My latest recap of RuPaul’s Drag Race included a teaser text that said the show has officially started three episodes in. Meaning the first two were simply boring.
I watched the latest episode all over again. And the first two as well. I was combing through everything I’ve seen so far in order to find a modicum of hope that this season will eventually get better.
Perhaps this is a premature mindset, but for me… season 11 of RuPaul’s Drag Race has been its worse so far. I would rather have the filter of season 1 mixed with the group dynamic of season 7 than what we are being presented with now. Which leads me to my painful point that I’ve tried denying for years…
The show has jumped the shark. There were many times when this thought popped into my head way before season 11 was a thing. It started with season 7’s monstrosity of a cast (individually fabulous, together a mess), that really took RPDR from fantastic to WTF in a matter of one year.
It regained some type of speed in season 8 and All Stars 2, the latter being the thing that woke everyone up to how delicious this program really is. The problem there is that AS2 was filled with queens from the most amazing seasons this show has produced, and season 8 was so short that we really didn’t get a chance to see many of the girls there flourish that much as it kind of was the Bob show.
Season 9 was great, especially with its top four. But then they decided to take things to such an extra level with the lip sync for the crown, which is such an insult to queens like Shea Coulee and Trinity Taylor who kicked ass all season long only to come up short thanks to some rose petals and a quick costume change.
Then All Stars 3 happened… and we all know how it ended. It was an egg in your face kind of situation for RuPaul and co who clearly weren’t thrilled with how it ended. The public wasn’t happy either (sorry Trixie, still love you). Season 10 was predictable from the start, where its most memorable queen went home in episode one.
All Stars 4 just came off as forced and something that was quickly thought out. The suspense of the queens eliminating each other got dull. Heck, the only real drama happening was with the polarizing Gia Gunn… even though we complained about her a lot. IT ended with two winners, one of which I agree with while the other I don’t.
Now we have season 11 and a group of girls that are either coming off too extra (Silky), bitchy (Ariel) or reserved (Mercedes). There are some interesting characters in there (Yvie, Nina), but it’s not enough to really keep me that interested like I used to be.
Not sure what has caused this program to lose its luster. Perhaps it being on four times in the past two years is one thing. RPDR used to come back every January and was something that we all looked forward to in the new year. Now it’s on a lot… when it doesn’t need to be.
There’s also the repetitive challenges (comedy, comedy, comedy) and the idea that Ru himself doesn’t seem that interested in it anymore. Maybe it’s just me, but he doesn’t come off as engaged as he did in the earlier years where he appeared to truthfully connect with the contestants.
I love this show and what it’s done for the community. It’s going to be on for many years to come, no doubt, I just think that its ship of originality has run its course and I’m not sure if it will ever return.
This is the opinion of one contributing writer and not that of Instinct Magazine or other Contributing Writers.