Five reasons why you should be watching the horror-based drag reality show.
If RuPaul's Drag Race set the blueprint for what a drag-based reality TV show should be, The Boulet Brothers' Dragula came and scribbled all over it.
The horror-themed drag reality competition is one of the fiercest, scariest, and most entertaining shows on TV. Dragula isn't better than Drag Race on every front, but there are many ways in which it surpasses the original drag competition, especially when it comes to artistry and politics.
If you're not familiar with Dragula, now is your chance to get acquainted. We've been thirsting for more of the Boulet Brothers' brilliant brainchild for almost a year now, and it's finally back! AMC Network's horror streaming service, Shudder, is airing The Boulet Brothers' Dragula: Resurrection on October 20th, and in the meanwhile, you can binge seasons 2 and 3 on Netflix.
The 2-hour special will be a horror film, documentary, and drag reality competition all in one. The recently-released trailer has us ridiculously excited for the special. Whether you're a drag fan, a horror fan, or just someone who loves good, unclean fun, here are five reasons to watch.
1. It's Gender-Inclusive
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One of the main issues with Drag Race is the show's refusal to cast transgender contestants (with a few complicated exceptions), drag kings, or anyone assigned female at birth. The argument that is often presented is that it wouldn't be possible or interesting to have drag performers with different gender presentations or identities compete against each other.
Dragula effectively proves that all drag can fit into the reality TV show format just fine! While there haven't been many transgender contestants so far, season 3 broke new ground by casting two drag performers who were assigned female at birth: the impeccable drag king Landon Cider and the subversive drag artist Hollow Eve.
Both contestants did incredibly well on the show, both as competitors and as reality TV characters. Hollow Eve did not shy away from drama (while bringing up important social justice issues) and Landon Cider impressed with a level of artistry and polish that rivals any drag queen. We're ready for Drag Race to take note and diversify its casting!
2. It's Subversive
Dragula celebrates filth and horror without shame, and in doing so it turns a lot of things on their head. By getting down and dirty, contestants can make powerful statements about topics that are normally seen as untouchable, like abortion or addiction. Other times, they can just get horrifically gross. In the meanwhile, on Drag Race, the judges get grossed out by a simple fart joke.
It's not only the performances that can be horrifying. Each episode ends with an "extermination," a horror skit in which that episode's eliminated contestant is gruesomely murdered, usually in a method that pays homage to an iconic horror film. With Halloween coming up, this kind of competition feels more compelling than Drag Race's fashion and comedy-based approach.
3. It's Glam
The Boulet Brothers themselves are a vision of pristine glamour, but the contestants also deliver stunning looks. At each season finale, contestants have to present three different performances based on the show's themes of horror, filth, and, of course, glamour.
Throughout the show, contestants can also interpret the challenges based on their style. While many performers stick to horror or filth-based looks, others are as glamorous as any RuPaul's Drag Race queen.
The glamorous looks on Dragula have more of a gothic vibe, of course, and contestants often find intriguing ways to combine the beautiful with the grotesque.
4. There's Drama
Evad Destruction and Hollow Eve media4.giphy.com
We come to Dragula for the artistry, but we're not above admitting that we stick around for the drama. Like any good reality show, Dragula has plenty of it! Even without an Untucked, it can certainly give Drag Race a run for its money.
The show takes a bunch of horror drag performers and puts them in highly stressful situations, so it's only natural that the results are hilarious. There are plenty of arguments and quite a few meltdowns that lead to extremely meme-able moments.
5. It Gets Philosophical
Landon Cider media4.giphy.com
Before giving their judgments after the floorshow portion of each episode, The Boulet Brothers start with a disclaimer: "Drag is art and art is subjective. What we are judging you on is your drag as it relates to this competition."
It's an important reminder that the competition is not the end-all and be-all of good drag. It also feeds into other fascinating themes that continue throughout the show, like what makes good art and how can an artist retain what makes them unique within the context of a competition.
In comparison, Drag Race comes across as downright prescriptive.
Beyond this, the contestants themselves often use the platform as a chance to talk about the issues that matter to them, covering topics as broad as climate change, gender identity, immigration, and more.
"THE BOULET BROTHERS' DRAGULA: RESURRECTION" Official Trailer. www.youtube.com