I Am Cait is as moving as you hoped it would be, and as serious and educational as it needs to be--featuring a very controlled message about what it means to be transgender in the year 2015 and what Caitlyn Jenner’s journey does and, more importantly, does not have in common with that reality.
The premiere episode is emotional but controlled.... But at its most affecting it’s about something that can’t be massaged and mediated: a woman trying to live an honest life with her family, trying to close the decades-long distance between her self-image and her self presentation.
While Jenner’s interactions with her extended family are clearly part of the narrative, there’s a pandering quality to shoehorning the couple [Kim Kardashian and Kanye West] and daughter Kylie into the premiere, as if E! and the producers needed a security blanket to make sure they catered to that audience too.
I Am Cait is, on some level, the most respectful melding of television’s notion of cinema verite and Hollywood’s highest form of top-notch, controlled publicity. Rarely could a show be so completely about the management of reactions.