I am Cait review: a celebrity show with substance

25 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Caitlyn Jenner has a transgender religious naming ceremony with guests all dressed in white… and gets serenaded by Boy George.

Caitlyn Jenner is ready for her close-up with the launch of her reality show on Sunday but Americans may not be as eager to welcome the former Olympic champion as a transgender woman onto their televisions, cereal boxes and billboards. A packed Greek Theater gave Caitlyn Jenner a standing ovation as she introduced Culture Club’s performance in Los Angeles, California, on Friday night.And on Thursday, the 65-year-old commemorated her new identity with a transgender religious naming ceremony, something which is becoming increasingly more popular within the trans community.’s docuseries I Am Cait premieres Sunday, July 26, on E!, and will document the Olympic gold medalist’s life post-transition, as well as her evolving relationship with her family –– including daughters Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner.

While everybody keeps talking about our current cultural moment as a TV “Golden Age,” the more significant story is how television – more than any other medium – is reflecting society, in all its diversity.In the opening of E!’s highly anticipated, certainly heartfelt but anticlimactic reality show “I Am Cait” (premiering Sunday), we travel to the top of the severely parched hills that overlook Malibu, Calif., where Caitlyn Jenner sits in her house surrounded by those who act as friends or advisers or stylists (the distinctions blur) while she is basking, nervously, in the instant sensation of her Vanity Fair magazine cover appearance. Despite the furor last month over Jenner’s glamorous coming out Vanity Fair photo as Caitlyn, she still has a way to go to keep up with Kim Kardashian – her reality queen step-daughter – in terms of popular appeal, according to marketing experts. “In New York and California, she (Jenner) has become a very accepted story. The Olympian, who was seen giving a speech to the crowd while surrounded by flowers, wore a short white dress with cut-out sections on the arms, and the guests were asked to wear white too. Before Caitlyn, 65, came out as transgender during her groundbreaking Diane Sawyer interview, the former Olympian identified as Bruce Jenner and was a fixture on E!’s Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

We’ve already seen strides in series that include the experiences of Asian and African American families (ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat,” and “Black-ish”) and racial divides (“American Crime.”) And television has been in the forefront of telling stories about the lives of gays and lesbians with such series as “Modern Family,” “Glee,” and Ellen DeGeneres’ ’90s sitcom, “Ellen,” and her hit syndicated talk show. The release of that cover image in early June — more like a detonation — sets off a flurry of congratulatory phone calls, including one from Cait’s ultra-famous stepdaughter Kim Kardashian. “All eyes on you now,” Kim says. “You cannot disappoint.” Hank Stuever has been The Post’s TV critic since 2009. While they were not previously known to be friends, the Culture Club frontman voiced his support for Caitlyn after she revealed she was transitioning into a woman. ‘I absolutely applaud what he’s doing and I think it’s very brave. While it doesn’t appear that Lord Disick used this advice, Caitlyn sat him down and dished some parenting wisdom: “Auntie Khloe is great, but it’s important that their dad’s around.

View Archive It’s a stern counsel, and it sets the tone for the entire show, which is not so much a full-on reality show as it is a show about spreading a message of acceptance and positive vibes. Caitlyn Jenner has already been the subject of publicity and curiosity, first for an ABC interview with Diane Sawyer, which aired in April, and marked the last TV appearance of Bruce Jenner. The star seemed subdued, but stayed standing throughout the performance, with fans using it as an opportunity to take some snap shows of the reality star.

Caitlyn comforted Kim about the fact that her late father, Robert Kardashian, wasn’t around to witness her marriage to Kris Humphries, saying: “I wish he was here too. Now that Jenner has made the transition to life as a woman, her new look got another burst of attention after it was unveiled in a July issue of Vanity Fair cover story. I wanted people not to care about whether you were gay, straight, black, white, transgender, whatever it may be.’ That same day, Caitlyn’s ex-wife Kris Jenner threw a surprise high school graduation party for their youngest daughter Kylie, which all of the Kardashians were at. An article by GLAAD cites a couple of examples of ceremonies that have taken place, where guests give thanks as the adoption of the new name is celebrated, along with the ‘fluidity of identity and self-expression’. The comedy-with-drama recently earned several 2015 Emmy nominations, including a nod for Tambor as lead actor in a comedy, and outstanding comedy series.

That is where brands are being very cautious at the moment.” In 1977, after winning an Olympic gold medal for the decathlon, Bruce Jenner graced the Wheaties box and became a spokesman for the cereal. If you’re not up on this story and its recent developments (the amicable-as-possible separation from Kris Jenner and Kardashian world; the Diane Sawyer interview; the Vanity Fair cover; the acceptance speech for the Arthur Ashe Courage Award), then I doubt my powers to coax you out from under your rock. Caitlyn Jenner’s son Brody Jenner has expressed continued support for his father’s transition, but their relationship was strained during Brody’s childhood.

Suffice to say that Jenner’s reemergence as Caitlyn has been remarkable for its accompanying gestures of goodwill and support from the public at large. Millennials are more likely to respond positively to Caitlyn Jenner than older people, according to Megan Hartman, strategy director at Red Peak Youth branding agency in New York. “I think brands would be very smart to align themselves with her because she is such a brave spokesperson. The TV show wisely begins this journey by bringing in Jenner’s mother, Esther, and two siblings, Lisa and Pam, so that they can “meet” Cait for the first time. Although not without some tears and apprehension, the scenes between Cait and her mother come closer than anything else to wiping away a producer’s tendency toward artifice; nothing shines through like the love a mother has for her child.

In probably her best parenting moment to date, Caitlyn caught Kylie with a boy in her room and totally laid down the law. “Hey, we have rules in this house. Though she is fully invested in her glamourous duty to carry the torch for all transgender people everywhere, I hope Jenner also finds the freedom to be embarrassing and strange. Okay, so this was less of a good parenting moment and more of a good daughter moment –– but watching Khloe Kardashian support Caitlyn’s transition on E!’s About Bruce special in May 2015 was beautiful. “Do you know how nice this is?” Caitlyn told Khloe when she brought her stepfather heels. “Do you know how nice this is and how much I appreciate it?”

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