RuPaul's Drag Race: The Best of Reality TV

Have you ever tossed around the phrase "not today, Satan"? Or off-handedly gushed that [blank] thing "gives you life"? Or picked up on that oh-so popular diss that someone or something is "shady," or indulged in that goofy exclamation of "yaaaaas, gurl"? Be honest with yourself, people. Even if you've been squirreled away in bed for the past ten years, marinating in your own grease and Haagen-Dazs, these little gems of pop culture vernacular have doubtlessly bubbled up into your attention at one time or another, whether from a friend or a sassy relative or your own mouth.

However, while you may have encountered these catchphrases in the past without a second thought, brushing them off as kitschy girl-talk, I am happy to let you know that these conversational padding terms didn't just pop out of a vacuum. Far from it, these are all colloquialisms that have blessedly seeped into pop culture from the drag community and which were popularized by your newest reality tv obsession: Ru Paul's Drag Race.

Now, as a film scholar and someone who confronts the entertainment industry with a critical approach, I am hardly promoting Drag Race as some kind of high art form. Far from it, this gag-worthy, gimmicky, and cat-fight driven spectacle situates drag right into the center of an arena of the most cliche and sickening of reality tv conventions. There is constant backtalk, drama, and exhibitionism. These drag queens are reamed for every drop of talent and entertainment value that they can muster for an international audience, dishing out an insane arsenal of runway looks, comedic chops, and physical prowess in a wild gambit of competitions to end all competitions. It's exploitative. It's exhausting. It's the worst of reality tv at its absolute finest.

True, while this concept would probably cause extreme controversy and lead to frequent mental breakdowns and even lawsuits if it was inflicted on any other demographic, such as the often-used starry-eyed teenage girls who are typically featured in reality television of this kind, the entire conceit of the show is clinched and made possible by the fact that the contestants are selected from one of the most rough-and-tough and resilient group of performers that have ever graced the stage: drag queens.

Dedicated to their craft, drag queens weather through harassment and public distaste on a daily basis, all while juggling a hefty array of skills that range from makeup and fashion expertise to the perfection of a magnetic stage presence. These are truly entertainers who must do it all, and who must exhibit these talents with a personal defense system and a confidence scarcely seen so thoroughly in any entertainment demographic that's had the privilege of being featured on television. Simply put, every competitor that arrives on the show is already a star in some capacity, a professional entertainer from the moment they walk into the sight of the camera.

This is no American Idol, where the editors and judges must tiredly comb through dozens of lackluster dreamers in order to consolidate a team of talent that hopefully makes for entertaining television. This is no America's Next Top Model, where a group of sensitive and inexperienced performers must stumble their way to a competitive skill level while being judged by an admittedly lukewarm panel of experts. Far from it, Drag Race raises the spectacle, drama, and entertainment value to eleven from the second that the title sequence rolls, and features a selection of hand-picked judges with their own hilarious and bombastic personalities topped onto a masterful understanding of fashion, stage presence, and performative power.

I hardly consider myself bold in saying that RuPaul is one of the best possible judges to conceivably helm Drag Race and commands the competition with a level of expertise, insight, and liveliness scarcely found in programs of a similar nature or structure. Simply put, this is a master entertainer putting on a shameless bitchfest of other master entertainers-to-be, and the guilty pleasure value that can be extracted from even passing moments of this show are simply sickening.

And lucky you: select seasons of Drag Race can be found on both Amazon Prime and Hulu. What's that? Don't have access or the motivation to either of these platforms? That's fine. A verifiable grand library of Drag Race best moments, spotlights, highlights, and mini-series is plastered all over YouTube, free of charge and just waiting for you to dial up the view count. So now you have absolutely no excuse to avoid or remain ambivalent to this beloved series when you somehow had the time to stumble your way towards this end of this silly little spotlight piece.

In fact, I am so confident that this show will draw you in and have you cackling right along with RuPaul herself, that I'll get you started with some essential moments from the series. Even if only to momentarily entertain yourself as you're lazing back in bed, or even to show some tiny modicum of support for the drag and LGBTQ community, please take a look at some of these moments and memes and try not to get sucked into the wonderful and wild world of televised drag. Go ahead. I dare you.

Just a few essential queens:

Biana del Rio https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dph1rXUnlH4

Latrice Royale https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcnJkFhf2yg

Adore Delano https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tx6LQcGy6R4

Katya Zamolodchivoka https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vS-bD9lDJGw

Endless meme compilations:

"rpdr memes that i live by" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlnNt7D2OdA&list=PLD_KPbbwGGBLa84kR2rQ5dsEqp17O4tkf

"RPDR memes" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlQpM7JRoHQ&list=PLl2FL3RUyyYMJ4e1ycgzgRDHAtqoWKJqj

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

These Superfood Beauty Products Show Kale And Matcha Work For SO Much More Than We Thought

Just another summer's day with a cold glass of kombucha on my face.

I've been vegan for about six years now, so a love for fresh vegetables and superfoods has now become a core part of my being. Don't get me wrong. I love my indulgent, creamy pastas and truffle fries more than anyone. But I keep most of my focus on eating clean and healthy so I can indulge guilt-free.

But I'd say about a large part of my diet has always, unknowingly, included superfoods. Being Indian, lentils, beetroot, garlic, ginger, and whole grains have been core essentials on the family dinner table since I could digest solid foods.

Keep Reading... Show less

Now that college is around the corner for most if not all young adults, students once shook by a pandemic now have to shift their focus on achieving their career goals. As if we thought we had it together already! As an NYC girl, I have always seen myself as a hustler, hungry to advance my career in journalism by having one skill: working hard.

Keep Reading... Show less

Kourtney Kardashian has decided to leave "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" after nearly 14 years and although we saw this coming, it breaks our heart that she won't be there to make us laugh with her infamous attitude and hilarious one-liners.

Kourtney is leaving the show because it was taking up too much of her life and it was a "toxic environment" for her.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

We Asked You How You Felt About Resuming 'Normal' Activities, And Some Of Your Answers Shocked Us

The New York Times asked 511 epidemiologists when they'd feel comfortable doing "normal" activities again, considering COVID-19. We asked our peers the same thing, for science.

Last month, the New York Times surveyed about 500 epidemiologists asking about their comfort level with certain activities once deemed normal — socializing with friends, going to the doctor, bringing in the mail. That's all well and good for the experts, but they are a very niche group, not the majority of the population. What do "normal" people feel safe doing? In certain states, we've seen how comfortable everyone is with everything (looking at you, Florida), but we wanted to know where Odyssey's readers fell on the comfort scale. Are they sticking with the epidemiologists who won't be attending a wedding for another year, or are they storming the sunny beaches as soon as possible?

Keep Reading... Show less
Disney Plus

Millions of musical-lovers around the world rejoiced when "Hamilton," the hip-hop-mixtape-turned-musical harder to get in to than Studio 54, came to Disney Plus.

For those who had the luxury of being able to watch it in person and rewatch it with us mere mortals on our screens, the experience was almost as gripping as sitting feet from Lin-Manuel Miranda himself. From the stunning sets, graceful choreography, witty dialogue, and hauntingly beautiful singing, the experience was one even my musical-averse family felt moved by.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Keto Is All Fun And Games Until You're Undernourished And Almost Pass Out

Keto is just another extension of diet culture that boasts rapid weight loss, but at a steep price.

Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

There has been a Keto diet craze going around in the past couple of years, with many of its followers claiming significant weight loss. With any new, trendy diet claiming miraculous weight-loss, one starts to wonder what exactly is happening behind the curtain. The keto, or ketogenic, diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that claims to help the body shift its fuel source from carbs to fat. In the medical community it has been prescribed to patients with uncontrolled epilepsy to reduce the frequency of seizures, but other than that there is little conclusive evidence to other potential benefits.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments