On the director’s desk of a sitcom producer you imagine three buttons: one for laughter, one for applause and one for the maudlin “Ohhh”. In the case of the new ZDF Neo series The Drag and Us missing: a foreign pubic button. The series about the drag queen Cathérine (Ralph Kinkel), who settles in the apartment of a single mother and her two sons, fails in the diligent attempt to bring queerness to TV.
Behind Cathérine is Christian, for whom the script leaves the uncomfortable task of sweeping through the life of the family of three as a loud and disturbing whirlwind. The cliché of the sex-addicted gay is fully fulfilled, on top of that the misconception that trans people wear women’s clothes to trick straight men into bed, including rubber breasts and mini skirts. But there is no trace of the reasons why Christian turns into a lady.
The series also ignores the fact that drag queens, i.e. people who enjoy exotic crossdressing and shows, differ from people who feel wrong in their bodies. She lets characters mix up terms like “tranny” and “transvestite” accompanied by sitcom laughter, which is remarkable for a public service commissioned production. One has the most pity for the figure of the 17-year-old son Nikki (Frederic Balonier), who sometimes has to deal roughly below the belt against Cathérine. To accuse a young person of such transhumanity is a clear case for a foreign shame button.