Episode Three “A Comedy of Errors”
I have to put a warning right up her in the front. This isn’t going to be funny. I don’t think it’s even going to be much of a recap, more of a venting. This season hasn’t been very good and I can only describe last night’s episode as embarrassing. This isn’t even about the whole “so and so has gotten a bad edit” issue that has plagued the show almost from the start.
I’m a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race, have been since the first season. I wanted the show to succeed and bring this art form further into the mainstream. I wanted to believe that RuPaul, Logo and the people at World of Wonder were creating something more than just another reality show, that they were going to focus on the talents and the personal stories of some of the best drag queens from across the country. Somewhere along the way, that has gotten lost and degenerated more into a version of the Real Housewives series, with a drag queen veneer over it.
Considering the level of editing that occurs on the show, I really can’t say to what degree the level of drama we see on our screens is legit but somewhere along the way, the drama took precedent over the talent of the performers. This season, it has gone from bad to worse. More so than any season prior, it seems like the talents of the queens are secondary to how pretty they are and how much drama they could stir up. This is not an attack on ANY of the queens this season. I have no doubts that they are all talented performers and bring a lot to the table but the show is doing them no favors. The mini challenges that they’ve been coming up with are just absurd and really have no place on my television. Dressing up like an old lady or making faces into a high powered fan seems beneath the talents of these queens.
What I have seen from the show more recently is that is seems to have just become a cash grab, a vehicle for WoW’s website, for the BOTS tours, for Drag Cruises, for a drag convention, for the possibility of franchising the show out to other countries. I’m not so naive that I don’t realize the purpose of any TV show and any production company is to make money but I had hoped that there was more to them than just making a profit. I wanted to see them contribute to social change.
I have nothing but respect for RuPaul. The man is an icon but more importantly, has been one of the best voices for the LGBT community in the mainstream. He has used his talents and gorgeous drag persona to garner their attention but once he got the attention of the mainstream, he used his time wisely. His interview with comedian Marc Maron last year on his podcast was eye-opening. (If you haven’t ever heard it, give it a listen here. It’s worth your time.) Ru’s outlook on life was both enlightening and inspiring. That’s is what I want from the show that bears his name, to be more inspiring and less petty. Leave that for Bravo.
So after all my issues, why do I still watch? I guess there are several reasons. Habit would be one of them. I’ve watched every season. It’s a staple of conversation within the drag community. Hope would be another. Television time is valuable. I hope every season to see something worthwhile. Sometimes I get it. For example, the story of Jinkx Monsoon’s rise from afterthought to viable contender to the winner of season five was wonderful. But just as often we get petty garbage as well. If they’re truly trying to pick the best talent to be “America’s Next Drag Superstar”, show us why these queens were picked. Tell us their story. Let us learn to care about them because of who they are, what they’ve been through and what they can do, not because what shady thing they can say. I don’t want to be embarrassed if I show an episode to someone that hasn’t had exposure to drag before. I want the see the best of the business highlighted, not the worst.
And if I’m being honest, the final reason I still watch would be my own hypocrisy. The show, for all its faults right now, is still very popular and covering it leads to hits on this very site. So I cover it but that doesn’t mean I don’t wish I was covering something better. I know there is a better version of RuPaul’s Drag Race that can be made. I hope by season’s end, they can prove me wrong. Nothing would make me happier. So tell me, what do you think?
Now a short recap:
The queens dressed like old ladies. Max and Kennedy won so they got to pick their teams for the main challenge. Kennedy’s team was a disaster of Biblical proportions.
On the main stage, the look of the evening was beards. In honor of the challenge, the special guest judges were John Travolta’s wife and Kevin Spacey’s girlfriend…..no wait, it was Kat Dennings and Mel B from the Spice Girls. (Yes, I know that is the kind of shady line I was railing against before but I couldn’t pass it up. I’m human!) Max’s team won the challenge and her runway look was a hit so Max won the week.
Kennedy and Jasmine were forced to lip sync for their lives and Jasmine was forced to sashay away. Hopefully I will be in a less grumpy mood next week and we can resume our regularly scheduled programming.
Be sure to vote in our poll for who you think will win this season. Last week nearly 30% of you picked Ginger Minj to win, followed by Trixie and Pearl. Who moved the needle this week? Also if you’re on the east coast be sure to join us each week immediately after the show in the NotSafe4Werk Post Race Show to chat with other Drag Race fans about what just went down on the main stage! Plus, be sure to check out the debut of ELIMINATION TRANSFORMATION with Jamie-Lynn as she transforms into Sasha Belle right here. Until next week, remember to have your drag queens neutered and spayed.