You Guys Really Like RuPaul's Drag Race Huh

Illustration for article titled You Guys Really Like iRuPauls Drag Race/i Huh
Image: World of Wonder/VH1

RuPaul’s Drag Race is really fucking popular, Entertainment Weekly reports. Reddit released new data on Tuesday ranking the most discussed television shows on its various subreddits, ranked by how many unique pageviews that show’s subreddit got in the 2018 calendar year. VH1's Emmy-winning drag reality show came out on top with 8.8 million uniques on the r/rupaulsdragrace subreddit, beating out Game of Thrones (7.7 million uniques), Rick and Morty (5.9 million uniques), and Westworld (5.7 million uniques). I guess it’s good that the gay TV show beat the straight TV show. Yes, I think it is. Good for TV show.

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DISCUSSION

Such mixed feelings.

On the one hand, great! I love the show. I love a lot of the queens, and am happy they are benefiting from the exposure.

And on the other hand...I miss what the show was like when it wasn’t as much of a moneymaker. Both because of how the fans now weaponize themselves against certain contestants, and because of how the queens themselves sanitize themselves in order to gain admittance to previously-forbidden audiences like those on VH1 and Netflix. I like that the show draws attention to issues like the struggles that LGBT youth face growing up, or the persecution that transgender people and LGBT POC encounter, but I miss the fearlessness queens used to have when talking about themselves or to others. They didn’t feel the pressure to always manage their brand and present as more mannered than they are.

To be clear, I’ll always be happy to hear Drag Race is doing well, and is popular, but I don’t love some of the ways the show has to conform to expectations to maintain that success.