KOTW: Lighten Up, It’s Just Drag
Last Monday, RuPauls long-awaited Drag U. , the latest brainchild from her blond highlighteness, premiered on the LOGO Network. Drag U. is basically a spin-off of Drag Race, that super successful reality competition series thats searching for Americas Next Drag Superstar. Shantay you stay. Before I saw the first episode of Drag U., I didnt really know what to expect. Whatever it was, I knew that Ru would serve the kids something fierce. And honey, theres nothing I like more than a 7-foot tall drag queen in my television screen. Worrrrrk.
Drag U. is a makeover show, but one like youve never seen. Heres the premise: a carefully selected group of queens from previous seasons of Drag Race basically descend from Sephora and WeaveTopia to unleash their wisdom and dragspertise, making the world a better place. One fake eyelash at a time. You might remember Nina Flowers (hey, girl), Raven (I cant STAND this trollop), and Jujubee (yesss!), plus Ongina, Pandora Boxx and other favorites are in the house, too.Each episode, one of the queens gets assigned a plebeian hot mess to make over into a more fabulous drqg queen version of themselves. The show just kicked off, so its hard to tell who the lucky group will be each week. But last time, the queens made over women who had seemingly lost touch with their femininity. Cue the house music! The queens sashay to the rescue and teach these women everything they need to know about hair, make up, and walking in high heels. There was something very Butlerian about the whole ordeal (and Im not going to take it there) with the boys in drag teaching the women how to be more like women. Right?
The heart of the show is its big heart: you know, self-empowerment, inner beauty, self-confidence-its-whats-on-the-inside-that-counts. And these ladies do come from diverse backgrounds: some were lesbians, but others were straight and married with children, with the husband and kids in the audience! Hows that for a progressive family dynamic?
But I dont see how the show will survive week after week without changing the group who gets made over. People want to be surprised – that’s TV for you. The gender doesnt matter as much as how unfabulous their background is. I mean, the whole premise of the show is basically saying, Okay, so youre really fabulous on the inside and thats fine and everything, good for you, but lets just go ahead and make that boring outside pop just a touch more.
Im excited to see what becomes of Drag U. Its an inventive, new kind of makeover show. Everybody remembers the Ricki Lake makeovers or the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy makeovers, but leave it to RuPaul to create the first Drag Over. Lord knows Im dying to live in a world where everybodys fabulous and rolling around in sequins and 42 inch weaves.