The girls are put through their paces in a standard sketch comedy challenge while we sit back and nod with a fixed grin on our faces because we don’t get any of the jokes.
Not that we’re complaining. On the contrary, it’s pretty fun to just let an episode of Drag Race wash over you without getting sidelined by who’s shading who or whether or not a certain queen is putting the emphasis on the right syllable. It’s like the only language that matters here is the language of drag.
Of course we’re missing some of the nuances and scratching our heads at some of the references, but at the end of the day, a queen’s gotta make everyone else laugh and/or gag.
That’s the goal, no matter the challenge or the language. Still, we had no idea what any of this was about. Mini-challenges are nonsense half the time anyway; usually just to see which queens can think on their feet.
We’re fine with just sitting back to clap at the silliness and ogle the scenery.
The main challenge was a parody of the Dutch take on Desperate Housewives, and while we can’t say any of the queens really seemed to nail their jokes, it was pretty easy to see Sederginne and Ma’Ma Queen running miles ahead of their competitors with the material. We didn’t need to speak the language to see that Chelsea Boy and Envy Peru acquitted themselves well enough, but that Meghan, Janey, and Abby were all pretty awful.
The consensus among the girls seems to have been that Madame Madness should’ve been in the bottom, but we didn’t really see why that would be the case. For some reason, everyone seems to think she needs to go. We don’t necessarily see her making it to the final three, but we have yet to see a compelling reason why she should be sent home before the girls who’ve sashayed already. She’s a middle-of-the-road queen with decent makeup skills and a self-confidence issue. Why are the other girls so pissed off at her all the time?
The runway category was announced as both “Miss Holland” and having something to do with nature, as is the way with so many oddly vague Drag Race challenge parameters. The efforts, perhaps not surprisingly, varied wildly.
Gotta hand it to Ma’Ma Queen. She made weed look chic. The tattoos were a great touch and the work on the bodice and crown was impressive. We just wish the former wasn’t transparent. Envy looked great, but her concept seemed kind of basic. Even so, she’s really starting to set herself apart from the other queens in terms of her face work, which is flawless. Janey just looked like a bag of water. We kinda think she should’ve gotten some sort of critique for that. Abby’s a mess. She’s all face and doesn’t seem to have much sense of how to use costumes.
ChelseaBoy’s windswept look was an unexpected shot of chic genius. Meghan’s look is awful. The bad kind of drag pageant. Serderginne’s look was ridiculous, but she made it work through the power of her personality. We liked Madame Madness’s cow look. It felt unresolved as a concept and in need of some refinement, sure. It would never have landed her in the top, but we don’t get why some of the other queens were so mad at it.
We honestly couldn’t tell who slayed the lip sync. Abby was all moves, but she didn’t seem to sell the song all that much. Megan had no moves but it felt like she was tapping into the emotion of the number a little better.
Still, we can’t say they made the wrong choice in sending her home. Her output had been pretty spotty within the space of just a few challenges. And that final runway look was so bad it may have been the nail in her coffin.
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The Los Angeles Times called it “a nuanced exploration of the gender-bending figures, insider lingo and significant milestones in queer history to which the show owes its existence.”
The Washington Post said it “arrives at just the right time … because the world needs authenticity in its stories. Fitzgerald and Marquez deliver that, giving readers an insight into the important but overlooked people who made our current moment possible.”
Paper Magazine said to “think of it as the queer education you didn’t get in public school” and The Associated Press said it was “delightful and important” and “a history well told, one that is approachable and enjoyable for all.”
[Stills: WOW via Tom and Lorenzo]
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The Daily T LOunge for October 5, 2020