‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’: The Four Seasons that You Should Watch to Get the Best Grasp on the Franchise in 2020

Want to dive into RuPaul’s Drag Race but don’t know where to start? All in all, so far there have been 12 seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race, five seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars, one season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, and the current inaugural season of Canada’s Drag Race. And this doesn’t even include Drag Race Thailand! If you want to get an introduction to the franchise without logging hours upon hours of seasons, here are the major ones that you can watch to get started.

'RuPaul's Drag Race' stars Coco Montrese, Alyssa Edwars, Roxxxy Andrews, Phi Phi O'Hara, Ginger Minj, Katya, Detox, Tatianna and Alaska 5000
(L-R) ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ stars Coco Montrese, Alyssa Edwars, Roxxxy Andrews, Phi Phi O’Hara, Ginger Minj, Katya, Detox, Tatianna and Alaska 5000 in 2016 | Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

In no particular order:

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ season 5

Season 5 is without a doubt the most entertaining season. This is attributed to it having some of the most legendary queens with the biggest personalities. This season we were introduced to Alaska, Detox, Roxxxy Andrews, Alyssa Edwards, and Coco Montrese. Literally all icons! This was also thhe second season of having a non-traditional drag winner in Jinkx Monsoon and it paid off tenfold. You have to watch this season, if not for it being drag excellence, but so you can understand all of the memes and running jokes in the fandom. Season 5 birthed all of that!

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‘RuPaul’s Drag Race season 9

Season 9 is arguably the first “modern” season of Drag Race. It is of a similar style and format that you seen in the following regular seasons, as well as All Stars seasons. It will be the most familiar season if you’ve seen or know of seasons 10, 11, and 12. This one marked a number of firsts, including the first season on VH1 and the first season to introduce the tournament-style Lip Sync for the Crown performances at the finale. With another talented cast, three out of the final four, Sasha Velour, Trinity the Tuck, and Shea Couleé, have all won a season of the show so far.

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars’ season 2

Hands down the best season of All Stars and perhaps the best season overall, this was like season 5 all over again. This is probably because those same named big personalities from season 5, Alaska, Detox, Andrews, Edwards, and Montrese, all returned. Also in the mix was Tatianna, the resident OG queen from season 2 who gained a legion of new fans after proving she could evolve with the show. There was also fan-favorite Katya, who also showed that her drag had elevated. This is just a fantastic season.

It also provided the show’s most iconic lip sync in “Shut up and Drive” with Tatianna vs. Edwards.

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‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ season four

This is the beginning of RuPaul’s Drag Race as we know it. If you just really don’t want to go through the early seasons, use this one as your entryway into the franchise. From the challenges to the performances and everything else, this is everything to love about the show. With Sharon Needles being the first unconventional winner to icons Chad Michaels, Phi Phi O’Hara, and Latrice Royale, you could easily sub in this season as your first.

Honorable Mentions

Season 8: This is the last season on Logo. However, it may be considered by some to be the first “modern” season of Drag Race because it is still very recent. Season 8 was very entertaining but from the moment Bob the Drag Queen sashayed into the workroom, we knew the competition was hers. Still, Season 8 brought us the debuts of icons like Naomi Smalls, Kim Chi, Chi Chi DeVayne, Derrick Barry and more.

Season 6: A lot of fans would likely swap season 4 for season 6, it just depends on which one you prefer. The trio of Bianca Del Rio, Adore Delano, and Courtney Act is the most-lauded top three in the show’s history. It really is Drag Race at its finest. By this time, the show continued to elevate itself above the highs reached in season 4 and season 6. We also got introduced to fan-favorite BenDeLaCreme, lip-sync assassin Trinity K. Bonet, and a lot of big personalities from Milk, Gia Gunn and Laganja Estranja.

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season 1: This is a great one to include in your watching as well because while it is a more recent season, it includes a lot of vibes from the earlier seasons of the main series. Here, RuPaul looks like he’s having the time of his life, just like he did in the first few seasons of the flagship show.