A new article by the Miami New Times discusses the new trend in which critics have become television stars. It also represents the “democratization of criticism, where audiences are offered nuances, categories, and other evaluative tools to become critic-consumers themselves.” Specifically, the rise of such shows as The Voice, Project Runway, and Top Chef have propelled this phenomenon into our everyday entertainment, and as the article claims, RuPaul’s Drag Race puts the critic TV expert (RuPaul) in the realm of being the “rare example of how a good critic can also be a helpfully honest friend.”
The article explains:
Drag Race is a wonderful illustration of how a show can serve as a primer to a new domain while clarifying the benchmarks by which each participant and performance should be assessed. The judges generally don’t offer deep criticism, but they demand that each competitor wow them during the weekly challenges with such talents as fashion, charm, comedy, lip syncing and persona creation. Those trials then paint a larger picture of the many skills required of drag queens to triumph in the “Olympics of drag.”
And, in a moving touch, host and judge RuPaul never lets himself or his fellow critic-judges devolve into bitchiness for its own sake, instead applying a bit of honey on potential wounds by always espousing self-love. Not for nothing is his motto “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” He’s the rare example of how a good critic can also be a helpfully honest friend.