I’ll be the first to admit that I love RuPaul’s Drag Race. It’s been my favorite LGBTQ-based reality competition series ever and something I always catch myself watching even if it’s a repeat I’ve seen 500 times.
The Emmy-winning show continues to expand outside of the United States with new versions in Australia and Spain being added for your viewing pleasure in the upcoming months, which I’m all for as it’s great to see international talent be recognized on what has become a massive platform.
For now, we have Season 13 AND RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season 2 airing at the same time. As wonderful as this is, especially for its adoring and sometimes problematic fan base, it also makes me wonder if the bright glow that illuminated this phenomenon for many years is finally starting to dim.
It’s something that’s been on my mind long before COVID-19 came into our lives. The golden years of Drag Race, which for me were from Seasons 2 to 6, are long gone. Since then, its been a mixture of highs and lows with each new crop of girls we are introduced to while its sister series, All-Stars, brings the drama with queens we were already in love with prior to them re-entering the Werk Room.
But with the double booking of drag offerings, at least for me, is when Drag Race became a bit much. It used to only air once a year, usually in January or February, which gave us something to look forward to in the cold winter months. Then, the regular season segued into All-Stars without a break in between. Again, yes, this was exciting as we got the best of both worlds, but it got to the point where we barely caught a break from this show.
Now, you literally can’t escape it. The legs it has continues to stretch drag race to the point where it’s something that really isn’t special anymore.
This problem isn’t an uncommon one for die-hard fan of any kind of television show out there. At some point you’ll hit a wall with it where the appeal just dies down and things start to get repetitive.
Repetition might just be the reason as to why I’m starting to write “OVER IT” in lipstick on my bathroom mirror. What baffles me about Drag Race, specifically the people who design the challenges, for they have become very one-note things over the years.
Season 12 and 13 began exactly the same. Broken down into two groups, fashion show, choreographed number, no one goes home. As I said in a previous recap of one of the episodes, it’s a “rinse and repeat” kind of deal that for me is getting tiring.
I don’t get it. Drag has no boundaries. The creativity is bursting at the seams with the types of challenges they could give them and yet it continues to be the same ol same ol. Next week looks to be another acting challenge about a fake product or television show or something RuPaul is “creating.” How many, like HOW MANY times has this been done before?
I know nothing, but I’ll bet that over the next 4 to 5 weeks, we will see the following: a RuPaul’s ball, Rusical, Snatch Game (duh), a branding and one more acting challenge. It’s been a similar format that the show has had for the past couple of years that ends with the final 4 doing a group number before the grand finale.
To keep this show fresh, why not do something that hasn’t been done before that can really challenge the queens? The Bossy Rossy Show, in season 10, was a great example of something new and was very entertaining for the audience to watch as it echoed a Jerry Springer/Maury Povich type feel. Yet, that was a one and done.
To me, that is the key to making the light on Drag Race bright again. I can’t get enough of the new talent that we meet each year and my hopes are that they are able to showcase who they are in ways that don’t heavily rely on things that have been beaten to death.
Bottom line: “we done already done had herses.” Now its time to find some new ones.
This is the opinion of one contributing writer and not that of Instinct Magazine or other contributing writers.