What does a Drag Race X Brady Bunch crossover look like? How to watch Dragging The Classics in Australia
The RuPaul's Drag Race team offers a unique take on the classic 1970's sitcom.
May the best Brady win! A unique mash-up of immortal TV sitcom The Brady Bunch and the team from RuPaul's Drag Race, Dragging The Classics: The Brady Bunch remakes a full episode from The Brady Bunch era with a cast mixing original Brady family members with legendary queens from the Drag Race universe. (Reminder: RuPaul made a cameo as Jan's guidance counsellor in 1995's The Brady Bunch Movie, so these connections go way back.)
How to watch Dragging The Classics: The Brady Bunch in Australia
Streaming newcomer Paramount Plus has the exclusive rights to Dragging The Classics: The Brady Bunch. It debuts on 1 September 2021 (having launched on the US Paramount Plus service back in June this year before the Australian version had launched). You can watch it with a 7-day free trial (make sure to check out the other TV shows and movies on the service too).
Dragging The Classics: The Brady Bunch cast
The team has remade "Will The Real Jan Brady Please Stand Up?", which is episode 15 from Season 2. It was first broadcast way back in January 1971. But who is playing who in the 2021 version?
While the actors who portrayed the Brady parents and other adults are all deceased (that happens with a 50-year-old show, folks), 5 of the 6 "Brady Kids" appear in the special. This is the full cast list:
- Mom Carol Brady is played by Bianca Del Rio, who won season 6 of RuPaul's Drag Race.
- Dad Mike Brady is played by Barry Williams, who played Greg in the original series.
- Oldest daughter Marcia is played by Shea Couleé, winner of season 5 of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars.
- Middle daughter and title character Jan Brady is played by Kylie Sonique Love, fresh off her stint on RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars season 6.
- Youngest daughter Cindy Brady is played by Kandy Muse, the runner-up from this year's season 13 of RuPaul's Drag Race.
- Oldest son Greg Brady is played by BenDeLaCreme, famous from season 6 of RuPaul's Drag Race and infamous for her run on RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars season 3. While BenDeLaCreme is playing the role in male drag, it's noteworthy as her first real return to any part of the Drag Race franchise since her All Stars run.
- Middle son Peter Brady is played by Christopher Knight, who also played Peter in the original show.
- Similarly, youngest brother Bobby Brady is played by the original actor, Mike Lookinland.
- Housekeeper Alice is played by Nina West, who competed in season 11 of RuPaul's Drag Race and won the Miss Congeniality title.
- Undoubtedly one reason the producers chose this episode is because, unusually for The Brady Bunch, there are a LOT of guest roles. That leaves space for Eve Plumb (the original Jan) to play Lucy, Susan Olsen (the original Cindy) to play Margie, RuPaul to play the wig attendant, and Michelle Visage to take a break from judging to portray Helen. You won't remember any of those characters unless you're a Brady tragic, but that's OK. (And yes, the fact there is a role for a "wig attendant" also undoubtedly sounded good for a drag-friendly extravaganza.)Missing in action? Maureen McCormick, the original Marcia. Can't win 'em all. Anyway, all that got you thinking "Shantay, you Brady"? Read on for more information, including our review of the show.
How to watch more from the Drag Race series
If watching the show puts you in the mood for either more Drag Race or more Brady family fun, you'll need to look a little further afield. All 13 seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race and 6 seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars, plus various other global editions, are currently broadcast on Stan. (As we discuss a little later, this could change in the near future.)
Dosing up on the Brady clan is harder work. It doesn't seem like any streaming service in Australia currently has rights to the original The Brady Bunch TV show. However, you can pick up either Season 2 or the entire run on DVD from Amazon.
You can find The Brady Bunch Movie on Paramount Plus and both The Brady Bunch Movie and its successor A Very Brady Sequel on Amazon Prime Video. Amazon Prime Video also has My Fair Brady, the oddball reality series tracking the life of Christopher Knight (Peter) and his model partner Adrianne Curry.
If you're salivating for a little of the original Marcia, you can catch Maureen McCormick in clips from Season 1 of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! on 10Play.
Is RuPaul's Drag Race moving from Stan to Paramount Plus in Australia?
For Drag Race obsessives, this is the $100,000 question. The short answer: Not in 2021, but watch this space.
RuPaul's Drag Race has been a key title for Stan since the Australian streamer launched, and it has a long-term contract for rights for the show. Stan co-produced this year's RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under, and it runs most seasons of Drag Race the same day and date as the US debut. In 2021 alone, it will show season 13 of the original Drag Race, season 6 of All Stars, the Untucked behind the scenes specials for both those shows, the Down Under show and international editions from the UK, Holland and Spain.
However, it's clear that Paramount Plus is where the Drag Race franchise is now concentrating. In the US, fans had to sign up to Paramount Plus to watch season 6 of All Stars, and the same went for Dragging The Classics: The Brady Bunch. The fact the latter show is not technically part of the Drag Race franchise likely explains why it didn't immediately head to Stan in Australia under the existing contract.
Drag Race producer World of Wonder recently announced production contracts had been signed for season 14, along with a second run for Secret Celebrity Drag Race. Both shows are expected in 2022. Time will tell if those remain with Stan or shift to Paramount Plus. We'll update this section as more information emerges on future Drag Race plans for Australia.
Dragging The Classics: The Brady Bunch review
Drag Race viewers will recognise the basic format of Dragging The Classics: The Brady Bunch: a stack of drag queens hamming it up playing familiar characters in front of a CGI-generated set. Think The Bitchelor, Pink Table Talk, Rumerican Horror Story and countless others. The difference is that rather than being an unauthorised parody, this has been licensed by the original Brady Bunch producers, with a stack of (aging) original cast members on board for the fun too.
I watched Dragging The Classics: The Brady Bunch immediately after reviewing the original "Will The Real Jan Brady Please Stand Up?" episode. So I can confirm it's close to a line-to-line re-creation of the original, save a couple of minor tweaks. It is paced rather faster (1970's TV was a lot more leisurely), and the cast frequently grab opportunities to add physical comedy that wasn't present in the original version. And why not? We're here for the cheese, not the accuracy.
The CGI sets are fancier than those you'd normally see on Drag Race, though no-one is going to think the cast are actually in the Brady house. But, once again, we're not here for realism – a fact underlined by Mike Lookinland, who plays youngest brother Bobby, not bothering to shave his salt-and-pepper beard. Somehow, it works.
The best acting performances come from Bianca Del Rio as Carol, Barry Williams as Mike, and BenDeLaCreme as Greg. They milk every line for maximum effect. There are loads of Drag Race Easter eggs too, from minor musical stings to replacing the magazine advertisement for a local wig store with pictures of more Drag Race competitors.
On Drag Race, parody sketches typically only run a few minutes. It's fun to see that extended into a half-hour format, and if the team can get the rights to other shows, it could definitely go a lot further. I'd love to see the same approach applied to The Golden Girls, though rights issues would make that trickier.
Finally, don't skip the credits, which are filled with bloopers and on-set moments.
Pictures: Paramount Plus/World Of Wonder