Two gay and fabulous shows you should be watching

Okay, I know I just recommended some TV shows to you last week but you’ll have to forgive me because I’m about to encourage you to watch two more series. And these ones you need to watch right now.

You see, my British crime dramas recommendation post had been sitting in my drafts folder since December. I love those shows, don’t get me wrong, but I never felt any sense of urgency when recommending them because their seasons were finished. Those were more of “binge these whenever” recommendations.

These two shows though? They’re the here and now. They’re what’s new on Netflix and what’s currently showing on TV. And if you haven’t started watching them yet, you’re seriously missing out. 

(And if you are watching these already, please, let’s chat! I’d love to know who you favorite queens are or which of the Fab Five you most need in your life. Let’s compare notes!)

Ru Paul's Drag Race illustration by Asti Stenning

RuPaul’s Drag Race

The first recommendation, and one that I will be sorely disappointed in if I found out you haven’t given this a watch yet is RuPaul’s Drag Race. I honestly don’t even remember how I came across this show, but I know I’ve been religiously watching it since season 5 (and I’ve binged all the previous season thanks to Netflix.)

RuPaul searches for America’s next drag superstar.

Now I have to admit, it’s not hard for me to fall in love with a show like this. It belongs to one of my favorite categories of television: reality competitions. That’s right, there’s a dash of reality where you get to see what drama unfolds as these large personalities mix and there’s a bit of competition as they take part in various mini-challenges to win the crown of America’s next drag superstar. But even if you don’t care for that genre of television, I really think you should still give this show a try.

For one, this show is diverse. It features a variety of different queens from different backgrounds. And I don’t only mean that in the “there’s people of color” sense. It also attempts to represent some of the diversity within the drag community itself. There’s pageant queens, comedy queens, club queens, etc. I think it’s easy to simplify something like the art of drag if you’re not familiar with it into one stereotype, but watching this show gives you insight into just how many ways drag is used as a form of expression.

Also, this show is hilarious. I grew up in a family that used making fun of each other as its main outlet for expressing love. As a result, I sometimes am a bit of a bully with my humor and I worry about others taking it the wrong way. These queens make me feel so much better though because the things I say is absolute nothing compared to their savagery. When the “library” is open and these queens “read” each other, they hold nothing back and I absolutely love it.

As if the reads didn’t offer entertainment enough, the challenges that RuPaul sets up for the queens leave plenty of opportunity for laughter. Celebrity impersonations, ridiculous advertisements, music videos – every week there’s something different going on in the competition and the queens never fail to put it all out there.

Lastly, this show has heart. As much as I’m in it for the entertainment, I love RuPaul’s Drag Race because the participants all have a story. Those scenes where they’re just sitting in front of the mirror, putting their make-up, and talking about some of the shit they’ve been through are some of my favorites. They’ve all been through a lot to get where they are and they all have something they’re trying to prove. Even though we only ever get a small glimpse of that stuff on the show, I think it’s just as important. It’s easy to ignore the issues that exist in our society when watching the queens werk or drooling over the pit crew, but those queens have gone through a lot.

So yes, please, watch this show. And watch the All Star version too. I love love love it.

Some of my favorite queen(s): BenDeLaCreme, Alyssa Edwards, Adore Delano, Bianca Del Rio

Queer Eye illustration of the Fab Five by Asti Stenning

Queer Eye

Okay, I’m not going to lie, I was extremely hesitant to watch this show on Netflix because of its hype on Twitter. While part of me wanted to watch it because I was curious if it really was as good as everyone was saying, there was a part of me that felt like everyone was just riding the hype wave and watching it would only open myself to disappointment. Have you ever experienced that? It’s so strange how hype can cause such extreme reactions.

Luckily, I ended up giving it a go. And I loved it.

A new Fab Five set out to Atlanta to help the city’s men refine their wardrobes, grooming, diet, cultural pursuits, and home décor.

I love the people who the Fab Five help out. I think I saw in an interview that they call them “heroes”, but the people the Fab Five help come from all walks of life (and aren’t limited by their sexual orientation, which is a nice change from the original series) and each person shares something from their story that is deeply personal. As a result, it’s hard not to find yourself rooting for each person while they go through their transformation and partake in the celebration when they come out new and improved on the other side.

And seriously, those Fab Five guys are everything. Their personalities are great, they are extremely knowledgable about their areas of expertise, and they definitely don’t hurt the eyes to look at. And I have to say, one of the things I really like about them is that they seem so genuine in the show. They really seem to care about each person they work with in the episodes, helping them to improve their lives because they want to and not just because it’s their job, and there’s something so refreshing about that. I honestly just feel like each one has an amazing heart and you’re missing out if you don’t let them into your lives.

I really don’t tend to get sappy while watching shows, but this one definitely tugged at my heart string. And if it could reach into the dark pit of my heart and make me a convert, I know it can do the same for you. So don’t worry about the hype like I did and just give this a go. I’ll be shocked if you don’t fall in love.

Let’s Chat

If you are watching these shows already, I would LOVE for you to comment down below and talk to me about what your favorite episodes are, who you would have over for dinner, what you hope to see in the future seasons, etc. Also, let me know if I can talk to you about episodes in the future because I have no one I talk to about these shows right now!

And if you aren’t watching these shows already, what are you waiting for?! Are you put off by the hype? Just not your type of show? Tried it and didn’t like it? I’m curious! 

Asti signature

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5 thoughts on “Two gay and fabulous shows you should be watching

  1. I’m definitely not a reality TV person at all, but you’ve mentioned RuPaul’s Drag Race before, so I’ve added it to our Netflix queue. I’m not sure if Sebastian can be convinced to watch it, though. xD

    1. I’m not going to lie, I actually thought about you while writing this post! haha. I knew you mentioned before you had never watched it so yessss Maraia, do give it a shot. I mean, if you end up not liking it after an episode and don’t continue it, that’s fine, but at least give the drag a chance.

      Dave was totally put off by it when I tried watching it around him before just because he didn’t know what to think about drag, but only took an episode or two before he became extremely opinionated on which queens he liked/disliked and who he thought should win the competition each week. I don’t think he’s watched any episodes since I left but we’ll be definitely watching it together in the future!

  2. I wish RuPaul’s shows were available on Netflix. I really want to get to know drag better because I have zero knowledge of that type of queer culture. I will say that I adore the Queer Eye dudes because there this sweet connection I have to the show. When we moved to California, I was just about to start community college, and my brother and I would stay in a motel until the home my family got would be ready for us to move into. I used to watch the original Queer Eye show back then. And, it was kind of an introduction to the LGBT+ community.

    Anyway, so I adore the people who were on Queer Eye. My favorite has to be the man from the first episode. “You can’t fix ugly” dude kind of struck a nerve for me. I want Tan to help someone who is a little…bigger physically because I want tips on how to dress better for my size. Plus, can Anthoni please cook something without dairy? Jesus. I love these dudes but they did get a little redundant at times. I want to be Jonathan when I grow up.

    1. I wish RuPaul’s shows were on Netflix too! It sucks because they’re available on Netflix in the UK (I was able to watch it over there when I was studying abroad), but for some reason they refuse to make them available here. Boo.

      Aw, that’s nice you have a connection to the original Queer Eye. I’m not sure why I never watched it? I was in my teens when it was on. I guess I was too busy chasing boys to watch that much tv.

      Yes, I agree with your thoughts on that “you can’t fix ugly” guy! I think we all feel that way at times, so helpless and hopeless with ourselves. So to see someone find the beauty in themselves during an episode like that was a lot of fun. He just seemed like such a lovely guy.

      The only thing I remember from Tan helping a bigger guy on the show was that he said layers were good, but that’s about it. It would be nice to continue seeing more variety in the individuals they choose in future episodes. (And tbh I didn’t notice the dairy thing with Anthoni at all. I would assume he was trying to find a happy medium with the participants so chose recipes that they would like, which generally just included dairy? I don’t know!)

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