Monday List: RuPaul Parodies That Should Be Done

In honour of the Season 10 final four (#TeamAsia), enjoy these five suggestions for the future seasons. Got better ones? Leave a comment below!

1. Murder on the Whore-ient Express

I mean, how has thus not been done already?! Melodramatic, riddled with stereotypes and full of great costume opportunities, Agatha Christie (Hag-atha Christie? Agatha Bitchy?) is easy pickings for RuPaul and his posse. Imagine the exaggerated death scenes. So much potential for bitch slaps here.

2. PRIDE ūüŹ≥ÔłŹ‚ÄćūüĆą and Prejudice/Jane Whore-sten

Okay, so I can’t quite think of the puns, but hear me out. Again, pretty costumes. They literally have balls in these books. There is a house called “NETHERfield”. There are a wealth of ott female characters. Bendelacreme’s Snatch Game Maggie Smith shares a lot of similarities with Lady Catherine de Bourgh. The Colin Firth-lake scene? I’m sure the Pit Crew would be more than happy to oblige…

3. Wuthering Tights/Jane Hair

Catherine Earnshaw is so extra, she might as well have been a drag queen. If Kate Bush is ever a guest judge (please Drag Gods make this happen), there is no question what should be the main challenge – or the lip sync song for that matter. Pit the Brontes against each other with this team challenge. Nick some inspiration for Jane’s Red Room from Christian Grey’s infamous version, and we’ll be off to a good start.

4. Great British Cake Off

Like The Bitchelor in All Stars 3, reality shows are always good fun, with a big variety of characters allowing different queens to play to their strengths and improv a bit. This one has the added bonus of being British, so we can all enjoy some terrible terrible accent attempts, and perhaps a Mary/Prue/resident older woman impression or two. And think of all the fun that could be had with the baked goods Р#DragFoodFight.

5. Fahrenheit 69 #DragDystopia

Just for the title alone…

With thanks to Sam (@SamButtler) for the punny names. 

Monday List: 5 Great Shakespeare Adaptations

I tend to think Shakespeare is best live and in a theatre – but with no shortage of screen adaptations, there are plenty of gems in there amidst the dullness of others. In honour of tonight’s broadcast of¬†King Lear¬†on¬†BBC Two¬†(9:30pm), enjoy this list of other fab adaptations of Shakespeare’s work.

  1. Shakespeare Re-Told: Much Ado About Nothing
    Re-telling Shakespeare in modern-day English, this series saw¬†James McAvoy¬†as a murderous Michelin-starred Macbeth,¬†Shirley Henderson¬†and¬†Rufus Sewell¬†as warring politicians in¬†The Taming of the Shrew, and¬†A Midsummer Night’s Dream¬†set in a caravan park. But none of those was as good as the joyous rewrite of Shakespeare’s best romcom (no arguments please) by¬†David Nicholls.¬†Sarah Parrish¬†and¬†Damien Lewis¬†are Beatrice and Benedick as broadcasters, whose bickering is too much to take for their colleagues. It’s light-hearted and funny, just as this play should be.
  2. The Hollow Crown: Richard II
    All of The Hollow Crown is fantastic; faithful to the text, beautifully shot and acted. This, the first of them, is still my favourite, partly because I love Ben Whishaw and Rory Kinnear, who star as Richard and Bolingbroke respectively. You can find my review from way back in 2012, when this was first aired here.
  3. A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Russell T Davies)
    If you’re looking for a more irreverent take on a classic than The Hollow Crown will give you, Russell T Davies’ version of¬†A Midsummer Night’s Dream should be right up your alley. However well you think you know this story of fairies and donkey heads and lovers, the last ten minutes will definitely surprise you. It’s also as star-studded as tonight’s¬†King Lear, with¬†Maxine Peake, Matt Lucas, John Hannah, Elaine Paige,¬†and a handful of excellent young RSC/Globe actors as Puck and the lovers.
  4. Shakespeare Live! From the RSC
    Not strictly a full adaptation, but this deserves a place on this list for the many joyous excerpts from Shakespeare scenes, starring many British national treasures. The¬†Rory Kinnear/Anne Marie Duff¬†Macbeth¬†scene is so gripping, it makes the recent¬†National Theatre¬†production feel like even more of a let-down. And who can forget the hilarious ‘To Be or Not To Be?’ sketch,¬†starring none other than Prince Charles.
  5. Romeo + Juliet (Baz Luhrmann, 1996)
    The absolute classic. I was planning to just focus on TV adaptations, but I couldn’t leave this out. Flashy and over-the-top and melodramatic, this is a perfectly teenagery, stylistic version of Shakespeare’s fatal romance, filled with lustful longing. Also Leonardo DiCaprio deserves to be on every list in existence.

Monday List: Top Five Eurovision Moments 2018

Having spent Saturday night in Stockholm, complete with a trip to the (excellent) ABBA Museum, I am convinced that Eurovision embodies everything that Cultured AF represents; talented people mixed with undeniable trashiness. Here are our top five moments.

1. SuRie Gets Kanye West-ed

After Brexit, how to make the UK vaguely more likeable to the Europeans? Interrupt their performance with a protester storming onstage to shout about the “Nazis of the UK media”. Surely sympathy vote secured, right?*
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*well, no, we still came third from bottom. But still not last.

2. The Man With The Pipe

This guy has not got enough attention. In a turn reminiscent of the Russian grannies, or the Polish butter churner, Serbia brought on an old man with a Serbian flute to accompany their song ‘Nova Deca’. Looking like the crazy professor from¬†Back to the Future, he piped away with aplomb, adding some much needed interest to an otherwise kinda bland performance. Legend.

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3. The Whole of the Czech Performance

Pure 100% Dairy-Lea Babybel Cheese. Czech Olly Murs. Bum-wiggling. The lyrics. All of it was classic Eurovision. Genius.

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4. All of the Awkward Points-givers

I both love and hate this part. It takes f**king ages wow, but also seeing loads of awkward, over-dressed people in front of green screens, trying to grab every inch of screen-time given them is monotonously joyous.

There was the random attempt to make a Kanye West joke, the¬†La La Land¬†joke that belongs in 2017, the Swedish guy who started facing the wrong way for unknown reasons, the Norwegian dude in a blue LED mask…

Check out Graham Norton’s comments on this mess here.

5.¬†When Finland’s Singer was flipped upside down.

Because why not? It’s Eurovision! Singing on its own is not enough. SPIN YOURSELF ON A GIANT WHEEL WHILST SINGING.¬†That¬†is the level of commitment required.

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P.s. Why is RuPaul not a judge of Eurovision? Or Michelle Visage? Get on it for next year Israel.

Quick Review: The Split, BBC One

Quick:¬†The Split¬†is clearly set in some sort of alternate reality where London is always sunny, divorce lawyers are allowed to talk in private to the party they aren’t representing, and literally everyone is unhappy with their partner. It’s the same kind of heightened realism we’ve seen in¬†Collateral, Clique, The Replacement, Apple Tree Yard… There’s definitely a signature style at play here.

That being said, it’s an incredibly watchable programme, with plenty of family drama and plot twists to keep you entertained.¬†Nicola Walker¬†plays the protagonist, Hannah, who has left her mother’s prestigious family law firm for a rival.¬†Abi Morgan¬†has produced a rather flighty script, skipping from story to story in a way that certainly keeps boredom at bay – but can feel a little ungrounded as a result.

Morgan initially launches her audience into Hannah’s drama with her two sisters, one of whom works for her mother (an excellently purse-lipped¬†Deborah Findlay), then into the dramatic divorce of millionaires¬†Meera Syal¬†and¬†Stephen Tompkinson,¬†wades into the child custody battle involving¬†Matthew Baynton‘s stressed comedian, and still has time for a quick glimpse of Hannah’s estranged father (Anthony Head). Naturally, as in all recent BBC dramas,¬†The Split¬†shows us how literally no one is truly happy in their relationship. Despite being married to the apparently perfect Nathan (Stephen Mangan),¬†Hannah is still seen mysteriously texting her hot co-worker in the middle of the night. Poor old Nathan.

The Split¬†is a fun, stylish watch, with family tension by the bucketload and a fab, female-driven cast to boot. If Morgan can allow her characters some space just to live and avoid the constant creation of drama (see¬†Big Little Lies¬†and¬†The Handmaid’s Tale¬†for tips), the next five episodes might start to feel less like a reheat, and more like the fresh and exciting show they could be.

Quicker: BBC One’s¬†The Split¬†is an immensely watchable programme which feels rather too flighty at the moment, but has the potential to settle down in future episodes.

Quickest: ***