pop culture, Review, television

REVIEW—RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE: WIZARD of YES GAWD

Grade: A-/B+

There are certain moments in television history that completely alter the axis of the narrative. At the end of season one of Game of Thrones, Ned Stark—the main character, the moral compass of the show—was beheaded, leaving everyone, both in the audience and on the screen, to rape, pillage, and burn across Westeros and Essos for five seasons. A third of the way through Psycho, the main character Marion Crane was stabbed fatally in the shower by “Mrs. Bates,” leaving in the swirling of her pupil two more hours of me wondering that if me thinking serial killer Norman Bates is hot is weird.

And last night on RuPaul’s Drag Race, we received a similarly jolting shift in both the narrative and the proverbial fabric of the universe.

SPOILER ALERT

My queen, my g0ddess, the light and sharp wit of Season 8 was abruptly and rudely eliminated from the competition that was hers to…well, not win but maybe do a respectable fifth place, a la Katya. Robbie Turner, the ripest peach in Seattle, has been eliminated. RIP.

After Acid Betty’s elimination, which was the equivalent to a shoulder shrug and a faint “Thin the herd” mentality, the queens discussed themselves. Naomi thinks she should wear a turtleneck—I agree. Robbie’s voice has miraculously returned. Thorgy’s “Madonna” reminds me of someone but I can’t think of who. Also Thorgy’s eye-roll to Bob winning the challenge is the single most “Woody Allen Jewish New Yorker” response ever and I live.

Bob is literally screaming about how she’s won two challenges. “Has anyone ever won three, before??” she SCREAMS. Yes, Bobby. Violet Chacki and Ginger Minj from the season right before yours. But I can’t stay mad at Bob because it’s like being mad at an adorable, fat child genius. They’re smarter than you’ll ever be, but they can’t pronounce their “s’s”. Robbie makes a vague threat comparing Bob to Jenga—ready to topple—which only proves that the queen that makes a prophetic comment is destined to be the one to go home.

Side note: You could build a HOUSE in the space between Robbie’s shady reads.

The mini-challenge is READING, with special guest RPDR EW Recapper Marc Snetiker—who can get it. The queens are…funny…but other than Bob—whose “Flipper” read has me giggling—I wasn’t particularly blown away. I actually liked Season 7’s a little more, because you could feel the venom because some of those bitches hated each other. Everyone’s too nice on this season. Bob wins the mini-challenge. Big surprise.

The Maxi Challenge is to create haute couture outfits inspired by characters from The Wizard of Oz for them and their Little Women of Los Angeles partners. When you type it out, it sounds like a fever-dream.

The little women pick their drag queen partners. Some of the women seem like they know who their queen is, others—Tonya—have that “Middle Schooler Trying To Remember The State Capitals When Put On The Spot” moment.

WERK ROOM OBSERVATIONS:

  • Naomi and Jasmine are both hair stylists—and they’re both flawless as hell.
  • Naomi is a bargain bitch: “I could look at fashion magazines from the time Barnes & Noble opens to the time Barnes & Noble closes.”
  • It’s interesting to see people who are also accustomed to reality television on RPDR. Aka the drAMA between Terra and Elena.
  • Bob is wearing leather overalls and I can’t even wear regular overalls without looking like a sausage in a denim condom.
  • “They always give you mustard and honey,” Elena on MasterChef, but I think it can apply to my general life.
  • I like Tonya.
  • Is Ru done with those Pharrell hats? Can I uncross my fingers?
  • I’m interested to see how the queens make over women. Have they done women before? That’s what she said. But no, seriously.
  • It’s smart that Derrick Barry (a professional Britney Spears impersonator) is paired with Terra (a mini-Britney Spears impersonator) because it’s not like the judges have been asking for versatility. He’s getting really good at singing that one-note.
  • KIM CHI TALKING ABOUT INTERPRETATIVE DANCE IS ME WHENEVER I HAVE TO TALK IN CLASS ON MATERIAL I’VE NEVER READ.
  • Somehow Bob was so focused on remaking his outfit and making his partner over that he DOESN’T START ON HIS MAKEUP UNTIL 15 MINUTES BEFORE THE RUNWAY.

Finally it’s time for the runway. Firstly Marc Jacobs is very hot in a “Ken doll in the microwave” kind of way, and I don’t even mean that as a read. Todrick Hall is possibly the only person who can wear a “Transformers Robots In Diguise” meets “St. Patrick’s Day” outfit and have it come off as Wizard of Oz realness.

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Source: LogoTV

Do you think Derrick realizes that she can’t come for Bob when she looks like “Young Judi Dench in a Swimsuit”??

Chi Chi and Ti Ti DeVayne as Dorothy—It’s not bad but it’s not great.

Bob the Drag Queen and Rob the Faux Queen as Glinda the Good Witch—10 points for the name, but -12 points for the fact that your partner looks great and you just have gray SPF on your cheeks and one of Robbie’s thirsty wigs.

Naomi Smalls and Jazzy Jems as the Scarecrow—THIS IS WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR. Haute couture, whimsy, fashion, amazing.

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Source: LogoTV

Derrick Barry and Terra Barry the Tin Man—NOT EVEN THE ‘80s HAD SUCH BAD SHOULDER PADS.

Robbie Turner and Hedda Turner as the Cowardly Lion—Ouch. That’s less “purr”-fect and more “purr”m gone wrong.

Thorgy Thor and Thorgeous as the Citizen of Oz—psychedelic, green, glitter. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Kim Chi and Miso Chi as the Wicked Witch—“Isabella Blow going to a funeral realness” is so indicative of Kim Chi’s actual, real fashion knowledge, and I loved it.

Interpretive dances were weird. Let’s not.

Michelle to Chi Chi: “Do you not contour breasts?”

Me as RuPaul: “You were not breast in show.”

Critique of Derrick—the first time when an accidental Britney reference was good.

Critique of Robbie—tru about the hairline.

Naomi wins because—obviously. She really took last week’s critique well, and that’s the mark of someone who has the potential to win the entire competition.

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Source: LogoTV

Derrick and Robbie are in the bottom two. Robbie took off her wig because WHY. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT. WHEN HAS A QUEEN EVER TAKEN OFF HER WIG IN A LIP-SYNC AND RUPAUL BE LIKE “Lovely buzzcut. Shantay you stay.” Derrick did well in the lip sync, but I think even the producers are like, “Should we get her off the premises?” and RuPaul’s like “Eh, it’s not worth it. She’ll get it eventually.”

We love you, Robbie. You were Robbed(ie).

Stray Observations:

  • Ru interrupting Michelle is the gif that I need always.
  • NEVER COMPARE CHI CHI TO BENDELADREME. One is hot glued and one is hot DAMN QUEEN.
  • Someone on Tumblr said that this season is 75 percent personality and 25 percent fashion, as compared to the reverse in Season 7. And it’s true. Give me more glamour. I should be gagging at the runway.
  • We see that “Nebraska” promo moment, Derrick, and we’re purposefully ignoring it.
  • Robbie seems like one of the only queens that Ru was genuinely upset to eliminate. I love it.
  • I LOVE YOU ROBBIE.
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Review, television

RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE: SNATCH GAME

Grade: B

On last night’s episode of RuPaul’s Best Friend Race, I decided that my cuticles are really looking good. And that’s a shaaady way of saying that it was a bit of a let-down. There were the big moments—Derrick attempting to come for Bob, and Bob just looking at her like a bear looks at a fly—and there were the small ones—Kim Chi serving Pearl realness with “Is there something on my face?” which is one of the only lines in the history of television that makes me curl up inside myself. But largely, it was just consumed by the Snatch Game.

Question: Do you think Derrick is legally obligated to make at least one Britney Spears pun per episode? Or are they just holding the other members of her throuple hostage?

Derrick tried to drag Bob—“Can you teach me how to do rachet drag?”—playing off the fact that Michelle Visage gave an unfounded critique of Bob, saying that “ratchet drag” is her thing even though she brings it to us every ball.

Then RuPaul stalked around the Werk Room, trying to throw the queens off balance. I really wish that there was a Snatch Game where every queen did her first, terrible Option A, instead of “scrambling”—using air quotes—for their Option B’s.

In a ShOCKing turn of events, Naomi and Bob were going to both do Whoopi Goldberg—what did Whoopi, or us, ever do to deserve that—and Naomi switches to Tiffany “New York” Pollard, and Bob somehow switches to Uzo Aduba, rendering Naomi’s switch completely moot.

A last-minute switch isn’t always shooting the horse in the knee; last season saw Miss Fame and Violet Chachki both poised to do Donatella Versace. Violet decided to do Alyssa Edwards—queen of the no-chin tongue-pop—and managed to slay. Fame’s Donatella fell completely flat, and she went home soon afterward.

Bob’s characterizations—Crazy Eyes and Carol Channing—are really spot-on, but two things have to be said. First is the professional critique: Bob’s switching between two characters is excellent for throwing off the other contestants, but makes her seem too hungry. The judges warned her against “showboating.” The other is a personal critique: Bob didn’t do “Uzo Aduba;” he did “Uzo Aduba” as Crazy Eyes. It’s a small distinction, but the point of Snatch Game is to mimic and parody someone who is intriguing and interesting and maybe unexpected—playing an outlandish character isn’t really that hard to do, even though Bob does it well.

Derrick Barry—a professional Britney Spears impersonator in Las Vegas—decided to go outside the box and do Laura Bell Bundy. Derrick, Laura Bell Bun-don’t, please. RuPaul and the producers kept you for Snatch Game, to let everyone release those Britney blue balls they’ve had since you were announced on the cast.

On Snatch Game, here’s the rundown.

  • Thorgy gives us the realest “reanimated cadaver/Michael Jackson” you’ve ever seen.
  • Acid Betty somehow thinks that a Magnolia Crawford contour and an Effie Trinket wig gives us Nancy Grace. Where is the nasal? Where is the subtly popped nipple slip from her Dancing With The Stars days?
  • The gay who’s watched Devil Wears Prada seven times in me loved the Diana Vreeland moment.
  • Literally shocking: Derrick’s Britney is obviously enough to save him, even though that was a Dr. Faustus-level deal with the Devil, and we all know it.
  • Heterosexual teen supermodels Chanel Iman and Gigi Hadid looked a little like they didn’t know how they got onto set.
  • I’m loving the new season of OITNB.

For the runway, it’s Night of 100 Madonnas, which ended up being Night of Five Madonnas, because four out of eight queens wore the same kimono, forcing me to make the awful pun, “KimOHNO.”

Acid talks about how no one likes her. Thorgy talks about how she wants to conduct an orchestra in drag—The Thorchestra—but frankly, I don’t know why she didn’t call it the New York Philharmondick. Also, this has to be said: Thorgy’s dreads in his hairnet look like a big ole bag of Cuties clementines.

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Source: LogoTV

RUNWAY.

  • Thorgy: kimono.
  • Kim Chi: kimono.
  • Derrick: kimononono…are those faces?
  • Naomi: kimono?
  • Acid Betty: somehow reminds me of that Lindsay Lohan movie where she pretends to be pregnant. Labor Pains?
  • Robbie: Serves the Troop Beverly HillsA League of Their Own Madonna realness.
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Source: LogoTV

Michelle Visage—a former Madonna impersonator—loves tearing into the queens, and the pure look of terror on Derrick’s face when Michelle’s shark eyes land on her almost makes up for every boring moment in this season.

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Source: LogoTV  THE LOOK OF SOMEONE WHO’S JUST SHIT ON THE RUNWAY

Kim Chi and Chi Chi DeVayne are the first ones safe, but no one got a chance to comment on Kimmy Jong-Un, and that makes me sad.

SPOILER ALERT:

Bob wins the Snatch Game, even though—yet again—Thorgy gets praise heaped on her. Poor Susan Lucci. Bob walks away with another victory and Thorgy goes back to slowly dying a little bit on the inside with every passing day.

Robbie, Acid and Naomi are in the bottom three, and Robbie is declared safe. Then it’s the Lip Sync of Bitter Betty and Naomi Shambles. Betty gets a little shady when she kicks Naomi’s kimono off the stage, but maybe she was just trying to minimize the amount of kimono desecration that had already occurred onstage that night. In the end, Acid was sent home and my g0ddess Naomi Smalls stayed.

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Source: LogoTV SPOT THE SHRIMP COCKTAIL

I think that the choice to have a veteran and visually aesthetic queen be eliminated was an interesting one. Naomi is younger, less experienced, and has shown less breadth, but I think the biggest thing is that she wants to be there. Acid kept shitting on everything, and even though I’ll miss seeing her reenact The Gremlins on the runway, I’m glad that Naomi got to stay.

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Source: LogoTV

Stray Observations:

  • Critter Couture might be the most inspired thing on this season.
  • Did you think that RuPaul was going to grill Gigi on her mom’s Lyme Disease controversy for a little cross-promotional television daisy chain?
  • I can practically hear Raven dragging Derrick already for that unfortunate booty situation.
  • “The White Chaka Khan” could be an excellent new Instagram bio for Acid Betty.
  • Future Snatch Game idea: Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove.
  • Prediction: Derrick is going to turn into one of those beauty queens who complain that she “didn’t know this was going to be a comedy
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