“What did we just watch?“
This was my question after watching the RuPaul’s Drag Race Holi-Slay Spectacular, a strange and wonderful and terrible mutant cobbling together of reality show with variety show via scripted comedy and blatant, embedded commercials. It was one of the strangest hours of television I have ever seen. I don’t know what I was expecting but it was and was not this.
In keeping with this mania, here are some stray thoughts on the episode. This is my effort to comprehend what we watched, all these days later.
• Did David Lynch direct this episode? Like. One minute, we’re in scene, talking about the queer glow-up. The next? We’re literally in a fucking musical number that is supposed to seem “natural” but is anything but. Like. Huh?
• It was nice to see Shawn Morales again! Even if he was carrying the Postmates. (Also: LOL @ his not being a dancer in the final number. These new Pit Crew boys have to be literal total packages!)
• I loved the overall “rehearsed”-ness of this episode. For example: the dance line moment for the mini-challenge. Loved it. It added a camp factor that it didn’t intend to have! Whereas the Ross-cum-Elf-On-The-Shelf? Terrible.
• To the mini challenge – and the non-winner ending – Mayhem Miller was the only contestant to win anything. Does that mean she has an alternate reality Christmas win?
• This episode so wished it was the Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special but so was not.
• RuPaul looked incredible in drag. This is the best she has looked in years! And, atop of this, she actually performed which I believe is a first. She has never, like, literally taken to the main stage to do a little song and dance. I loved it.
• …but the blatant “Ru has a holiday album!” commercialism killed me. It was so fucking awful.
• The runways revealed that poor Latrice has no chance of winning All Stars.
• But! Jasmine Masters? She impressed me and seems like she legit can and will be a contender this All Stars.
• There were some legit stellar runway looks! Kim Chi, obviously, and Shangela, obviously, but also Mayhem Miller. Why isn’t she on All Stars?
• This entire episode really did remind us all: Shangela was fucking robbed of her win in All Stars 3.
• There was a disgusting amount of Jesus mentions in the episode. It took the “holi-slay” episode for me to realize this but this show is like obsessed with Jesus. From the constant “Amens!” to singing Christian specific Christmas songs, it kind of made me a little nauseous. I’m actually shocked there was no conversation about religion, the holidays, and queerness colliding, which would have tipped this goblet of Blood Of Christ all over the fucking table, making me set my television on fire. Sigh. Anyway. In addition to being so problematic with trans persons, queer folks, and women in general, is Ru also problematic when it comes to religious representation? You would have thought you would have at least Thorgy Thor or Miss Cracker to represent Judaism. Sheesh.
• No one was ever gonna win this episode. Was anyone surprised?
• This seems like the worst fucking hour of television to have watched at a gay bar.
• The real gift of the episode was the RuPaul and Michelle Visage routine featuring them “dancing.” That was truly a holiday spectacular, I admit.
• But, again, all to fucking promo Ru’s new album. Yawn.