Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Land Down Under: Trashy American TV in Australia

In Australia they have some very good TV shows such as Rake, which I mentioned in an earlier posting. But they also have a lot of Trash TV.

The other night, I watched RuPaul's Drag Race, an import from the US. Who does Trash TV better than Americans? It turns out that this show is The Next Top Model for drag queens. As with Top Model, the ladies/men compete in a series of challenges before one is booted off. Strangely though, they do their first task as men, then drag it up for the major one.

The challenge is to "read" the other contestants. Apparently, "reading" is heaping insults on them, but in a sassy way, so it's not really offensive. The ladies/men then turn their attentions to creating a cover for their autobiography. They then must run their own photo shoot, give the book a name, and then do a media interview to promote it while also pushing a brand of vodka. Now, that's a lot of work!!

I had to chuckle when Titianna, who started performing drag when she/he was 14, asks "How do you spell successful?" I didn't say these contestants were brain trusts. You could watch this show just for the make-up tips. . . how do drag queens always do such awesome eyeshadow? The lowest-ranked two girls face off in a "Lip Sync For Your Life" challenge before the eliminated girl is told to "sashay away." How festive. There is so little call in life these days to sashay.

Rupaul's Drag Race may not be my cup of tea or my favorite trashy show, but it's not mean-spirited or cruel. That, at least, makes it a notch above other "reality" TV shows.  

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