We watched the HBO Documentary over the weekend for various reasons…the main one being that my sister and I went to high school with someone who was interviewed in it.
Wig takes us through the Drag Queen "scene" of the 80s and 90s as they came together as a community and put on Wigstock. We're introduced to various Drag Queens as they reminisce about the old days and watch older footage of the old drag clubs. Now while most would think of RuPaul when they think of drag (and they wouldn't be wrong to do so), RuPaul was just one cog in the drag machine back in the day. RuPaul is not interviewed for this documentary though, which is a little disappointing.
It's hard to nail down what to tell you about this documentary…and I say that not because I had issues with anything in the movie, but because it felt disjointed the entire time. While a good doc will have you jumping between the old and the new, the entire thing felt a little like someone just cobbled together a bunch of old home movies and ended with the new Wigstock 2.0 that occurred in 2018.
The more notable names, Willam & Neil Patrick Harris (notable to me anyway), are not heavily featured. We get to see them talk for a little while but not much.
One of the biggest disappointments was the end of the movie in which we are treated to a compilation of Wigstock footage. We get to see a lot of quick performances and short clips of the behind the scenes things. Now, I don't know if NPH as Hedwig was actually not the ending act of Wigstock, or if it just got cut that way for artistic purposes…but having a performer who is basically a glorified stripper lip syncing on stage after watching NPH as Hedwig was a massive letdown.
If you know nothing about the drag queen culture, this could potentially be a decent way to get a start, but I'm not sure I'd call it the best way. One of the gals, whose name escapes me, even says it during the movie. The sense of community feels gone. Everyone seems to be in it for the money. Even, apparently the makers of this documentary as they have done these performers a major disservice.