I was really looking forward to Netflix’s gender-bending extravaganza Super Drags — a show about three dragtastic superheroes as they battle against the forces of Shade. It had all the makings of a guilty pleasure. The show was created by Brazilian artist Anderson Mahanski who appears to have gotten their start on DeviantArt. To make things even more enjoyable, the English dub is voiced by the likes of drag queens Willam, Ginger Minj, Trixie Mattel, and Shangela.
This was going to be a gay show for gay men to gag over sickeningly gay one-liners. I was prepared for — though not necessarily looking forward to — an overload of dick jokes, and a hyper-fixation on overt masculinity (and Super Drags definitely has this, honey). It also has rampant objectification and one too many rape jokes (note — my tolerance for rape jokes is 0). It’s not the worst show in the world, but it’s definitely not the shining piece of social commentary our community needs to spend time defending.
The plot of Super Drags is straightforward enough. Three gay men — Donziete (voiced in Portuguese by Fernando Mendonça/dubbed in English by Shangela), Ralph (Wagner Follare/Rod Keller), and Patrick (Sérgio Cantú/Ginger Minj) — work at a department store during the day. When danger calls, however, they transform into drag superheroes Scarlet Carmesim, Safira Cyan, and Lemon Chiffon in order to defend the gay-mecca of Beltbuckle Bay.
The Super Drags are led by Vedete Champagne (played by Silvetty Montilla/Trixie Mattel), who serves as a cross between your quintessential house mother and RuPaul. The main villain is Lady Elza (Rapha Vélez/Willam Belli) with a minor antagonist in the form of the “Pangean” fundamentalist Sandoval (voiced by Fernando Mendonça/Marz Richards).
Every episode Lady Elza tries to steal gay people’s highlight — i.e., the thing that makes queers (mostly gay men) so stereotypically fabulous. She does this so she can remain young. We are not supposed to like Lady Elza. She serves as a wonderful stand-in for gay culture’s fixation on stereotypical beauty standards and the hate that can spawn from them. She would have been a fantastic foil. If only the Super Drags didn’t perpetuate her same standards.