Welcome to another week where a fan talks about drag queens for a few thousand words and over describes everything to the point of actual madness, brought to you a day later than usual because I was at the Werk the World tour that came down here last night and didn’t have the time or energy to do this sooner (if only THIS episode had been the one to leak, I might’ve been able to prepare properly). Before we begin though, if you get a chance to see the Werk the World tour then you should go see it because it’s a lot of fun. Also, if you’re one of the people leaving “Team Manila” all over Naomi’s page, stop it. You’re making the rest of the fandom look bad with your petty crap and while we can call out things that are bad, there’s a line and it seems like it’s constantly being crossed when a fan favourite get’s taken down OR when a black queen does something that would be praised forever if it was done by a white queen… so yeah, now that I’m off my high horse, let’s talk about an episode that revolves around a show I never watched because that’s going to make this so much easier to talk about.
So after the elimination of Manila we get the confirmation that she was going home no matter what because Monet was going to send her home. Monet states explicitly that she was going to send Manila home just for petty revenge for when Manila was going to send Monet home, and Naomi just says she did it because she wanted to and you know what? I AM HERE FOR ALL OF THIS! I’m here for the queens taking the power that they’ve been given during the competition and using it like this. They also bring up Latrice reacting differently than Manila did (there’s even memes going around mocking this which… OK) but the key thing is that Manila had a chance to save Latrice, while Latrice had no ability to even try to save Manila. Context changes how they were going to react to this because it changes how they had to prepare. This time they had acknowledge to themselves that one of them was, inevitably, going home. They weren’t going to get a BenDeLaCreme reprieve by having the winning queen send herself home, so yes Latrice’s reaction was different because the situation that led to that moment was different.
This week it’s another acting challenge where the queens have to put on their best Sex and the City performances. I’ve never watched the show (should I?) so I really can’t talk about how accurate they will be when compared to the original, but I can talk about how funny they may or may not be during the recording of this mockumentary about the failure to make a third Sex and the City movie.
Of course, as usual the scripts are written to have one or two obvious comedic parts that are made to be the best while everyone else is basically just there. In this case, the two characters that are written to actually have jokes are Kim (because obvious sex jokes are what this show excels in when it comes to these sketches) and K.Jo. Everyone else is written… well, badly because this show never hires actual comedy writers to come up with these scenes to make everyone have an even chance. Normally this is where the show gets accused of being rigged because it’s pretty obvious who has the best parts. Like, even seeing them reading over the script we already can tell what the best parts are, but that becomes more obvious once they start doing the actual shoot.
The shoot starts with a commercial for The Standard Hotel which has 5 hotels in total and undoubtedly paid a shocking amount to get to be part of this, even though they aren’t the location that this is being shot. This series is filmed in LA, and no one thought to maybe just put the queens on a bus and have them shoot in the hotel that they’re advertising? No, we’re just going to show a shot of the door of the set where the sign has been attached? OK, cool.
In fact, let’s stop here for a moment so I can show you a screenshot I took from The Standards website because honestly, they should’ve used this thing to create some comedy and maybe made this sketch more fun.
Seriously, you couldn’t work a guy in a bear head mask into a Sex and the City gag? I don’t even watch the show and I could’ve done this. This is real, I didn’t make this up. How do you not work this into your attempted brand integration? How do you not shoot on location there? How was this something no one thought about? Anyway, back to the show.
So Ross Matthews is a decent director but really, there’s not much to direct because this script is so basic that it just doesn’t give most of the queens anything to work with. Maybe this is funny if you know the show, but that’s not a good parody. Good parody should still make you laugh even if you don’t know the original reference, and this isn’t good parody. Also, the extras in this scene should’ve been pit crew and eliminated queens or something because they basically have nothing to do and don’t even react to anything, it’s amazing. What this whole thing ends up being is a performance piece and with two stars and three extras who happen to be part of the main cast. Normally these things are awkward to watch but there’s normally some kind of joke. When the one time Latrice can get an actual laugh out of anyone is by saying “If you step on my line one more time”, that’s when you know the script was written badly. I mean, you also know the script was written badly when it’s used for an acting challenge on this show but this one was especially bad.
This week’s runway was cat couture, so everyone gets a chance to dress up in their most glorious cat costume… or, whatever they were wearing this time.
Trinity came out in a full body cheetah costume that looks like a cross between Cat Woman and… well, cheetah. Every inch of her body is flawlessly padded and she moves around effortlessly on the stage with her tail swinging about. It’s so brilliantly put together and so fun, she looks like she’s going to be part of that film version of Cats thats coming out.
Monet came out in a pink panther outfit and it looks incomplete. The judges bring up that the ears make her look like a mouse and… yeah, they do. It’s so cartoonish that it needed to actually embrace that. Also she didn’t finish the makeup, which we can tell because later on in the episode there’s a close up on her face and you see that she had to go in and add details to make it look more catlike.
Latrice didn’t understand the assignment. She heard cat couture and went to something else because I do not see an ounce of cat here, there’s more Zebra than there is cat. I get that she’s trying to do a queen of the jungle look, her hair looks amazing and there’s parts of this that work but I’m sorry, the theme is cat and that’s more Zebra than cat.
Naomi comes out as a modern day cat lady and I honestly enjoy it. It’s an interesting spin on the idea; she didn’t take it literally and has some fun touches like the balls of wool in her hair or the cat clinging to her outfit. It’s a very fun little outfit that really works wonderfully with the concept. It’s different but I can see how she got here from “Cat couture”
Monique is absolutely stunning in her Puss in Boots outfit. The reference is perfect and it’s been copied just right, but with enough exaggerations to make it unique. The rhinestones are perfectly placed and blend into the outfit just enough that they don’t stand out until the light hits them. That hat is so huge you could probably hide several of the contestants behind it. The details are perfect, she even glued on whiskers. It’s a genuinely great outfit and one of the best things that Monique has ever put on that runway.
So, after the runway they watch the complete mockumentary and it’s exactly as bad as you think it is. Here’s how bad it is, you don’t hear any of the judges laugh. If you’re a fan of this show you will know that whenever they show these sketches that they inevitably have the sounds of the judges laughing but they aren’t here. They film it so badly, they miss obvious jokes (where was a pit crew member dressed as a waiter coming up from underneath the table after Trinity’s “Oral sex by waiter under the table” joke? Were they not on set this week?) and there is almost no difference between the visual quality of the behind the scenes shots and the actual ‘film’ things. You know what the difference is? They badly cropped everything to try and make it look like a film, meaning that you lose all the detail of the performances. Oh and there’s a tiny watermark in the bottom corner. I get that this is a reality show and I can’t expect them to be doing something great, but I’d like it if they at least didn’t just frame everything to just barely show the top of the queen’s heads and their shoulder blades. Also, for some reason, there was an entire section where they’re dressed as clowns and no one thought to call Bianca Del Rio for a cameo. Is this a reference to the show I just don’t get? Or is this just bad writing? You be the judge… but its bad writing.
The top two of the week are, pretty obviously, the two who picked the parts that were well written enough to make them worthy of screen time. It was obvious from literally the second the parts were assigned that Monique and Trinity that they would be the top two. Of course the judges try to make it out that the other queens should’ve tried harder to make their characters better but there is only so much that can be done with the material that they’d been given. They were given nothing to work with, so naturally they’re not going to stand out. They’re expecting these queens to be able to copy the original cast perfectly without offering them a helping hand and I want it noted, Monique arguably had the funniest performance and she never watched the show but she had the best written part. Seriously, Wow, HIRE BETTER WRITERS FOR YOUR SKETCHES! References will only get you so far and we’ve hit the limit on just how much we can handle.
The lip sync for your legacy is to Janet Jackson’s song “When I Think of You” and normally I can pick a winner relatively easy, normally someone stands out in some way or does something so amazing that I just need to praise it but… maybe the bad sketch comedy got to me because this just didn’t work for me. They both had good dance moves, they both had fun reveals and both had their moments but this is really just an average lip sync that didn’t grab me even a little bit. It’s a shame because Monique and Trinity are great performers but this just didn’t work for me.
Trinity wins the lip sync and she sends home Latrice. We kind of saw this coming, to be honest many people think this should’ve happened last week and I can easily see why but we’ve got a pretty awesome top 4. Out of the queens left I really want Monique to win, I’m absolutely #TeamMonique at this point but I’ll be happy with anyone winning… heck, part of me hopes Naomi wins just because it’s going to really upset the people who take this show too seriously (he said, having written 2000 words over-thinking every element of each episode of the show). Point is, one more week until we crown a winner, and then… oh, hang on, there’s a week break between the finale and the new season starting. Does that mean we’re getting a break or could there be a reunion being planned? I don’t know but… please, let us have a reunion, PLEASE!
See you all next week when the queens will do a giant commercial for a RuPaul song and there will inevitably be a twist of some kind that will piss off the fandom because that seems to be something the show enjoys doing now… and yes, I will still watch even if they do a jury thing again because even when this show isn’t great, it’s still better than almost anything else on television.
Monet: I’m a petty bitch from Brooklyn, I hold grudges
Monique: I was still living at home with my mom then. We didn’t have cable, she didn’t want me watching HBO because she didn’t want me to look at naked women. Maybe a boob or two would’ve helped me?
Naomi: Save a horse, ride a hillbilly
Trinity: I can be a side pussy