RuPaul’s Drag U., season two


Entertainment Weekly’s PopWatch recently said that summer television is a) not gay enough and b) suffers from a RuPaul deficiency.



That all changed on Monday, June 20, 2011.



When “RuPaul’s Drag U.” premiered last summer, I was prepared to sneer it off the airwaves. I liked Drag Race very much, but the “Drag U.” concept – having drag queens give makeovers to straight women – was too much. Add to that the conceit that this was a “university,” with “faculty” (actually, Ru pronounces it “falcuty”), and “deans” and “draguation” (!).



But the show won me over instantly. It was – surprise! – goodhearted. It reminds me of the old “Queen For A Day” show, on which tearful housewives told their stories in return for washers and dryers and blenders. But the real prize on “Drag U.” is self-esteem. The women dress up in Marilyn Monroe wigs and sequined frocks, and they do kindergarten-level lipsynch in front of a supportive audience, and you watch them realize that this is fun.



The first show of the second season was wonderful. The contestants arrived looking tired, uncertain, and bedraggled, and ended the show looking fabulous.



They’re retooled the show a bit since last year. It’s sillier and has more stupid jokes. But it has a lot more Lady Bunny, for which I praise all the Drag Gods. And, as I was watching the wrap-up of the first show of the season, it suddenly hit me that Ru (in his most elegant suit-and-tie drag) was wearing a white suit with a pastel Hawaiian print, with a lilac shirt and an iridescent lime-green tie.



He looked wonderful.



And isn’t that the point?



It’s only a shame that there can only be one winner.



Ru: can’t you figure out a way for everybody to win?


About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

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