I love rupaul. I’ve seen every season and every episode of drag race. I’ve been a fan since the original talk show in the 90s. However I will admit I wasnt expecting much with her new series “AJ and The Queen”. I was ready to roll my eyes for every episode. I was ready for “yass Queen, yass hunty” for an hour. Then I realized that Michael Patrick King was at the helm. The creator of “Sex and the City”. Also the co- creator of one of my favorite shows ever “The Comeback”. I knew I was in for a treat.
Please note I’ve watched all 10 episodes of the first season. I’ll will be giving a basic plot description without giving much away.
The Netflix series tell the story of Robert. A drag performer who performs as Ruby Red. As the series begins we meet Ruby on her last night at her local club. She has save 100,000 dollars to open her own establishment with her boyfriend. Later that evening we meet AJ, a young child hustling through the streets of New York, trying anyway get money. As only a child can. From lying to stealing, she knows what she’s doing. Their paths cross as they live in the same building. AJ steals some of Robert’s money. We find out that AJ is on her own and hasn’t seen her mother in a month. It is revealed that Robert’s boyfriend wasn’t the best and steals all the money she had saved. This leads Robert to start all over again. With AJ tagging alone to go to her grandfathers.
Each episode lands the duo in a different city with a new set of characters and troubles they have to face.
So what did i like about the series. First off AJ!! That little girl is a star! AJ is played by Izzy G and she is a dynamo. She nails the role of AJ, a 10 year old wise ass with a lot of pain. She hold her own with all the adults and can carry a scene on her own. Aj’s story is also tough for an actor, let alone a child. Abandonment, left to fend for themselves. It was very impressive!
Next the concept, the road trip aspect shows that there is drag everywhere. Not just what you see on drag race. Also not everything is glitz and glamour. Not all queens are shady, some are just pure mean. Some backstage areas are dumps. A nice touch.
Robert/Ruby’s story is very common in the gay community. Probably not as extreme.You see the pain and the frustration.
The use of the drag race girls. In every episode there is at least 2 to 3 queens from the reality series in minor roles. Some even have supporting roles. This was genius. As over 100 queens have come from drag race this was a tounge and cheek idea.
The supporting cast, fantastic. Specifically Roberts best friend (played by Michael-Leon Wooley) is hilarious and charming in very episode he’s in. The villainous Lady Danger (player by Tia Carrere) is shady but funny, almost like a living cartoon.
While the show is good fun, some is ehh. These are just minor things for me. Parts of the story, it’s gets repetitive sometimes with the boyfriend getting pissed and AJ being nagged to reach out to her mother. But this is a small thing.
Rupaul’s acting is okay. Sometimes it’s wooden. Sometimes he’s really into it. When he’s good he’s really good. I think he’s at his best when he’s Ruby. It’s that extra level of confidence and you can see it. Momma Ru is really feeling it as Ruby, especially at the end!
So dahlings what’s my opinion on AJ and The Queen, i loved it . I thought it was so cute. Is it cheesy, teeny bit. Is it cringe, little bit. Was it probably written that way. I’m willing to bet yes. But it’s all it good fun. I smiled at the end of each episode. I applaud a show like this. A show taking a risk and doing something different. Not watered down because a child is in it. Showing parts of drag that some aren’t used to seeing. Also showing that everyone has a heart and sometimes people hurt. But knowing your true self and staying confident makes you even more fabulous.
“AJ and The Queen” is available on Netfix