Why this show is like crack to me I’m not sure. But I will tell you that in the cesspool of reality TV with it’s staged fights, fake hook-ups, overly dramatic drama’s–RuPaul’s Drag Race rises to the top like cream. Because can’t nobody do bitch like a seven foot tall man in five-inch high heels and a blonde synthetic wig fighting for the crown as America’s Top Drag Queen!
I only discovered the tasty morsel toward the end of Season 1. Happenstance. That’s what it was. Me suffering from a major bought of writers burnout exasperated by a lack of social life and stale programming didn’t have much to do on a Friday night. Imagine my fright/delight when RuPaul leapt out at me from my TV screen and yelled: YOU BETTA WORK HONEY!
Now don’t get me wrong I’ve seen my fir share of drag shows before. My first time in New Orleans (Honey do I have some stories to tell) my next and most memorable was a colorful celebrity impression show in Vegas. Wow, all flash and dazzle with an air of bitchy–seriously, the headliner looked better than Tina Turner. But in truth, that type of entertainment was only reserved for big city hubs, not the small town southern places I’ve dwelled since I’ve struck out on my own.
So imagine my surprise to find that reality TV (which I secretly love to loathe) had the queen of snark working her neck with a golden Dolly Parton wig on my television screen. Hilarity! What’s so special about this show you ask? Is it just some new novelty and too shall pass with the next gimmicky competitive drip like all other reality shows? Maybe, maybe not. The show itself is a not so imaginative spin-off from Tyra Banks debunked hit America’s Top Models. From the Tyra panel in judging, the She-Mail notification and silly competitive modeling stints RuPaul pretty much mimicks the other show to the tee.
However, where it differs is quite unique. For instance these contestants are presented as real outcasts who have faced extreme adversity to survive in their alternative lifestyle. One even spoke of the multiple failed suicide attempts because of his sexual preference. Another is a father who was once homeless, and yet another went through high-school in full drag and suffered extreme criticism and taunts throughout his pubescent years.
RuPaul gives them a forum to shine, to compete, to convince you that this art-form though different is still quite inventive and courageous. And as an artist myself I find the bravery and honesty in this show most appealing.
RuPaul’s Drag Race is full of snark, laughter, cattiness and even tears. The men pull out all stops to wow Ru and you until you find yourself rooting for your fave and booing the lesser talent that the panel refuses to cast away. And each episode ends with the bottom two who are forced to lip-sync for their life in an anything goes sing-a-thon that will leave you in stitches.
Wait is this a comedy? Hell I don’t know but it’s funny as hell to me!
All in all it’s a very entertaining look into the world of a population of people rarely featured front and center on network TV. Personally for me RuPaul’s take on the race for beauty and femininity is done with just enough charm and finesse to keep me glued to my sofa seat.
So in the words of the Queen of al Queens himself: YOU BETTA WORK!