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Entries in Television (43)

Saturday
Mar172018

RPDR All Stars 3: Finale - Everybody Say Love! Please!

by Chris Feil

RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars has brought one of its most embattled seasons to an appropriately controversial conclusion. This season has been rife with drama onscreen and off that has made championing the show come with several asterisks and addendums. The show has dug itself into a hole of too many twists, an overestimation of its need for drama to excite us, and a mounting disinterest in the art of drag itself. And yet it remains one of the biggest platforms to showcase the glorious breadth of the queer experience, blessed with an audience that demands it approaches its own shortcomings.

And this week’s finale brought a twist that may have broken the fandom’s resolve in how much they can accept: the final four would be whittled down to 2 by a deciding vote of a jury of the eliminated queens. Once again, subjectivity became the season’s foremost battleground and unsurprisingly this makes for frustrating television when a competition is involved. How would a consensus shake out when every queen has already shown a different perspective on what makes a competitor worthy of the crown?

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Saturday
Mar102018

RPDR All Stars 3: E7 - And the Oscar Goes To...

by Chris Feil

It was a rough week for Drag Race fans. Not only has this season had an unending barrage of racism and vitriol in the fandom, but RuPaul showed her ass again this week revealing her exclusionary thoughts on trans queens. The whole enterprise, including the supreme leader, needed a post-Snatch Game Latrice Royale table-slamming intervention. If ever there was a time for the show to make essentially zero waves, now was certainly convenient timing.

Maybe it was just aftermath of both Ru’s ignorance and BenDeLaCreme blindsiding us with a tectonic shift self-elimination, but this week’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars was a relief partly because it was so predictable. Call it the least essential of the season but when the weight of drama has become so cumbersome, this felt refreshingly unburdened and unbothered. I blame the restorative powers of Nancy Pelosi arriving in the workroom to brandish a rainbow bracelet just, you know, because.

This week’s challenge was also perfectly timed for the remaining afterglow of last Sunday’s Oscars...

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Saturday
Mar032018

RPDR All Stars 3: E6 - Fuck My Drag Race, Right?

by Chris Feil

Last week on RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, we were teased that the Handmaid’s revenge twist was finally upon us. Unfortunately this week proved all that build up to the queens returning only brought more of this season’s weak impulses: ignoring the talent and personal stories in favor of going whole hog on dramatics. It’s the rare episode where every queen does well, and yet that goes unacknowledged. It feels so far away from the show we all fell in love with.

For the return, both batches of queens are tasked with auditioning for Ru’s new Spice Girls-inspired Kitty Girls with original songs, characters, and choreography. Before the queens could get into the challenge, they unpacked all of their grievances around the workroom table...

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Saturday
Feb242018

RPDR All Stars 3: E5 - Can-aroon!

by Chris Feil

Drag Race fans got a mega-serving of the ever popular show this week with an All Stars design challenge followed immediately by the announcement of the season 10 cast. The big tenth season will be following the ongoing All Stars season without a break, so in 2018 the Race is a marathon. We’ll briefly look at the new contestants, but first we have to unpack (oops) the season’s first dud episode.

Last week Shangela played up the drama for a middling Snatch Game and gave once expected frontrunner Trixie Mattel a major fakeout, ultimating sending the beloved but stuck-in-first-gear Chi Chi DeVayne. The first agenda once back in the workroom was to lay the Notegate drama to rest...

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Saturday
Feb172018

RPDR All Stars 3: E4 - Notes on a Shangela Scandal(a)

by Chris Feil

“Shady Thorgy is so shady, she causes drama even after she ______”. Sis, it’s the Snatch Game!

The lead up to this week’s episode was quite understated compared to the hype machine of previous Snatch Games, perhaps a sign that the fanbase has wisely lowered their expectations. But it’s not any celebrity impersonation that made this an episode to remember. What’s the best thing Drag Race could hope for when its fan favorite challenge continues to experience such diminishing returns each season? A mountain full of drama to distract from another underwhelming end result!

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Saturday
Feb102018

RPDR All Stars 3: E3 - Eggplant Faceplant

by Chris Feil

Last week on RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars, we lost the delightful Thorgy Thor after her inner saboteur gave our fashion clown a major creative blockage. Thorgy had left the girls a little more than the usual lipstick love note, as Bebe called it “you know, a picture”, which instantly restirred the pot of that fraught elimination ceremony and kicked off an episode of bickering.

The fallout of Thorgy’s elimination added another layer to Shangela’s distrust of Dela, who would have also sent Thorgy home. Shangela continues to suggest that Ben is just saving face for the sake of manipulation, but there has yet to be sign of her using it against anyone. What is more likely (and concerning) is that Shangela already has let the competition go to her head - we should be terrified that it will exhaust her as it did in season three and unsettle her status as one of the frontrunners.

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