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After months of anticipation, Caitlyn Jenner finally makes her long-awaited E! debut Sunday. After a decade spent on Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Jenner has now graduated to her own show, I Am Cait, following her transition earlier this year. And while I Am Cait hails from the same network and the same producers, the show is a far cry from her former TV stomping grounds.
In advance of Sunday’s premiere, E! screened the first episode for reporters Tuesday. Here’s what we learned about what viewers can expect:
1. Things get candid quickly
The first hour features Caitlyn’s first meeting with her mom and two sisters – the former is naturally extremely emotional. However, one of the more honest moments comes when Caitlyn answers a FaceTime request from her youngest daughter, Kylie Jenner, and realizes it’s the first time her daughter has seen her post-transition. Although unsure what to do and whether her daughter might be alarmed by transformation, Kylie takes the lead and is complimentary and reassuring.
2. There’s plenty of humor
The exchange between Caitlyn and Kylie is touching, but also surprisingly funny because it takes place while the latter is at the dentist and admittedly “loopy.” And that’s not all. When Kim Kardashian West stops by to say hello, she and Caitlyn share a good chuckle when they realize that one of Caitlyn’s favorite dresses, a Tom Ford number, is also hanging in the closet of ex-wife Kris Jenner. When Jenner suggests a “who wore it best” contest with her ex-wife, laughter erupts.
3. The Kardashians don’t hide in the shadows
In many ways, I Am Cait is a far cry from Keeping Up With the Kardashians and its various spinoffs. However, the Kardashians are still very much a part of the show. Less than five minutes into the series, as Caitlyn is overwhelmed by the positive feedback to her Vanity Fair cover, two of the first phone calls she receives are from Kim and the elusive Rob Kardashian. Both Kim and Kylie also appear in person, stopping by to give — natch — beauty advice, in addition to moral support. Even Scott Disick, whose status on future seasons of Keeping Up With the Kardashians is in question following his recent reported breakup with Kourtney Kardashian, appears in a future episode, according to a preview. But unlike Jenner’s mother and sisters, who at times speak directly to the camera in confessionals, the Kardashians do not.
4. Yeezus talks
One of the more surprising faces on I Am Cait is Kanye West. Although he’s been in a relationship with Kim for three years, the rapper’s presence on Keeping Up With the Kardashians has always been kept to a minimum — or has much as it can be when someone is married to a reality star. In stark contrast, he is engaging and animated when he and Kim stop by, maybe speaking more in the first episode of I Am Cait than he has for entire seasons of Keeping Up.
5. The consultants weigh in too
When E! first formally announced the series in April, the network also revealed the names of three different consultants who would be involved in production. One of which, Susan P. Landon, M.A., LMFT, director of child and adolescent services at the Los Angeles Gender Center, also contributes in front of the camera. Landon sits down with Caitlyn and her two sisters and mom to discuss her recent transition, and she also speaks to the cameras directly about said sit-down with the family.
6. A look at the bigger picture
Rather than simply focus on just Caitlyn’s journey, I Am Cait attempts to shed a light on the bigger issues facing the transgender community. Caitlyn repeatedly lists off the numbers of suicide rates and murder rates for transgender individuals, and the episode also ends with information about the Trevor Lifeline (of The Trevor Project). Furthermore, Caitlyn travels hours south to visit the family of a transgender teen who committed suicide.
7. There are still references to Bruce
The opening credits feature images and references to Caitlyn’s Olympic past, and the cameras don’t shy away from showing family members’ gradual adjustment to using the right name and pronoun for Caitlyn.
8. The heavy media attention on Caitlyn is addressed
Although some reality shows struggle to figure out just how to deal with the rising profile of its stars while also continuing to capture true moments of everyday life, Caitlyn’s issues with the paparazzi are discussed head-on in the first episode. On one trip out of town, she must switch cars not twice, but three times, and tells the filming crew the reported going rate for a picture of her is north of $200,000.
I Am Cait premieres Sunday at 8 p.m. on E!
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