Fabulouser and fabulouser
In conversation with Herriemakers’ Herald Adolfs, Toby Earle casts an eye over the unstoppable sensation of TV drag shows.
At the 2021 Emmys, RuPaul won a sixth consecutive award as Outstanding Host for a reality or competition programme for RuPaul’s Drag Race, and as the show gears up for its fourteenth season there’s no sign of drag’s TV popularity waning.
“Four spin-offs and multiple international versions of Drag Race have followed, but it’s not a genre of one. Drag-centric shows have increased in number as audiences have flocked to watch inspirational and entertaining contestants change both their appearances and their lives.
There’s TLC’s Dragnificent, where a team of drag queens give people makeovers as well as the confidence to embrace who they are, while HBO’s We’re Here features a trio of drag queens visiting small towns to recruit locals for a one-off drag show. There’s even a horror-orientated drag series, The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula, celebrating the alternative scene with challenges that would turn fake eyelashes white with fright.
And of course there’s Herriemakers’ Make Up Your Mind, and Creative Director Herald Adolfs is clear about why TV has fallen in love with drag: “I think drag shows have become very popular because they celebrate diversity. It’s an art form with no limits, and in our show the celebrities support the important message which drag is all about: be who you want to be.
“The night Make Up Your Mind aired I was checking personal messages from parents on social media until four o’clock in the morning. One message said, ‘I watched it with my son and he’s also interested in drag. Halfway through the show, he said, ‘I can’t watch the show without wearing heels’. That was such a great story.”
“Drag shows have become very popular because they celebrate diversity. It’s an art form with no limits, and in our show the celebrities support the important message which drag is all about: be who you want to be.”– Herald Adolfs, Herriemakers, The Netherlands