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The Boston Globe

Television

Television Review

‘Raising McCain’ is a genre-buster

There’s something super-duper flashy about the look and structure of “Raising McCain,” which is constantly in motion. Meghan McCain’s new series run-skips from format to format and style to style — it’s a talk show, but then it’s a newsmagazine, but then it’s a celeb-reality-com, but then it’s none of them entirely. It’s a genre-buster of a half-hour, defying easy labeling in the same way McCain, daughter of Senator John McCain, hopes to avoid getting pigeonholed as a traditional Republican.

But underneath the lively shape-shifting surface, there are just new depths of irritation waiting to be plumbed. There are banal insights on issues such as privacy, feminism, and sex. There are forced cutesy sidebars about a mounted deer head named George Jones and faux creative images of McCain holding a camera and filming the person she’s talking to. There are “F” words all over McCain’s dialogue, as she strains to prove that she is cool. There are endless vanity shots of her and her peeps — including her brother Jimmy — that remind us of what the show really is: One big TV selfie.

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