Meghan McCain, the (in her words) "young, cool Republican woman for other Republican women,” has a talk show now. In the first two episodes alone, Sen. John McCain's daughter takes on big issues like privacy and feminism. She also says the f-word a lot. Unfortunately, critics don't think her "edginess" makes the show any better.
You can only watch the first episode of Raising McCain online now, but the show will be airing on Pivot, a new cable channel geared towards Millenials. According to The New Yorker's Emily Nussbaum, the channel had a soft launch last month. Nussbaum writes on Monday that she was tempted to write "some sort of contrarian defense of [McCain's] new show," but "McCain is a headache, all empty go-girl aphorisms." Erin Gloria Ryan at Jezebel is a bit stronger: she says the feminism episode sounds like "a parody of fifth wave window dressing feminist platitudes that serve more to indulge McCain's almost Jenna Maroney-esque self-serving narcissism than to critically examine a social movement." Nussbaum describes the episode, which will air September 21:
[It] spirals into anxious segments about whether you can be a “sexy feminist.” “Who doesn’t like getting attention from the opposite sex?” McCain asks, in voice-over. She interviews a porn star and a feminist sex blogger. She complains about having had a “traumatizing experience” giving a speech at Reed College: “I totally cried? Like a baby, afterward?”
... Out of the blue, a banner unfurls bearing the cover of Sheryl Sandberg’s book, “Lean In,” accompanied by another earnest McCain voice-over: “I want a brand of feminism that speaks to the challenges women face at work now.” Statistics appear, “Pop Up Video” style. There’s a random interview with the New York City Council member Inez Dickens, who reassures McCain that she’s a role model for young women... The episode concludes with McCain giving a speech to teen-agers; paranoically, she accuses a boy in the audience of looking bored. “I’m gonna fuckin’ call myself a feminist in the same way I’m gonna fuckin’ call myself a Republican,” she announces...
Though in the previews for Raising McCain, McCain says "it's just me being me," she is adamant that series is not a reality show. She told Politico Sunday, “Reality show has such nasty, ridiculous connotations. I think people in politics love the idea of me being Snooki, going out and making this ridiculous, tawdry reality show... I would like to do something substantive." Then she explains the impetus for a later episode: "One of my girlfriends was sent a d—- picture, and I start talking about it in a meeting and that’s an episode."
All those f-words might make McCain's show feel uncensored, but they do not make it deep. In the first episode, she addresses some friends on a park bench, red solo cup in hand. "What can the average fucking American do to help everyone?" she asks. What indeed.
Photos via Youtube.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.