Hillary and Chelsea Clinton’s Apple TV + Docuseries – The Hollywood Reporter

Apple TV+’s Gutsy is nothing if not sane. Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton are clearly aiming for inspiration and edification with their archives of interviews with heroes and celebrities from all walks of life, and they tend to find it no matter what. they are talking to academics, activists or firefighters. The causes they highlight are largely indisputable, at least if your political background closely matches the Clintons’ family; their subjects are clearly admirable; Their stories are strongly affirmative.

For certain viewers – a devoted Clinton fan or a budding feminist in search of role models, for example – that can make for a profile of many influential issues. to Americans today, from motherhood and environmentalism to the fight for LGBTQ rights. And its omnivorous taste and impressive accessibility ensures that any viewer can find it some segment they will connect with over eight of its 40-minute episodes. However, in its relentless, relentless quest for sublimation, the series turns its back on complexity, depth, or even much character. While GutsyIts good intentions make people dislike, its shallowness also makes it difficult to love.


Key point

Purposeful, palatable editing.

Release date: Friday, September 9 (Apple TV+)
Production operator: Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, Johnny Webb, Siobhan Sinnerton, Roma Khanna, Ken Druckerman, Banks Tarver, Anna Chai

Let’s get this out of the way first: If you have strong views against the Clintons, Gutsy inability (or even really trying) to change your mind. This series is less of a pitch to the Clintons than an opportunity for the Clintons to create a platform for other individuals and issues they deem worthwhile. (And no, Bill Clinton won’t show up, in case you’re wondering.) Even pro-Clinton viewers, however, may find themselves stumbling upon the first obvious problem with Gutsy: namely, whether you think of them as individuals or public figures, the Clintons lackluster as TV presenters.

Each episode incorporates a number of interviews centered around a specific theme — “Intrepid Women Have Rebellious Hearts,” “Intrepid Women Are Forces of Nature,” etc. — often done around. some practice activities. Voiced narration by one of the Clintons or the seemingly “normal” scripted conversations between the two of them act as wits in between. Sometimes, these transitions bring unexpected moments of warmth and brevity. I’ll admit it, I snorted at the unforgivable cheesy “de-brie” joke.

But although both Hillary and Chelsea have spent decades in the spotlight, neither seems comfortable with the purported vibe of the docuseries, or all that is desired. reveal anything more about themselves than they already have. Arguably, it’s hard to blame them for their reticence. Carefully curated anecdotes shared by the Clintons here include Chelsea memories of watching Saturday night live mocked her appearance as a child and Hillary’s Brazilian lingerie advert uses provocatively revealing dress photos of her during her state visit as First Lady. (Hence, she has a famous preference for trousers.) They have reason to feel exposed. However, it makes the TV unhappy as the two central characters are made to look uneditable, they are completely apart.

There is less justification for a scripted transition written with all the fanfare of a school-level book report. (Take a picture every time someone says “guts” in this series, and you’ll have a very strong buzz will follow at the end of your binge.) “I think it was one of the most fun afternoons we’ve had. And we learned a lot. We laughed a lot,” Hillary commented about late-night host Amber Ruffin’s home visit on episode six. By that point, we had seen the footage, so we knew it looked really fun and educational, and the Clintons really had a blast with the board reading an episode sketch. focuses on clothes made for them by Ruffin and her writers. But you wouldn’t know it because of the tediousness of the words used to describe the event.

The Clintons rated better sitting down, seeming more comfortable listening while others made their case. The subjects that attract the most attention are undoubtedly the big names: A-list celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Megan Thee Stallion, and cultural leaders like Dolores Huerta and Gloria Steinem. But it’s often the slightly lesser known individuals who bring up the most engaging conversations – like Ceyenne Doroshow, founder of GLITS, who emotionally talks about serving as a mother to one. the ever-growing network of young transgender people, or inventor Alice Min Soo Chun, whose content considers the prototyping process inappropriate. Undoubtedly, largely because we haven’t heard everything they have to say.

In the best segments, the interviewee and the act come together to bring a multifaceted (albeit still minor) flavor of the subject at hand. In “Gutsy Women Stand Up,” activist and academic Kimberlé Crenshaw gives the Clintons a mini tour at a Met Museum exhibit of Seneca Village as a way to discuss her work in the field. critical racial theory. It’s a great use of Crenshaw’s few minutes of screen time, providing just enough for viewers to be moved by the exhibit itself, or peruse more of Crenshaw’s writing.

But that alchemy is often out of reach. I guess it’s cute to see the Clintons take a tango lesson with Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson while chatting about the mother-daughter relationship – but all the interaction ultimately conveys is fun. vague about how “becoming a mother is one of the bravest things you can do. can do.” (There’s that word again.)

GutsyTheir roster of heroes is certainly impressive, and the issues they raise are worth pondering. If the series brings more recognition to some of these women and the work they do, perhaps it’s a worthwhile endeavor just for that reason. But it can be a frustrating watch for anyone who is really involved enough with these ideas and is interested in being curious about their nuances. For example, there is very little crosstalk between famous names (comedian Negin Farsad, journalist Jemele Hill, gun control activist Shannon Watts) gathering for a brunch to discuss anti-corruption. revisits harassment and vigor in “The Brave Woman Who Rejects Hate,” as well as explores much of how the community-based Yurok Tribe justice system is highlighted in “Gutsy Women Seek Justice.” may conflict with more traditional policy approaches mentioned elsewhere in the episode.

To do so may be in court and controversy, and Gutsy Try to focus on spreading the good vibes as much as possible. This method has its merits. It produces a quick and reliable dose of empowerment, and a solid summary of brilliant, determined, accomplished people to look up to later. But it also keeps the show from ever feeling as profound as it could be, or as complex as all the prominent individuals in it certainly are. It prevents Gutsyin other words, from living up to its own title.

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