Jumping back and forth in time from her rabble-rousing student years to her groundbreaking 2016 Presidential bid, this docuseries is an affectionate and clear-eyed portrait of the first woman President who almost was. Hillary's thesis statement is found close to the beginning of the limited series, when the subject addresses the camera to imagine what a fitting headstone might read upon her passing: "She's neither as good, nor as bad, as people say." But though Hillary makes a decided case for the latter statement -- the email server kerfuffle that many say tanked her Presidential campaign is investigated early, and more or less dismissed as a bunch of trumped-up partisan nonsense -- the featured interviewees seem to hold uniformly high opinions of her. From former classmates to political officials to reporters, up to and including her husband, former President Bill Clinton, she is clearly held in the upmost regard by many in her professional and personal circles.
Viewers who mainly see Hillary Clinton as an elder politico will get a kick out of Hillary's first episode, which looks in on Clinton's years at Wellesley and Yale, where she was one of only 27 women in the law school. In vintage photos and video -- including a priceless glimpse of Clinton at the Watergate hearings -- her wild '60s getups and Coke bottle glasses are an amazing contrast to her famous modern sleek pantsuits, helping the viewer grasp the origins of Clinton's moderate-progressive political leanings. The next episodes, in which we traverse Clinton's bumpy introduction to the American public as First Lady, and delve into the "Zippergate" scandal of the late '90s, are more emotional and painful. But the last episode, which revolves around Clinton's time in the Senate and her emergence as the Democratic candidate for the 2016 election, is even more difficult to watch. Even as Clinton's ambitions were crushed, so was a significant part of the electorate, igniting a rage and hurt that still lingers for many. Hillary Clinton's detractors are unlikely to watch this lovely docuseries, and that's a shame, because the real woman it uncovers is something to behold.