News Reel & Blog

Written by Flora Kimberley on 11th February 2019

The popularity of reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race has catapulted drag to the forefront of the media industry. The heart-warming and hilarious show has captured the hearts of millions of people; highlighting the plight of the LGBTQ community and a different form of artist expression.

The pilot series started in February 2009 where ten queens competed against each other in a series of challenges to win one hundred thousand dollars. Fast forward ten years, it may have the same premise, but it has evolved into something much more than a reality show. Drag Race is a cultural phenomenon, one of the most quotable shows on television and a merchandise empire.

The influence of Drag Race has filtered into the mainstream television and film industries. Gone are the tired “it’s a man in a wig” jokes! Drag performers are being given more complex and gritty roles to really show their real talent. A recent example is through Drag Race alumni Shangela Laquifa Wadley and Willam who are featured in the Oscar nominated A Star is Born. The bar scenes are predominantly based at a Gay Bar where Shangela is the owner and MC. According to sources, most of the dialogue between the drag queens is completely improvised as Bradley Cooper (Director) wanted to really capture the community’s essence. Cooper also let the queens create their own looks for the film to really express their personalities.

This drag acceptance is coming through on other productions as well. Valentina (also Drag Race alumni) has recently been cast in FOX’s version of Rent. It shows that these production houses are really allowing drag to have a presence in the industry and celebrate the artists that use it as their expression.

As RuPaul states in his hit song Naked (available on iTunes) “We are all born naked and the rest is drag!”

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Written by Flora Kimberley on 5th February 2019

Friends is everyone’s favourite sitcom from its portrayal of career progression through to its depiction of young life where your friends are closer to you then your family. It is one of the most quotable shows ever to grace our television screens having us yell along “we were on a break!”

Incredibly, even though it finished almost fifteen years ago, Friends is still at the top of streaming site Netflix most viewed. It is quite unbelievable that the show still has so much magnitude after so much time. Especially in the crowded market of scripted television content.

The show is loved by all, old and young. However, it seems to be particularly popular in the five to sixteen age demographic, which is particularly interesting as most of these viewers wouldn’t have been alive when Friends ended in 2004!

In recent years the world has become a lot more varied and accepting than in the 90’s, so the shows continued success has surprised some, especially as there is some controversy surrounding the show. Many people have labelled the show as sexist and homophobic with the character Ross being at the heart of the issues. For example, it is important to highlight the episode where Ross and Rachel hire a male nanny. This episode shows how uncomfortable Ross is when a man evades the stereotypical masculine norm, which ends with them dismissing the male nanny as Ross cannot handle it. Ross often displays his discomfort surrounding issues where his masculinity is tested, like when he refused to admit he is wearing a pink shirt and repeatedly calls it “salmon”.

But despite the critics, the success continues. As a wise man once said it’s “like a cow's opinion. It doesn't matter. It's moo.”

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