This Sunday kicks off the second season of the E! network’s reality series “I Am Cait,” which you probably know follows the real-life adventures of Caitlyn Jenner, undeniably the most famous transgender person in the world.
As Bruce disappeared, the first season was a lot of discovery by both Caitlyn and the viewer about this new life and her true self emerging. The second season is looking back on that first year as well as looking forward.
Like any human being, Caitlyn made a few mistakes along the way and, no surprise, she's still making them here and there. But she's also doing things right by spreading the word on what it's like to be transgender. And, as we know, the more visibility for anything that people don't necessarily understand, the better.
In the new season, Caitlyn decides to take a trip…a big trip on a bus, in fact, with a group of her transgender friends including actress Candis Cayne, Chandi Moore, teen Ella Giselle (who we meet in the premiere) and activist Jenny Boylan. The destination? America!
I had the chance to check out the season premiere, and here are eight things to know about what you’re going to see:
The Trans Bus: It’s a nice ride, people! The bus that drives the ladies on their journey is not swanky, but it is roomy and, as Boylan points out, just small enough that Caitlyn won’t be able to hide when the tough and touchy subjects come up. But the setting does provide an intimacy to a lot of the conversations. Whether it was staged or not, there are moments where the trans women all seem to be on the same side of the bus and Caitlyn is solo on the other, which is reflective of a lot of their conflict on touchy subjects.
Other voices heard: One of my favorite parts of the second season is we get to hear more from the other trans people in Caitlyn’s life and, like any reality show, they comment on Caitlyn’s choices, her politics and how she handles pretty much everything. The upside is it all comes from a place of friendship, never over the top dramatics that the tabloids would probably prefer.
Love…with Candis Cayne? Are the two trans women hooking up? Is there more going on than friendship? Should we be hashtagging #Candit? No spoilers here, but the subject is addressed and answered in the premiere episode.
Caitlyn’s sexuality is discussed: Since it seems to always be a big question, it’s no surprise that E! is pushing the topic of Caitlyn’s sexuality in the trailers and in the first episode. Caitlyn has said in the ads that she’s done dating women (“been there, done that”), so the alternative would be men. Could we possibly see Caitlyn on a date with a man in the second season? We’ll have to wait and see, but the subject is brought up and we get a good sense of where Caitlyn is on the topic, at least at the moment of filming the series.
Political talk in abundance: With a bus full of Democrat trans women and Jenner being the only Republican, of course politics are going to come up, and it results in some of the biggest, most dramatic moments. When the subject of which candidates care the most about LGBT issues, Caitlyn contends that Republicans care but, in her opinion, there are more pressing issues than that. Of course, Cayne and Boylan have their opinions on that, which they share. I’m not a big fan of listening to people discuss politics, but Caitlyn’s firm stance on being a Republican is compelling and, for me, also bothersome and reflective of a lot of the country’s thinking when people champion someone like Donald Trump. (Caitlyn doesn’t do that in the first episode. That’s just my opinion.)
Caitlyn wants to do it right: “There’s just too much at stake to get it wrong,” Caitlyn says in the season two preview, and if there’s one thing you get from the show it’s that she’s sincere in that sentiment. She may put her foot in her mouth and voice her opinions not considering (or caring) what people think, but she does seem to know what her job is. Will she use that influence to change minds of politicians who don’t seem to think trans and LGBT issues as a whole are important? That remains to be seen.
Fun to be had: While the serious topics of politics, sexuality and Jenner’s mistakes on her journey all come up frequently, there is also fun to be had on the trip, and the show balances the moments out across the board. In the first episode, for example, we see everyone take a helicopter ride through the Grand Canyon, and there are many moments of the girls talking and laughing and, well, being girlfriends.
Hillary! Hillary! Hillary! There is talk early on about the ladies making a stop at a Democratic campaign event where they hope to cross paths with none other than presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. That moment is not in the first episode, but in the package previewing what’s to come in the new season, we do see Hillary and Caitlyn come face-to-face. Will Hillary have the power to change Caitlyn’s mind? I’m not hopeful, but that clearly will be a big moment in the season.
“I Am Cait” airs Sundays at 9 pm on E!
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.