My name is Kari and I’m not one hundred percent on-board with what happened on the first episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Monday night.
Okay. So I should start with the fact that I really love Pandora Boxx. A lot. I really didn’t want to see her go home. And I’m really not thrilled with Mimi Imfurst and can’t really understand why she would be brought back for an All Star show in the first place. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t hate Mimi. I recall thinking back in season three that her Virgin Mary get-up was funny and charming. I can also remember thinking that her Hermaphrodite character in the “Drag Queens in Space” episode was seriously obnoxious. She did at least commit to the over-the-top reading of the character, and in my opinion (and let’s face it, probably pretty much everyone’s) it’s better to be an overwhelming drag queen than an underwhelming one. I also found her workroom meltdown somewhat tiresome. Honestly, if I was in a competition like this, jumping through hoops and making outfits under pressure and dealing with inter-contestant drama all while surrounded by a film crew, I’d burst into tears too. But I’m a snarky blogger who owns one really old stick of black eyeliner and could not, if asked, sew her way out of a paper bag, so probably I wouldn’t get myself into that situation. Mimi Imfurst is a drag queen. So there is a limit to my sympathy.
All this to say, I’m no great lover of Mimi. I don’t think she was as funny as the judges seemed to be giving her credit for in this episode, and I certainly don’t think she was as funny as Pandora. That said, I didn’t see a lot of humor in Pandora on this episode. She did seem kind of reserved to me– at least in what the producers and other powers that be decided to cut in. It really did seem (or, they really made it seem) like she wasn’t playing very hard, and like she gave up as soon as she was teamed up with Mimi.
Which leads me to my fundamental problem. I have mixed feelings about having the queens teamed up for the duration of the show. I like teams. I like high stakes– sending both members of a team home is exciting, and it makes sense. The losing team loses. I’m also excited about Team Latrilla, and Team-Either-of-You-Could-Have-Won-Season-Two-And-I-Would-Have-Been-Happier. That said, what the heck? If they play in teams for the whole season, won’t that make the season really short? Is that happening? Is it common knowledge that that’s happening? If this were a proper blog that people read I’d probably have to go look that up, but as it isn’t, I’m going to skip the research and just wonder plaintively. For some reason that I can’t really articulate, I also feel like permanent teams will limit the queens and the show. Half of the teams are comprised of queens that have already competed against one another in previous seasons (more than half, now that Pandora and Mimi are gone). Aren’t we missing out on more interesting combinations? I guess they’re all still sharing the competition. I guess I’m just dubious. Then again, maybe I’m just bummed out because it looks like a short season, and I need more Drag Race, not less.
Speaking of more Drag Race– I watched this episode on Logo’s website, and it seemed really short. I read that it was a 70 minute premier when it aired Monday night (obviously that includes the many commercials) but it didn’t seem longer than a regular episode to me. In fact, I found it similar to most first episodes of this show, which I always think of as a little rushed because there are so many queens, and I don’t know them yet, and I don’t have the knowledge to start picking favorites until a few episodes in, so I just pick the pretty one or the funny one or the one from Boston (or all three team Juju). Which is weird, because I know all of these queens, so I shouldn’t be feeling the getting-to-know-you buffer, but I kind of am. Alternatively, maybe I’ve become spoiled by Netflix. One episode would feel short compared to a self-orchestrated, commercial free, season long marathon.
In other stray observations, I would have been okay with Team Shad going home, even though I like Chad and in my dim and distant memory of watching season one, I think I liked Shannel, too. This is partly because their performance this week was boring, but mostly because Moss pointed out that, more than anyone else, Chad always says he’s “Serving insert-word-here realness” and now that the bell has been rung, it’s driving me bananas.
What do you think, internet?