Pasadena, Calif. — Promising to convene a more complex and serious discussion of transgender issues, the second season of I Am Cait will debut March 6 and mark the election year with a more pronounced political undercurrent.
“We're going to meet the people," star Caitlyn Jenner said during a session at TCA winter press tour Thursday. A long section of the trailer for Season 2 that premiered just before the panel takes place on a bus on which the show's cast takes a cross-country road trip. It's not quite a campaign bus, but a venue for free-wheeling, sometimes heated, dialogue as Middle America rolls by.
Jenner has been a longtime Republican with conservative beliefs, and the tabloids have zeroed in on the tension between her political sympathies and the stance of many Republicans on same-sex marriage and other issues related to transgender rights.
"I try to tell the girls [on the show], 'It's kind of good that Republicans haven't been very good,'" Jenner said. "Isn't it good that they have somebody on the inside who can try to win them over?"
The trailer for the show revealed how Jenner's emergence after gender reassignment amid a sensational Vanity Fair cover and a meteor shower of fanfare has prompted a backlash among some members of the transgender community.
"I am not a spokesman for this community," Jenner said. "I am only a spokesman for me and my story. I have so much to learn in this community. I have so much to learn about trans issues and about being a woman. I'm only 9 months out now."
It was important to Jenner that the show not go down the same path as the wildly successful, and comparatively hedonistic, Keeping Up With the Kardashians franchise.
"It was a conscious decision that we wanted the show to be about issues," she said. "Sure, we all love good clothes. But we wanted to make something different. I love my kids. I have a great relationship with all my children. But I wanted to maintain that distance."
Andrea Metz, the show's executive producer, noted that the presence of the Kardashians will be increasing in Season 2. From a ratings standpoint, while I Am Cait rocketed out of the gate, it fell to earth during the run as viewers recognized that the show was a more reflective, at times even documentary-style, portrait of a gender transition -- "We don't shy away from family dynamics. .... We'll see a lot more of the Kardashians this season."
Asked about Ricky Gervais, whose hosting stint at Sunday's Golden Globes featured a controversial monologue joke about Jenner, she said only, "What I'm going to do is call the Golden Globes and see if they want a new host for next year."
When another reporter asked about Jenner's fitness and regimen, she got one of the biggest laughs of the day by deadpanning, "Eat your Wheaties."