I Am Cait

TV review by
Jenny Nixon, Common Sense Media
I Am Cait TV Poster Image
Gender transition explored tastefully -- for reality TV.

Parents say

age 18+
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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The show focuses not only on Caitlyn Jenner's own journey but also on empathy and acceptance toward the transgender community in general.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Jenner's family and friends try to be accepting and supportive. Jenner strives to make a difference in the lives of other transgender people.


There is discussion of hate crimes and bullying and talk of the suicide and murder statistics in the transgender community.


Sexual orientation and gender are discussed; references to surgery and hormones.


Awkwardly placed promotions for hair extensions and sneakers from members of Jenner's family stick out like sore thumbs.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some drinks are consumed by adults.

What parents need to know

I Am Cait documents the trials and tribulations of Olympic athlete/Kardashian stepparent Caitlyn Jenner (formerly known as Bruce) during her very public transition to female. Understandably, there's a lot of talk about gender roles and sexuality, with references to body parts and the differences between men and women. (Caitlyn remarks, "Now I know why you girls need to wear sports bras!" while playing tennis.) There's also talk of bullying, depression, and suicide as the show explores the issues faced by the transgender community in general and Caitlyn as an individual.

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What's the story?

I AM CAIT is a reality series centered on Caitlyn Jenner, the former Olympian who has more recently been seen as a cast/family member on Keeping Up with the Kardashians. The show chronicles Caitlyn's journey as she learns what it really means to finally be living authentically, after struggling behind the scenes for years with feeling like a woman but not living as one. As she adjusts, so must her friends and family. Attention also is paid to Caitlyn's status as a celebrity figure and how this positions her to be a spokesperson for the trans community -- ready or not -- and what this responsibility entails.

Is it any good?

Coming from the network that spawned a zillion Housewives series, the show strikes a tone that can be refreshingly thoughtful and touching. Still, this is E!, so the fact that it occasionally veers away from meaningful emotion and toward glamour and product placements is not exactly shocking. In a scene where Kylie Jenner sees her dad in person for the first time in full Caitlyn mode, what could have been an introspective contemplation on parenthood and gender roles instead became an excuse for Caitlyn to "spontaneously" try on Kylie's trademark line of hair extensions. When stepdaughter Kim Kardashian stops by with husband Kanye West, things also go south. The conversation kicks off with supportive comments from West about Caitlyn's bravery -- comments that could have been pretty powerful, culturally speaking, coming from a popular male celebrity -- but it ultimately turns into a ridiculously obvious and out-of-place plug for his sneaker line with Adidas.

I Am Cait is most successful when it drops the reality show tropes and the focus on how good Jenner looks as a woman and instead explores trans issues and how the family is adjusting. Caitlyn seems genuinely concerned about her unique place in the world and ruminates a lot on the fact that she is in a more privileged position than most as a wealthy public figure with a supportive family. It's when she's shown spending time with those outside the celebrity bubble, working to be a force for positive change, that the show and Caitlyn herself are at their best.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about being transgender and what kinds of issues someone might face when she feels as though she were born into the wrong physical body.

  • Caitlyn Jenner has money, fame, and a loving family. Would her life and her experience with transitioning be different without these things?

TV details

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