Yes, I noticed the wobbly statue. The critics almost all seem to be raving about the new production, and although some of the new sets/scenery are quite good, the big multi-purpose drum, the "Masquerade" Ballroom (although the red-uniformed Phantom is completely unimpressive and not frightening), the show is clearly a down-sized, cheaper version.
Sorry, I forgot to say "YIKES" before!
I never thought about the edits like that, I'll admit that Drag Race is the first real reality series that I've followed close enough to even read reviews of (with the exception of my Google News Alert for "Teresa Giudice Indicted". Those are fair points and I will admit to despising Roxxy and Detox last year although looking back I do wonder how much that was due to the edit.
Yikes, some people take this show WAY too seriously, but I also kind of understand the obsession, having a slight case of it myself. I would just like to add that I was disappointed by some of the updating/downsizing, and distracted by the thought that producers were motivated by saving money. Did you happen to catch the statue that wobbled as The Phantom climbed aboard? ? I say again: Yikes.
Those are fair points, Glenn. I've never claimed to be unbiased when it comes to Darienne -- I openly admit that she's a hometown queen and I want her to do well. (Same was true for Pandora when she was on the show.) But I do want to clarify that I'm not hanging out with Darienne all the time or anything like that. We've met a few times before and after she taped the show. I have attended a few of her viewing parties and chatted briefly with her there. I did interview her before the show started. But the two of us aren't sitting around eating crackers and having a kiki or anything like that.
I HAVE been harping on the editors/producers a lot this season, but that's not because of Darienne. It's because the character framing has been more obvious than ever. I suspect this is because these queens weren't giving them a lot of actual drama to work with -- they all seem to legitimately like each other -- so the editors felt compelled to create "good guys" and "bad guys" through editing. Darienne got a bad edit in the middle of the season, but now Courtney is getting a really negative portrayal. And I guess my point, which I have perhaps not made clearly in this blog, is that I find that upsetting on behalf of these performers. It must be awful to do this show, throw yourself into it, and then watch and see some distorted version of yourself on television that you had NO control over.
You could argue "reality TV, bought their ticket, they DID say/do all that stuff at some point on camera." And yep, true. But unlike almost any other reality show I can think of, these queens are seriously affected by their edits in their ability to book work post-show. Ask Roxxxy or Phi Phi how their bookings compare to, say, Alaska or Latrice. A queen's character is their livelihood (or at least a form of artistic expression), and once it has been put in the hands of the editors, it can be skewed very pointedly in one direction or another. You have only to look at what viewers are posting on, say, Reddit about Courtney "being nasty" to Joslyn, and some of the really vicious things they're saying about her currently (we'll leave Darienne out of it for the moment, because as I said: admitted bias) to see how her longterm drag career might suffer because some producer thought, "Oh hey, let's make Courtney look like a bitch and Joslyn look like a delicate white flower on which she stomps her heels." That is not what happened in real life. And yet, Courtney's actual career might seriously suffer from this whole thing. And I think that's worth discussing, at least.
I don't know how you can discuss this season (especially) without remarking on the edits. It really appears that these queens aren't at each other's throats, so the drama is being sloppily manufactured.
This used to be the best review on the web, but now it's full of Darienne Lake apologies and constant comments about "oh my, the producers and the edits!". Give it a rest mate, we get that you get to hang out with Darienne and are inclined to take her word when she says "oh, no, sure my jewelry all fell down during the interview but it was just a bad edit full of special effects"
I don't think people think Darienne is especially catty or mean, just that she's incredibly hackneyed, she's clearly fairly full of herself and somehow believes that she's clever, but in reality most of her mean comments (i.e. the crayon comment to Adore in last week's untucked, and her entire Paula Deen schtick from Match Game) are actually just lame attempts at jokes that at best come off as poor "dad jokes", mix that with her wardrobe that seems to be taken straight from Lane Bryant President's Day sale and it's understandable why she's not exactly a fan favorite.
You get some things right in your breezy analysis of the restaged, touring Phantom of the Opera. For instance,
The show has been and is massive successful.
The plot is a long way from being, say, Hamlet.
Cooper Grodin isn't a very good Phantom.
The secondary characters are better done than in the original production.
You just "don't get it" with your inability to grasp that there can be a love triangle. You don't see or understand it, but audiences for over 25 years have seen it and understood it.
Some people undoubtedly come to the show for the spectacle, but the repeat customers, who have had a big part in keeping the show a success (some of whom are now bringing their children to see it) are led with great theater craft to care about the Phantom in the last scene of the show---as does Christine---probably because we all are given some insight into what has made the Phantom the dangerous and angry man he is (a life-time of rejection, beginning with his mother).
In the last scene, both Christine (and most of the audience, minus you) see his pathetic situation and sympathize. During the rest of the show, we see the danger and mystery and---in the original production---the elegance and magic of the character.
At the end, he is stunned when Christine willingly kisses him. Something happens to him. If he were the madman you think him to be, he would have been very unlikely to have undergone a change of heart and let Christine go with her young man, despite knowing he is losing his last chance at the kind of happiness most ordinary men know (HE believes it is, as unlikely as it might seem to a cooler, clearer head). It might well be the first really unselfish thing he has done. Real love is unselfish.
You apparently do not see these things or just can't believe they could happen, even in a musical, but audiences mostly CAN believe it, and the touching emotion of the final scene, I believe, does more to sell the show than the falling chandelier.
It probably wouldn't if it weren't for the music.....but Lloyd Webber has written beautiful music for flops.
The fact that you don't "get it" doesn't mean it doesn't happen.
By the way, Grodin's Phantom (I would bet it's more Macintosh and Conner's Phantom) is soft in some ways, probably an attempt to make him seem more "human," but he is the most violent Phantom I've seen in several times I've seen the show (several, NOT hundreds or anything like it). He pulls her hair, chokes her, throws her on the bed, and climbs on top of her.
--And the show still works!
Tyler, you are awesome! Thanks!
Pegasus on Church, O 'Grady's on Church and The 8th Deadly Sin all show Ru Paul's Drag Race at 10PM.
Hi Eric....remembered that you blogged this show and needed to read an intelligent review of it. I have not read the books though (& won;t) so no spoilers please.
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It should have been Joslyn vs Trinity or Adore. But let's be honest, y'all are gonna stop watching the show because of it? It's pretty obvious neither Trinity or Josyln has what it takes to win this thing anyway. I'm glad Trinity got to stay and show us more, but she had already been given a few extra chances. Saving her again after not getting Chaz's name right in an interview? No.
It was clearly NOTHING BUT SHADE! Sending Trinity K home... Didnt understand why she was even there??? Yes she fucked that interview up but her runway look was EVERYTHING! And did way better then Ms. Fox, with her poor ass interview & "meaty tuck" lol... in reality it should have been Adore & Joslyn and thats where the shade lies because Trinity had no business being in the bottom two when Joslyn did worst then both of the queens put together! Im fuckin over Ru.. idk if im even going to continue watching, it was a disappointment and very uncalled for and clearly the show is fixed, smfh...
Trinity is a great performer was getting better and then she was send home ole please the show is fixed like most everything else in this fucked up world but Trinity has the look and can lip sink his ass off .and looks better than Rupaul so of course Rupaul would send him packing just because of trinity look what a fucked up show
Honestly, my complaint, particularly in this episode, is the edit. Clearly they focused on Joslyn, who obviously bombed from what we saw. BUT, even Adore thought it was going to be between her and Trinity. The actual reactions that we do see seem to indicate that it really wasn't quite as horrendous as it was at the time. Hell, maybe the rest of her interview went pretty smoothly (if crude). To me, that means that the editing just got completely out of hand, emphasizing Joslyn's mistake because it was juicier for TV than the others.
And the drama in this Untucked episode was so ridiculously over-contrived.
Trinity didn't put abortion or coming out of someone's private parts in her interview, which was totally disgusting by the way. She didn't say "Cool" when Cher's mother spoke about "The Depression"... There was so much bull going around on this episode it's pathetic. Yet Doo-Raul sends Trinity home. I'm done watching what I thought was the only show NOT tampered with.
Trinity was totally robbed, I'm done with RPDR, something's fishy indeed. There was no way she should have been put up last night. Others screwed up the challenge and runway but still were safe? Trinity messed up the interview but rocked the runway flawless, yet was put up for elimination and sent home? PLEASE! Half of them weren't even dam animals, one said she was a panther mixed with a Mortal Combat character... WTF! Shouldn't you be able to tell what animal it was as they came out. How many had to explain what the hell they were? TRINITY WAS ROBBED! Rupaul and his drag race is obviously fixed.
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watch the necklace again, the right one is missing ;)
What the hell is Joslyn still doing in the competition? She is bringing nothing on the runway except cheese (and now meat). I feel like this show just drops people when they know that person's story arc is done. Trinity had nowhere else to go (in their eyes). She triumphed last week and overcame her self doubt, so boom!--her story is done and she goes.
I absolutely do not want to see another runway look from Joslyn. If she pulls out the Stephanie Seymour wedding dress from November Rain, I'm done.
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