger to be (that's a story for another day), and was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t let me down. I was even more grateful for the opportunity to ship two queer women—who are also women of color!

Even with how far television has come, there’s still a pretty big default with LGBTQ+ characters to skew white on TV. Inclusive television should not be rare to come by, but unfortunately, we still have quite a way to go.

What I love about this ship so far is that it’s an exploration of sexuality on Kat’s part and the breaking of stereotypes for Adena’s character—an out and proud Muslim lesbian. Kat declares herself to be an “out and proud hetero” in the first episode, but by the time Kat and Adena share their first kiss in Episode 4, that’s obviously not the case.


Source: natromanoffe.tumblr.com

The show could’ve fallen into a real problem with this particular storyline, but it’s so honest and earnest in having Kat struggle with her identity in a way she’d never considered before. At no point do they diminish her as she comes to understand the fluidity of her sexuality and open to the idea of embracing bisexuality. What a concept!

The show also doesn’t shy away from sex and the conceptualization of lesbian sex for Kat, who hadn’t considered it, and Adena, who helps her understand that relationships between women don’t hinge on sex.

The Story of Kat and Adena so far...

Kat and Adena get off to a less than auspicious start, with Kat pushing for Adena to let her photos run in Scarlet magazine. Adena doesn’t believe that Scarlet is a feminist publication and Kat sets out to prove her wrong. Kat believes in the power of Adena’s work and—as the social media manager for the magazine—also knows how powerful it can be for that platform (which is significant in their relationship in lots of ways).

Adena eventually capitulates, and you can tell it’s more about the way that Kat touches her heart and less about the actual arguments that Kat makes. They have an incredibly sweet moment while they’re sorting vibrators for Adena to take back home with her (I swear this is important and not just salacious) and you can see the embers of true attraction start to grow.

When Adena gets caught in the airport with the vibrators Kat gave her, Kat prepares to launch a Twitter campaign to #FreeAdena and only stops because she doesn’t know what the repercussions could be.

Once Scarlet’s editor-in-chief manages to pull some strings via a friend, and Adena is free, Kat sends her a slightly provocative photo (so significant for later on in the show), in which she takes a shirtless pic and places a giant heart across her chest, and tells Adena she’s touched her heart.


Source: natromanoffe.tumblr.com

But it’s certainly not an easy road for Kadena, and we wouldn’t expect it any other way— after all, the life of a shipper is filled with angst. Kat is deeply questioning her sexuality by the time we reach the second episode (only the second episode and this show is already so good!), which focuses on writer Jane never having had an orgasm.

Kat admits to her friends that she’s had a sex dream about Adena and she doesn’t know how to feel about it. When Kat invites Adena to her photo exhibit, Kat hesitates to go up and talk to Adena, not knowing what to say or how to act, or how to categorize her growing attraction to Adena.

There’s also drama! What good ship doesn’t have any? Kat gets arrested after defending Adena to an Islamaphobe on the street. Adena leaves her in a lurch, and Kat gets upset because she claims Adena had a choice and made a poor one. With a little guidance from her boss, Jacqueline, Kat realizes maybe Adena didn't have the same choice and by the end of the episode, they share their first kiss.


Source: kat-edison.tumblr.com

But wait! Adena’s girlfriend (ex-girlfriend? girlfriend again?) of three years reenters the picture the morning after their big kiss, and Kat doesn’t know how to handle it. So she doesn't handle it at all, running away from her problems until a wonderful third act epiphany...except it ends up being too little, too late. Adena is set to leave for Paris to try to reconcile with Coco. 

And my shipper heart cracks in sweet, sweet agony.

***

There are so many wonderful things to say about this show that can't fit in this small snippet. The women are great—they have one another's backs and they're busting through a number of stereotypes, all while being incredibly entertaining. All in all, this show is shaping up to be one of the best of the summer and I really, really hope we’ll get to see more of it. 

There are currently seven great episodes for you to binge-watch in a day, so jump on in, the water's great! 

In the meantime, if you’re ready to board the S.S. Kadena, I’ve got fanvid and fan fic recommendations for you. Tell me, are you enjoying The Bold Type so far?

Kadena Fanvids:

Kadena Fan Fic:


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Jen is the production associate for H&H, a musical theatre nerd, and Thai food enthusiast. You can find her tweeting nonsense on the regular and being a fangirl over at Tumblr.

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1 comment
Heather Waters
1. HeatherWaters
I've seen the first three episodes and am officially hooked. I'm enjoying Kat's crush on Adena and am excited to know their relationship only gets deeper from there.

I also want to say how much I appreciate how LOVELY *all* the women in the show are to each other. Which shouldn't be exceptional but is. In other shows, they'd already be competing for jobs or feeling threatened by each other or fighting over men. How refreshing.
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