A review of “Gutsy,” hosted by Hillary and Chelsea Clinton (TV-MA, eight episodes, AppleTV).

Chelsea Knows Best

On the list of things I hoped to see before I die, the visage of Hillary Clinton covered in a large dress resembling the Ukrainian flag and dancing the tango was neither what I expected nor wanted. And yet, here I was, steeling myself to finish the eighth and final episode of the docuseries, “Gutsy,” streaming now on AppleTV. It’s partially produced by Hillary and her daughter, Chelsea, and the mother-daughter team serves as hosts as they travel America and the world in search of “gutsy women.” 

The series is based on The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience, co-authored by Hillary and Chelsea in 2019. The series is divided into eight parts and each part has a theme: humor, justice, “rebel hearts,” “forces of nature,” and mothering, among others. Although the mother-daughter duo talks to some unknown women, the series is mostly comprised of famous media personalities who, according to the show, exhibit “gutsiness.” 

We see comedian Amy Schumer telling us about her difficult and gutsy pregnancy; Wanda Sykes doling out some gutsy Trump hate; rapper Megan Thee [pronounced “the”] Stallion painting pretty pictures with Hillary and Chelsea while talking about the gutsiness to rap about her “wet ass pussy”; author Glennon Doyle’s gutsy decision to leave her husband and marry former soccer player Abby Wambach; Kim Kardashian’s gutsiness to “study” law; Gloria Steinem’s gutsy decision to have an abortion; Jane Goodall’s gutsiness to talk to chimpanzees when no one else would; Symone, a man turned gutsy drag queen; union activist Dolores Huerta, whose gutsiness to fight for migrant workers was more important than being fully present to her 11 children; and let’s not forget Hillary herself, whose gutsiest decision was to stay married to Bill. 

Did I mention that all of these women are gutsy?

If it seems strange or awkward to you that Hillary and Chelsea Clinton are the conduits through which we meet women who are said to possess courage, it would be hard to say you are wrong. What can a privileged elite, whose lives are based on one political cliché after another, offer in terms of wisdom to the masses? Well, not much of course. Happily for them, since such is not actually the purpose of the series, they move along quickly to the real work. The real intention is to bring forth every possible woke cause du jour, extol its virtues, and suppress and oppress normalcy.

The ever-present elephant in the room is the hypocrisy of these leftist elites. Racism and hatred exist only in the minds of the “far-right” they intone, but what that means is purely subjective. One thing is clear: many black guests on the show are advocating division among Americans, as well as some form of punishment for white Americans. It boggles the mind that Hillary and Chelsea (who are, you may have noticed, white) simply nod along in agreement. 

People on the Left talk a good game about sweetness, togetherness, and compassion, until it comes to middle America, the South, and anyone else who disagrees with them. These people, they insist, are stupid and racist and must be dismissed. These are usual tropes and clichés that are always present in leftism. Nothing has changed in that regard, yet it’s clear from the series that Hillary needs to get with the times. She’s a boomer dinosaur who needs to be shown the ways of the new world woke order. The conduit for Hillary is none other than her own spawn, Chelsea.

We are meant to accept that Chelsea is the “cool and hip one,” like the kind of daughter who must teach her old-fashioned mother how to use a smartphone and email. In fact, Chelsea continuously disregards her mother’s life and illustrates to her how she needs to accept the new generation of leftism. It’s not Hillary’s turn anymore, and throughout the series, Chelsea is leading her mother around as if she has early onset Alzheimers. Watching Chelsea “educate” Hillary on rap music, which she has been listening to for “decades,” is absurd and funny. It’s clear that Hillary doesn’t care for it, and if she were truly “gutsy” she would not have sheepishly apologized for being old and supposedly behind the times, but asserted her opinion. 

And yet, even Chelsea’s fake gutsiness (after all, what is she but a privileged daughter of a former president) has its limits. Both the mother and daughter bow before every black guest and they reveal a sense of performative weakness. They want to be punished and they keep coming back for more. At times, it seems that they don’t really want to even participate, which is also true of the guests. There is a perpetual awkwardness between Hillary and the celebrity guests who, in most cases one imagines, probably voted for Barack Obama and not Hillary Rodham Clinton when the choice was between them. 

There were a few stories of women who made it through difficult times. One woman they met with was shot by her fiancé 10 times and survived, only to later become an NYPD detective. Another woman is a survivor of sexual abuse who found solace in nature, became an explorer, and climbed Mount Everest. But even these so-called “regular” women are celebrities within their own circles, and ultimately have become motivational speakers of some kind, or community organizers, banking on their past. 

“Gutsy” is divisive, misandrist, and doesn’t explore womanhood authentically. It’s entirely composed of woke talking points. In addition, some of its feminism is negated by the inclusion of transgender people and activists. And yet, given all of these offenses, its biggest offense is that it is utterly driven by clichés. Oprahesque in nature, it has nothing to do with reality but with the aspirations of a certain kind of woman: one who is disconnected from men and children, and tuned into various forms of narcissism. In Florence King’s immortal words, “The Great Girl.”

About Emina Melonic

Emina Melonic is an adjunct fellow of the Center for American Greatness. Originally from Bosnia, a survivor of the Bosnian war and its aftermath of refugee camps, she immigrated to the United States in 1996 and became an American citizen in 2003. She has a Ph.D. in comparative literature. Her writings have appeared in National Review, The Imaginative Conservative, New English Review, The New Criterion, Law and Liberty, The University Bookman, Claremont Review of Books, The American Mind, and Splice Today. She lives near Buffalo, N.Y.

Photo: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

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