Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 9 March, 2021

'Trailblazing and bland': The Caitlyn Jenner documentary reviews are in

“A terrible reality show”.

CAITLYN JENNER’S EAGERLY anticipated documentary premiered on E! last night.

Since Jenner announced that had undergone gender transitioning and would be featured in a documentary detailing the process and her introduction of Caitlyn to her family, the spotlight has been bright, sometimes harsh but often encouraging.

So how did episode one fare? Is Jenner’s sometimes-disputed braveryon show? Is this the new Kardashians? Is it good TV?

“Trailblazing and bland”

Vulture described each scene as being “as choreographed as a ballet” and calls the overall experience “trailblazing and bland”:

…a triangulation of the inauthenticity of “unscripted” programming, the inherent performative aspects of celebrity, and the unmeetable standards we have for marginalized people. The show is bland for the right reasons, and perhaps that’s for the best.

The Hollywood Reporter  meanwhile is kinder still, calling I Am Cait “an impressively nuanced effort that may well succeed in changing hearts and minds.”

“A terrible reality show”

Slate concedes that I Am Cait is “neither invasive or self-obsessed”, as might have been the case with a show made by the same people who made Keeping Up With The Kardashian. Rather Slate feels that I Am Cait is simply a “terrible reality show” which manages something we could never have imagined: “dullness”.

I am Cait assiduously avoids any ungainly, raw, or non-PC-feelings. As with the episodes off Keeping Up With The Kardashians that have chronicled Caitlyn’s coming-out, no one has lost it, cried, gotten angry, or said anything nasty.

All planned?

The Atlantic observes that the biggest takeaway from the first I Am Cait installment is that fame interacts strangely with something as personal as a gender transition”, pointing out that Jenner’s mother and one of her daughter’s were introduced to Caitlyn after her big reveal interview with Diane Sawyer.

The Atlantic goes on to wonder about the theatrics of it all:

But when the mission is to humanize a group of people, credibility counts. Jenner, at one point, wonders whether some of her kids and stepkids haven’t yet visited her because they secretly disapprove of her transition. But the viewer may wonder right back at her whether their absence was planned, so that emotional meet-and-greets could later take place on camera.

And what about the viewers?

There were tears:


And jokes:


Everyone is talking about Caitlyn Jenner’s emotional speech at last night’s ESPN awards

About the author:

Emer McLysaght

Read next: