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.