RuPaul Charles' Drag Race is one of the most enjoyable television shows in existence. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, after years of being ignored, RuPaul has taken his career into his own well-manicured hands, fashioning a program of sheer pleasure about what he knows and does best: the art (and it is truly an art, of this I am sure) of drag. Queens from across the country (and let's not forget the incredible artists from Puerto Rico, too) gather together in an unmarked Los Angeles studio to compete under a simple banner: "May the best woman win!"
It's not just about the competing queens, though. On the show, Ru brings so much eleganza! She is truly the ultimate Mother; The program features contestants who may feel they have never fit in anywhere and introduces them to other dolls who become like family. Sure, they fight, there's some shady shade thrown, and ultimately a climactic "Lipsync for your life," but in the end, there's always Ru's constant proclamation, "If you can't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else...." as the queens take to the runway once more and dance the show out to cries of "Let the music play!" The show exists as a small utopia where all those who are labeled "different" can come together and express themselves to the max, be appreciated for who they are, and finally, dance the night away. Seeing the process unfold over each season is inspiring, fun and exhilarating. At its core, under all that makeup and duct tape, RuPaul's Drag Race is about celebrating self expression, cheesy as that sounds, and it is often quite touching to witness. It's truly a feel-good reality show, and yes, I know how oxymoronic that sounds.