Although entertaining as always, Season 11 left me feeling underwhelmed and wanting more past the staged fights and drama, it needed more wholesome moments that were present in earlier seasons.
The latest season of the pop culture phenomenon, RuPaul’s Drag Race is at an end. It was definitely a season to remember, due to the large and contrasting personalities of the contestants. However, does this make the show good, or is the format becoming dated after 11 years of the same stuff?
There was so much hype around the season, and it had to fix a lot of issues regarding the cop-out ending of All-Stars 4. The series began in the same way as all the other seasons; photoshoot and then a design challenge. The weeks went on and there was acting challenges, comedy challenges and design challenges aplenty. However, it didn’t feel fresh and much of the entertainment came from behind the scenes segments where contestants started verbally attacking one another. But even this had its flaws; it felt very staged at times and all put on in front of the cameras.
And that is the problem I have with Drag Race. In the beginning, everything felt so organic, so it was natural for arguments to happen and the drama was brilliant. However, as the seasons went on, it feels like the drama happens just for the camera and it has become too forced. Season 11 just emphasises this more than any other season.
One thing I will give it credit for is the ability to show the best of people. Whether it is to do with racism, homophobia, discrimination, inclusivity; the show manages to tackle these issues in such a way that it genuinely brings a tear to your eye. There was a heartwarming discussion during one of the challenges this season regarding the importance of political action in the age of Trump, where one of the queens opened up about receiving death threats for being gay, and the amount of love from the other queens was so heartwarmingly positive. It is those genuine moments that make the show so brilliant and also showcases the struggles of the LGBT+ community to a wider audience.
However, I struggle to see longevity in the series unless something is changed in terms of the show’s layout. Season 11 did bring some gag-worthy moments, such as the six-way lip-sync, but it felt rather boring as a whole. It was just underwhelming across all aspects.
As much as Drag Race has just hit a mainstream audience, it lacks the oomph to keep it interesting f0r the fans who have eagerly watched season after season of the reality show. I just hope with the addition of Drag Race UK, they keep it fresh and new.
Seasons 1-11 of Rupaul’s Drag Race is out now on Netflix UK.
Catch the trailer below: