Premiering May 31 on Hulu will be Drag Me to Dinner, a new, tongue-in-cheek cooking competition show in which drag queen friends compete against each other hosted by Neil Patrick Harris and husband David Burtka, along with Bianca Del Rio.
You can almost hear Harris and Burtka, perhaps with gay friends over watch Drag Race some night over cocktails, brainstorming this idea in real time. What if we paired up a bunch of drag queens who are pals or sisters in real life and gave them silly cooking challenges, and then let the ad-libbing and spontaneous shade begin? What do they win? Oh just a golden grater, of course! And some added publicity.
The late, great Heklina just got a special mention from Entertainment Weekly — given that this will be a final appearance, of sorts that was shot some months ago — for the episode she has with longtime friend Peaches Christ. And is this a first-time mention for Heklina in that publication, and it had to be posthumous?
"I only wish she could be here to see the finished episode," Peaches says on Facebook today. "We had a blast filming this TV show last year and sadly, this episode will mark our last appearance together as a duo."
Unlike that atrocity from New York Magazine in 2019 that ignored all the established queens from big cities who had never appeared on Rupaul's Drag Race, the casting for Drag Me to Dinner did a little better. While still very Drag Race-heavy, at least it includes some of the old guard like Heklina, Peaches, Jackie Beat, and Sherry Vine, and a few outside the Rupaul orbit like Jasmine Rice LaBeija and Biqtch Puddin'.
The show's "competitions," whatever they will be, are to be judged by head judges Harris, Del Rio, and Haneefah Wood, with famed New York City drag king Murray Hill hosting, and Burtka serving as "resident food expert." I guess that means he'll be in the Tim Gunn role here, before they let Tim judge?
The object of each episode is for the queens to throw "the best dinner party," and the show has been described by Hulu as a "riotous, format-busting, fourth-wall-breaking, unapologetic sendup" of traditional competition shows.
The queens will be judged in three categories: Food & Drink, Design & Decor, and Entertainment & Overall Vibe, and the winner on each episode takes home the Glorious Golden Grater.
The rest of contestants include Alaska, Alexis Mateo, Bebe Zahara Benet, BenDeLaCreme, Chelsea Piers, Darienne Lake, Detox, Gigi Goode, Ginger Minj, Heidi N Closet, Jaida Essence Hall, Jinkx Monsoon, Kiki Ball-Change, Kim Chi, Latrice Royale, Manila Luzon, Marti Gould Cummings, Mayhem Miller, Meatball, Merrie Cherry, Morgan McMichaels, Mrs. Kasha Davis, Naomi Smalls, Nina West, Peachez Iman Cummings, Pixie Aventura, Raja, Rhea Litré, Selma Nilla, Symone, Thorgy Thor, Trinity the Tuck, Vanessa Vanjie Mateo, and Willam. See the full array of cast photos at Entertainment Weekly.
The episodes drop on Hulu on May 31, a week and a day after we'll be mourning/celebrating Heklina in the Castro.
Previously: SF Queens On How 'Rupaul's Drag Race' Has Hurt (and Helped) The Larger World of Drag