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We’re Here Review 2020 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online
Creators: Johnnie Ingram, Steve Warren
Stars: David Huggard, D.J. ‘Shangela’ Pierce, Caldwell Tidicue
Opening Shot: The mood gets set by shots of a cornfield and acres of farmland—and then three gorgeous, glamorous tour buses heighten the mood as they tear down the highway and hit the town square. The queens are here.
The Gist: The premise behind We’re Here is straightforward: three icons from the RuPaul’s Drag Race canon sashay into a small town and transform some locals into fierce drag divas just in time for an elaborate drag show. Along the way, our three lead queens (Bob the Drag Queen, Shangela, and Eureka O’Hara) unpack not only the baggage that their new drag daughter is carrying, but they sort out the entire metaphorical baggage claim that is their town-of-the-week. We’re Here isn’t just about the locals; it’s about the town, too.
The premiere episode drops our professionals into Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and introduces them to three people in need of a boost. Shangela gets paired with Hunter, a young Ulta Beauty queen who’s a big fan of makeup and less a fan of living in his parents’ basement again. Bob takes Darryl under his wing and teaches this high-ranking member of the Gettysburg College faculty a thing or three about drag lingo. And Eureka meets Erica, a formerly closed-minded Christian who drove her bisexual daughter away; now she’s looking to apologize on the biggest stage possible.
Our Take: We’re Here’s premise is a stunt that you’ve seen pulled off in a variety of ways on many a reality show over the decades, from What Not to Wear and Town Haul to classic Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and its Netflix reboot. The most similar comparison can be made to TLC’s just-launched Dragnificent!, another reality makeover series starring superstar alumni from Drag Race. The tea is: there’s room for everyone at this party—especially when the shows have such different, equally valid storytelling styles.
We’re Here stands out from the pack, though, because it was created to be just as gritty as it is gaggy. This is made evident right up top, when a fun montage of the queens strolling through downtown Gettysburg in full regalia is capped off with an unseen shop patron saying in the distance that he’s never shopping there again because of those “freakin’ freaks.” We’re Here is not a cuddly reality show.
But that’s the show’s greatest strength. Like Netflix’s Queer Eye, We’re Here dives right into the tough issues (can Hunter ever be himself in a town like Gettysburg?) and doesn’t offer easy answers (does Erica deserve forgiveness from Hailey after essentially disowning her?). What it does offer, though, is catharsis—specifically catharsis through drag. Each of the three performances are crafted to tell a story, crafted with purpose to convey growth. This is a fundamental part of drag, but one that you rarely see put on display on Drag Race. The looks are sickening and death drops are deployed, yes, but We’re Here does a spectacular job of conveying the intense, emotional importance of the art form. The external transformation is only outdone by the internal one.
All that said, the show is still a blast. It’s not just 60 minutes of drag queen therapy—although you know Shangela could make that entertaining. All the serious talks and ugly cries are balanced out by moments of pure TV magic (Shangela turning a makeup store aisle into a catwalk, Bob doing all of Shangela’s signature moves, Eureka interviewing a local that hilariously thinks 50% of Gettysburg is probably gay). The show is the total package.
Sleeper Star: Without a doubt, Hunter. His story will hit so close to home to so many LGBTQ youths that have tried to get out of town but keep getting pulled back in. Seeing his ascension and triumph onstage—and lordy does the queen triumph!—will make you cheer. Hunter for Drag Race Season 13!
Most Pilot-y Line: Bob nails it right at the start of the episode: “There are people in every town who don’t feel empowered to stand up and be themselves, and hopefully in doing these drag shows in these communities, we’re able to provide that feeling of, ‘Look, I’m not by myself.’”
Our Call: STREAM IT! We’re Here is more than a drag show and more than a makeover show. It’s an important watch that is just as sickening as it is heartwarming, and you’re gonna want to have a box of tissues handy.