For the most part good drag performers make for good TV. Having just previewed Epsiode 1 of a brand new series called SHADE that goes inside New York’s drag community, we cannot yet testify what these set of queens are like on stage, but when they are strutting their stuff around the city, they are a very entertaining bunch.
This is a 12-part half hour series of documentaries shot a la cinema vérité style that follows a small group of drag queens day and night who make a living by following their dreams. In the real world, far removed from the high-gloss high-fliers on TV’s Drag Race, this self-effacing disarmingly charming bunch seem to have a great deal of fun. Yes, they discuss the stigma that some detractors attach to their world, and also the personal sacrifices they make to be performers, but in Episode 1 at least, over a very late night drink at the end of the day, they display wonderful camaraderie.
Lest we should think that their lives are just devoted to lip synching and sequins, there is a great clip of Marti Gould Cummings one of their number wearing full make up for his show, chairing a meeting of Hells Kitchen Democrats which he founded. It’s intriguing enough for us want to see more.