RuPaul’s Drag Race franchise has branched out into quite a lot of new territories not too long ago, together with the UK, Canada, Holland, Australasia, Spain—and now Drag Race stakes a declare in TV land with Dragging the Classics: The Brady Bunch. The Paramount+ unique particular is a one-of-a-kind viewing expertise that faithfully recreates the 1971 Brady Bunch episode “Will the Real Jan Brady Please Stand Up?”—besides with one minor tweak. The forged consists of the unique Brady children all grown up, and a who’s who of RuPaul’s Drag Race alums.
So, how in the world did this surreal celebration of sitcom historical past occur? “Your guess is as good as ours,” Shea Couleé informed Decider. Dragging the Classics casts the winner of Drag Race All Stars 5 as Marcia Brady, TV’s unique effortlessly cool it woman. “I feel like we all literally just got the calls and, within a week, we were all in LA filming this. It was literally a whirlwind.”
For the lead position of Jan Brady, RuPaul had precisely one queen in thoughts: Kylie Sonique Love, presently seen competing on RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 6 (additionally on Paramount+). “I was told that RuPaul specifically asked for me to play Jan,” mentioned Love. “That is such an honor—and I got to do a whole scene with RuPaul.”
Bianca Del Rio additionally answered the name to play Carol Brady—as if she had a alternative. “When they call you to be a Brady, you don’t say no,” she mentioned. Del Rio didn’t say no, though she wasn’t actually certain what the undertaking was or who else was concerned. “The cherry on top was having the original Bradys be a part of it. I mean, come on now—I never thought I’d be a 46-year-old man in a wig making out with Greg Brady [laughs].” Yet that may be a factor that occurs in Dragging the Classics, with Del Rio and Barry Williams exhibiting G-rated affection as Carol and Mike Brady. Playing the Brady matriarch posed a brand new problem to Del Rio, one among the greatest insult comics in Drag Race herstory. “I never get to play nice, so it’s challenging for me to be a motherly, kind person,” mentioned Del Rio with amusing.
This entire gig was in contrast to something the queens ever did on Drag Race, a franchise that’s positively no stranger to parodies. But that’s simply the factor: Dragging the Classics isn’t a parody. “I came [on set] and I thought we were gonna be campy and do like the Brady Bunch movies,” mentioned Love. “But what they wanted to do was capture the same essence from the original episode.” Love greater than met the problem by completely channeling Eve Plumb’s awkward vitality into her efficiency as Jan.
Recapturing that 1971 Brady magic meant taking an entire new strategy than what’s often required on Drag Race. “When we came in and we did our rehearsals and had the conversations, I knew that they had a very specific vision,” mentioned Couleé. “I just wanted to go in as an actor versus a drag queen with my thoughts about how I should look, and just allow them to bring me into their Brady world. It was a lot of fun.”
It was enjoyable, however don’t get confused—it was additionally a whole lot of laborious work. To nail the aesthetic, the whole episode was filmed in entrance of a inexperienced display (though there’s an actual screen-accurate Brady house in Los Angeles, courtesy of HGTV). “Imagine walking into a room that’s entirely green screen, and then there’s tape and the marks on the floor—the same color as the green screen,” mentioned Del Rio. “And you have to hit these marks because all of that was digital. If you step to the left, you’re in the refrigerator. If you walk over here, you’re through a doorway.”
“We were talking about how basically trying to do our blocking was trying to be like Catherine Zeta Jones in Entrapment, going through all of those lasers,” mentioned Couleé. And the queens needed to hit all their practically invisible marks and ship their traces on to the unique Bradys themselves. “I mean, it was all surreal,” mentioned Del Rio. “I said many times I felt like I was inside the TV.”
While they arrive from very totally different efficiency backgrounds, the queens and the unique Bradys actually hit it off. “They were so welcoming and such generous performers,” mentioned Del Rio, who additionally beloved listening to the unique forged spill a few of Alice’s tea about the unique present between scenes. Del Rio additionally bonded with unique Jan Brady, Eve Plumb: “Eve is the best. She has the same rotted sense of humor that I have, and none of it could be aired or used.”
Couleé bought a kick out of hanging with Susan Olsen, the unique Cindy Brady (performed by Kandy Muse in the particular). “She really was quite the character,” mentioned Couleé. “I really enjoyed my time with her.”
The whole expertise was notably particular for Kylie Sonique Love, who has a longstanding love for The Brady Bunch. “People don’t know this, but I’m a huge Brady Bunch fan. I watch Brady Bunch at night before I go to bed. So when they asked me to do this, I was like, ‘Are you fucking kidding me?’ Like, I’ve manifested this in my life. Like, watching it in the ’90s when I was a kid and wanting to be on TV, acting, singing, dancing, and for RuPaul to specifically ask for me to be a part of this was a dream come true. I’m like, ‘What the fuck is my life right now?’”
What the particular actually does, although, is spotlight the connection that the queer group has at all times had with basic sitcoms. “We love them so much because it’s wholesome and we get to see families that are actually loving and supporting each other,” mentioned Love. “And Jan Brady was a very different kind of character. She went through a lot of awkward phases in the show, and I think a lot of people in the queer community can relate to that. So to also be trans and asked to portray that character was everything to me. I completely relate to Jan Brady. A lot of people see me and they think, Marcia, but I’m definitely a Jan Brady at heart.”
“I mean, I like to think I’m Marcia but I don’t think she’s very relatable,” mentioned Del Rio. “I think a lot of gay people are the middle child in the world.”
“What’s great about this Jan episode is it really does speak to drag,” mentioned Couleé, “because of how we put on our wigs and all of our extra to make us feel empowered. But at the end of the day, the person underneath the drag queen still has that power. And that’s what Jan learns about herself in this episode, and I feel like that’s like something that a lot of queer people can connect with.”
So clearly this implies we’d like much more classics to get dragged! Del Rio and Couleé have a listing they need to undergo. “I’m a fan of Bewitched,” mentioned Del Rio. “I would love to play Endora.” Couleé added I Dream of Jeannie and Laverne and Shirley to the lineup earlier than hitting on an ideal thought: “Happy Days. I feel like Miss Vanjie playing the Fonz would be really great. Like, you could see it.”
Just saying, Happy Days is streaming on Paramount+.