RuPaul’s Drag Race: Gay’s Anatomy

Posted on March 28, 2020

 

The only reason we’re making this the thumbnail for this post is because fuck it, we’re all stuck inside and cranky. The very least the world can do is serve up enough hotness to keep us all distracted. Thank you, Pit Crew.

Oh, right. There was an episode that happened. Well, don’t blame us for momentarily forgetting. It was a pretty damn forgettable episode all around.

 

No shade against these queens, who remain a well-balanced and talented group. Two things conspired against their best efforts this episode. The first was the piss-poor challenge handed them; the second was Sherry Pie.

 

It’s kind of a shame, but it’s clear the show is suffering because the frontrunner is being edited out of most of the episodes, leaving a weirdly unbalanced viewing experience. Someone who is so clearly dominating the other girls would normally be the main topic of conversation as well as the main talking head in all the confessionals. And the show would almost certainly be doing a better job of showcasing her as the one to beat.

 

 

And because the editing is so choppy and the viewing experience so weird – it always feels like you walked into a conversation where everyone immediately stopped talking or rapidly changed the subject – we can’t tell if the queens’ collective obsession with Aiden is as intense as it’s coming across or whether it’s being pumped up by editing in order to fill the Sherry Pie-shaped void. They’re all gunning for like she’s a judges’ favorite when she hasn’t even come close to winning a challenge and it seems pretty clear from where we’re sitting that she likely won’t make it to the top given her attitude and limitations. We keep saying this: it all comes down to her face, which is unique among the queens and which tends to catch Ru’s attention. It helps that expectations for her are so low that when she does anything competently, the judges tend to overpraise.

But even without the Sherry problem, this episode almost certainly would’ve sucked anyway because these poor queens were handed a shit sketch.

 

First, a Grey’s Anatomy sketch felt pretty stale. Second, a hospital setting didn’t allow for much in the way of fun or interesting drag. Third, the script was awful and unfunny. There’s a tradition in Drag Race of handing the queens a difficult script and judging them on their ability to make it work, but this one was just tediously unfunny.

 

It’s kind of funny that we originally thought Brita was going to be Miss Congeniality for this season, because girlfriend is getting BITTER AS HELL. Was Aiden funny in this scene? Or polished? Or even good? Not really. But Brita? Girl, you were terrible.

 

There was one queen who had the performing chops to make her character interesting and her drag unforgettable. And while they couldn’t edit her out completely, it felt like they were trying to highlight a bunch of mediocre-to-bad performances over hers.

 

To be fair, everyone really was giving it their all and we kinda think the bottom two were not only no worse than anyone else, they might even have been among the better performances.

 

 

 

Hate to say it, but Sherry’s look is head-and-shoulders above almost all the others. She didn’t just deserve the win this week; she kicked all the other girls’ asses. If she makes it to the finals – and there’s no reason to believe she won’t – we have no idea how they’re going to edit around her when there are only three or four other people in the room. Moving down the line through the safe girls, Jackie’s costume was a stunner and we’re starting to agree with her that she’s getting unfairly overlooked. Jan’s costume was great too but her drag often feels more like cosplay to us (granted, there’s a massive overlap). Gigi’s look was fabulously chic and witty, as always. Aiden’s was her usual cheap and underdeveloped drag. We do understand the other girls’ frustration – compare Jackie’s safe look with Aiden’s, for instance – but until she wins a challenge, we think they should lay off her a bit. Widow’s drag is gloriously unbound and full of don’t-give-a-fuck.

 

Jaida’s look was an absolute stunner, but she failed to deliver. We tend to agree with Michelle that Brita’s look is weirdly unbalanced, with the heavy chap-skirt and the flimsy cape. Her body work remains amazing, though. Heidi, bless her heart. It’s not that her look isn’t expensive or grand enough; the cape and the catsuit just don’t go together.

 

We love Crystal’s personality and style of drag. Having said that, this satin yellow jumpsuit was more than a bit overpraised. And for God’s sake, shut up about his mullet, Ru. As for Nicky, we think she’s a gorgeous queen and we think the “You need to loosen up/We don’t really know you” critiques were largely bullshit. What it came down to was that this season has a lot of fashion girls and glamour girls. Nicky needed to distinguish herself a little better and coming out in a fairly stale Mugler homage may not have helped him.

 

We’re glad Heidi lived to see another day, but Lord, this episode was a mess.

 

 

[Stills: VH1 via Tom and Lorenzo]

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