COMMENT

Nobody really wants to sit down and watch a realistic depiction of what goes on in any given workplace.

This is why medical dramas are full of city-wide emergencies and hospital on-call rooms that are solely used for sex, rather than tired doctors and nurses slogging through 15-hour shifts.

This is why a police procedural often focuses on bad cops doing shady deals as opposed to good cops doing paperwork.

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And it's also why TV shows about journalism very rarely resemble anything like a real newsroom. Because if they depicted the day-to-day trudge of producing a newspaper or bulletin, they would probably last one episode - even if the language would be more colourful than anything heard before on TV.

Last month, two shows about life at a newspaper or magazine landed on New Zealand's streaming platforms, with Press launching on Lightbox and The Bold Type arriving on Neon.

One is a worthy BBC mini-series about warring newspapers in London. The other is a frothy take on working at a Cosmopolitan-esque magazine in New York.

You might be surprised as to which one I think is the more groundbreaking.

Press is the story of sensationalist tabloid The Post and left-leaning broadsheet The Herald, two fictional publications that seem to be inspired by The Sun and The Guardian.

Ben Chaplin as Duncan Allen, and Lucy Redford as Laura Jane Matthewson in Press.
Ben Chaplin as Duncan Allen, and Lucy Redford as Laura Jane Matthewson in Press.

The main protagonists are The Post's editor, Duncan Allen (Ben Chaplin), and The Herald's deputy news editor Holly Evans (Charlotte Riley), neither of whom are subtly-drawn characters.

Chaplin's tabloid editor verges on pantomime villain at times, while Riley's humourless deputy news editor is obsessed with journalism ideals and has a penchant for dramatically stating, "I'm a JOURNALIST."

They both work in some quite fantastical newsrooms. The show is set in the present day, but there are staff levels and expense accounts that can only be dreamed of. It's almost like the internet never happened to the news either.

But all that aside, Press is very entertaining. There are MI5 leaks, government ministers hoping to suppress nude photos, and middle-of-the-night court injunctions that see newspaper delivery trucks sitting on the roadside as judges' decisions are made.

You know, just your average day in your average newsroom.

Meghann Fahy as Sutton, Katie Stevens as Jane, and Aisha Dee as Kat in The Bold Type.
Meghann Fahy as Sutton, Katie Stevens as Jane, and Aisha Dee as Kat in The Bold Type.

Also entertaining, The Bold Type is a far shinier take on the world of journalism.
Pitched as the story of three millennial best friends trying to make their way at a glossy magazine called Scarlet, I expected to hate it on sight – but was surprised at how smart it was amongst all the fun.

It suffers from the same fantasies about what it's actually like to work at a magazine - and what extravagances a young person working in publishing in New York can actually afford - but it's also a surprisingly refreshing insight into young women.

There's Jane (Katie Stevens), who's been newly promoted to a writing position; Kat (Aisha Dee), a very confident social media director (who was "overpraised as a child"); and Sutton (Meghann Fahy) who's working as an assistant – but isn't planning to for much longer.

Therein lies the first of the refreshing elements of the show. These 25-year-old women are depicted as ambitious and keen to chase their dreams at work, as opposed to solely worrying about their love lives - although those love lives are quite something, too.

Aisha Dee as Kat, Meghann Fahy as Sutton, and Katie Stevens as Jane, in The Bold Type.
Aisha Dee as Kat, Meghann Fahy as Sutton, and Katie Stevens as Jane, in The Bold Type.

The editor of Scarlet magazine, Jacqueline (The Office's Melora Hardin), is also a nice deviation from the norm.

With on-screen editors usually conjuring up images of the beastly Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada, Jacqueline's firm but supportive approach in coaching her staff is a breath of fresh air. Behold! A female boss who isn't portrayed as just a hard-nosed bitch.

The show's incredibly silly at times, but in very self-aware ways, such as when millennials have to figure out how to stalk an ex without the use of social media or when Jacqueline is told Beyonce is on the phone for her and she says she'll call her back. As if anybody would keep the goddess Beyonce waiting.

The Bold Type veers into cheesy territory often and the characters are as impossibly glossy as the magazine itself, but it's fun. It's also sex positive and non-judgmental. And it has young women being brave and being there for each other, making it a pleasure that's not nearly as guilty as first impressions might suggest.

• Press is available to stream on Lightbox, while The Bold Type is available to stream on Neon.