Some media empires are so huge, and so ubiquitous, they merely demand creating an enormous streaming service for all their wares, IPs, and appendages (see: Disney). Some, nevertheless, are slighter, however no much less scrappy, hoping that a number of beloved cult properties will hold paying clients enthralled. That’s the modus operandi of WOW Presents Plus, the streaming service of a veteran manufacturing firm now greatest identified for being the crew behind the Emmy-winning RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Drag Race shouldn’t be a tough present to seek out. Not solely does it air on TV all around the world (VH1 in America at current), however relying on your private home nation (or your familiarity with a VPN), you’ll find lots of it on Netflix. However! WOW Presents Plus as a substitute provides watchers a single hub to seek out every little thing and something related to the queerest leisure dynasty this facet of Ryan Murphy. Spinoffs, offshoots, worldwide editions (don’t sleep on Thailand!), and now even the sequence’ aftershow, Untucked: WOW collects them multi function handy, glittery binder on your simple streaming functions.
Although its choices differ relying in your location, WOW’s supposedly complete choices aren’t as full as you would possibly hope. Whereas it does provide lots of hard-to-find worldwide Drag Race sequence, there are nonetheless gaping holes within the service’s arsenal, and inessential chunks of the service’s brief type content material appear to exist merely to fill the gaps and obfuscate WOW’s search perform.
However perhaps you need to look at a video during which reigning Drag Race UK queen Lawrence Cheney and the Frock Destroyers from UK Season 1 choreograph a dance to the inescapable pop confection “UK Hun?” collectively. Possibly you’re so determined for brand new episodes of Trixie Mattel and Katya’s YouTube sequence UNHhhh you’re prepared to pay a month-to-month payment to get them a mere week early. Or, perhaps, you simply wish to lastly watch Drag Race franchises from worldwide territories you’ve by no means been capable of finding, and, in doing so, rejoice drag expertise that isn’t a part of the English-speaking world. If that’s the case, right here’s every little thing it’s essential to know to take advantage of out of this specific streaming service.
What precisely is it?
WOW Presents Plus is a naked bones streaming service. There is no such thing as a algorithm to tailor the entrance web page to your tastes; the search characteristic solely actually permits you to discover issues when you already know the title; there are hyperlinks to obtain WOW Presents Plus apps for different platforms, and to share hyperlinks to the episodes (which appears considerably quixotic when mentioned movies are behind a paywall) however in any other case, that is actually a minimalist platform. That is perhaps your cup of tea! However when you’re used to your streaming providers offering one thing a bit extra bespoke on your cash, this is perhaps a little bit of a shock.
The buckets on the homepage gained’t change based mostly in your viewing habits, as you is perhaps wont to count on from different providers, however they do present some useful fastened playlists of content material when you’re new to the service and on the lookout for one thing to plunge into. Whereas some playlists really feel like they’re scraping up amount quite than high quality — you’ll be able to often inform these based mostly on what number of of their YouTube exports are seen on the high of the listing — the documentaries playlist has loads to discover, and their magnificence and vogue playlist incorporates a number of of their greatest sequence, together with Style Photograph Ruview and Transformations With James St James.
The one characteristic that may help your searches is the ‘tags’ characteristic beneath sure movies (primarily episodes of Drag Race) which let you search all movies that includes that drag queen, visitor, or sure adjectives. If there’s a queen you’re keen on, it’s value looking out by their title even when you don’t use the tag to guide the search, although you’ll have to trawl by means of each episode they’ve ever appeared in.
The principle perk: Drag Race worldwide entry
There’s one major motive to pay for WOW Presents Plus — which at present prices $4.99 a month, or $49.99, after a seven-day free trial — and, actually, it’s the truth that a lot of Drag Race is accessible to you in a single place. For many worldwide viewers, each episode of the unique American model, plus All Stars and Untucked, lives right here. U.S. and worldwide subscribers also can lastly bask in Drag Race from Canada, Thailand, Spain and Holland (in addition to Down Underneath and U.Okay. for the American readers on the market, which each in any other case lives on the BBC iPlayer for U.Okay. residents) with full subtitles — although the subtitles aren’t routinely arrange, they usually do take a number of seconds to get going. That is the one place the place you may get to look at each totally different language’s model of the present as an English-speaker.
There are additionally Drag Race accoutrements
In relation to Drag Race subsidiaries, WOW is disappointingly no much less patchy. The oft-maligned early spin-off Drag U, during which former contestants tutored civilians on methods to turn out to be drag queens, is nowhere to be discovered. The way more latest, and extra fulfilling, Movie star Drag Race can be not obtainable right here. You additionally gained’t discover RuPaul’s Drag Race: Vegas Revue, the fact present behind the scenes of the sequence’ Vegas present.
Consider WOW as a substitute as early entry (and an ad-free) model of your favourite Drag Race YouTube movies. Exhibits like UNHhhh are right here and uploaded per week forward of their social releases, as is the biting Style Photograph RuView. The wonderful docuseries Werq The World, which follows a number of of the present’s greatest queens on tour, can be all right here to look at.
There’s additionally lots of different archived Drag Race adjoining materials right here: Drag Con conference panels (helpful viewing because the world begins to shutter once more), a sequence during which a PT trains sequence alum, a doubtful Zoom-centred Golden Women parody. Let’s simply say … you’re in all probability not going to seek out many hidden gems right here. If in case you have a queen you’re keen on, nevertheless, search their title and also you’ll discover hours value of movies. Whether or not they’re value your time is one other query solely.
Take pleasure in (non-Drag Race) classics from early WOW
Lengthy earlier than the minds at World of Marvel have been pumping out 11,000 variations of Drag Race around the globe, Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato have been making British TV exhibits out of a studio in South London. A few of these gems from their previous have discovered their approach onto WOW Presents Plus, akin to The Adam and Joe Present, a late night time British sketch present that featured main movement photos remade with toys, “police interrogations” of pop stars and their file collections, and — in a single doubtful second — smashing up an unsuspecting store proprietor’s inventory with hammers. It’s an actual reminder you might do something on TV within the Nineteen Nineties!
The Adam and Joe Present is a little bit of a cult basic, however there’s not way more to be discovered. Alongside Drag Race, WoW have additionally produced another basic actuality exhibits. However we remorse to tell you Million Greenback Itemizing is nowhere to be seen (though the considerably much less charming and boujie The Fabulous Beekman Boys – image Harvest Moon however IRL – is.)
The entrance web page of WOW Presents Plus makes clear documentaries are one among their fundamental pillars; non-fiction has traditionally been essential to the manufacturing firm. Early forays into documentary making within the ‘90s created a strong repertoire of prolonged docs on fascinating, usually queer-adjacent, topics.
A few of their greats are right here, akin to The Eyes of Tammy Faye, a documentary in regards to the American evangelist narrated by RuPaul. Others, like Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures, are notably absent. Huge Freedia is prolific on the service, with the documentary Freedia Obtained a Gun gun crime following the homicide of the New Orleans bounce legend’s brother, and 4 seasons of Huge Freedia: Queen of Bounce, which explores mentioned musical style (seasons 1 and a couple of, inexplicably, are absent.)
Maybe probably the most fascinating gem within the documentary pile, nevertheless, is Died on the 4th of July: Nelson Sullivan’s World of Marvel. Compiling footage by New York membership legend Sullivan to color a portrait of him and town’s artwork scene within the ‘80s, it aired in the UK in 1994 and helped remake Sullivan’s legacy as a historian and documenter of a pivotal, intoxicating second. Should you’ve ever secretly wished you lived in Manhattan again when it was extra Pose than Women, that is effectively value seeking out on WOW Presents Plus as quickly as you join.
What else does it have?
In among the many Drag Race spin-offs obtainable on WOW are some genuinely fairly enjoyable unique unique sequence made for this platform. The aforementioned Werq The World documentary sequence, following a number of the present’s most iconic queens, makes for implausible viewing. Dropping Is The New Profitable, additionally, is a beautiful sequence during which former queens give messages of consolation and encouragement to those that have sashayed on one other season. Canada’s Drag Race’s present reigning queen Priyanka additionally presents a surrealist recreation present referred to as What’s My Recreation? Which thrusts collectively unlikely duos like Alaska Thunderfuck and Brittany Broski to guess what number of noses a slug has. Good, senseless viewing in the easiest way potential. Others, just like the brief animated sequence Drag Tots, are daring experiments you’ll be able to in all probability survive with out. However isn’t it good to have choices?
Whereas WOW Presents Plus does really feel prefer it’s making an attempt to enter the subscriptions race a bit prematurely — clock the slight content material pool and dodgy UX – there may be lots of intriguing comedy and queer content material on right here that, particularly for Drag Race completionists, does provide a month or two of excellent watching. You would possibly end up at a unfastened finish when you’ve completed every of the nationwide competitions, however within the imply tie? It’s the one place to see all the RuPaul Cinematic Universe in a single place, and that’s value a punt.