Parents' Guide to

I Am Cait

By Jenny Nixon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Gender transition explored tastefully -- for reality TV.

TV E! Reality TV 2015
I Am Cait Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

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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.

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