Trixie Mattel and Katya’s ‘UNHhhh’ deserve to be split into mainstream TV

Big picture

  • Trixie and Katya’s comedic chemistry as hosts UNHhh is unmatched, making them stand out in the non-fiction television landscape.
  • The clever and terrible solution of each UNHhh The episode adds another level of comedy and rewatch value to the show.
  • The structure of the conversation UNHhh Make the show relevant and inviting, let the audience feel like they are part of the conversation and emphasize the power of drag to connect people.

Currently in its 8th season, with more than 200 episodes under its belt, World of Wonder’s UNHhh has become a staple for drag fans and queer viewers. Episodes uploaded to YouTube, where they appear after their debut on WOW Presents Plus, regularly reach millions of views. Because of the ineffable comedic duo that hosts the program, drag queens Trixie Mattel And Katya Zamolodchikova (Best known by her first name, Katya; as a duo, they’re best known as Trixie and Katya), the series has also broken through memes and clips on social media. Even the hosts have launched their popular rivals RuPaul’s Drag Race And All the starsIt is UNHhh That makes them strong as a star in drag. And yet, despite the success of social media and subculture, UNHhh has yet to fully enter the television and streaming debate (as suggested by the Television Institute, which did not nominate the series this year for a Comedy, Drama or Variety Series Emmy). After nearly a decade of fun, rewatchable, and relatable episodes, it’s time. UNHhh Break out of the niche into the mainstream.

RELATED: How ‘I Like To Watch With Trixie & Katya’ Celebrates Queer Spectatorship

No host can match Trixie & Katya’s chemistry

Trixie Mattel and Katya Zamolodchikova host their web series, 'UNHhhh.'
Image via YouTube

Across the non-fiction television landscape, from singing competitions to roundtable discussion shows, viewers are drawn to the charismatic hosts and judges who present their favorite shows. While different television formats use their hosts in different ways, the best quality of any host is their chemistry with the guests, contestants, judges or other hosts with whom they share the microphone. And while there are certainly standouts out there, none of the hosts match the comedic chemistry shared by Trixie and Katya.

Perhaps what makes Trixie and Katya stand out as hosts is that they don’t host any “thing” other than the show itself. There is no competition, no structure of parties, or any famous person (although there are a few episodes with guests, they insist that the show works best without). Instead, as they often mention in the show’s introduction, they just talk about whatever they want (because it’s their show, and not yours). What they host, is just a conversation between them about the topic set in each episode. And, as the pair of friends know, said conversation is often off-topic, often causing Trixie to break the topic of the episode to get a laugh from Katya.

Part of what makes their chemistry undeniable is that they know just what to say to make others laugh. For example, in “RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars”, the two queens review their previous performances on the competition series. During Katya’s conversation All the stars Looking at the entrance, Trixie said, “Tell me about this wig.” “Okay, that’s a wig,” replied Katya, prompting one of Trixie’s signature moves. By focusing on what jokes make each person laugh, instead of just trying to tell jokes for the audience, the host creates comedy moves that are not only funny in themselves, but also create a strong relationship with the audience who can enjoy both the jokes being told, as well as the interaction between the hosts.

Their relationship allows them not only to laugh at each other, but often at each other through the art of reading, or cleverly mocking the characteristics of others. In “Episode 100 Highlights,” the two discussed doing a makeup exchange episode. Trixie read Katya for her age, saying, “I think you forgot how to put makeup on young skin.” Their readings are frequent, they also need to clarify when they are true. In “Quit,” Trixie asks Katya, “Have you ever thought about quitting drag?” And immediately follow the question with, “I’m not kidding you,” for clarification. Naturally, this comment elicited laughter from Katya, and added another layer of humor for the audience by calling out many of their readings. Importantly, though, the hosts read each other, strengthening their on-screen relationship. As Trixie pointedly pointed out in “Reading,” an episode dedicated to the topic, “No one can make fun of you the way the people who love you can make fun of you.”

Nothing encapsulates the bond between these two better than in the episode, “Death,” where Katya, noticing Trixie watching her, asks her worriedly, “What? What? What? What?” Trixie replied, “Nothing, I’m just like you,” which made Katya squeal in amusement. As Katya bursts into laughter and Trixie giggles, the background changes to a rainbow with the words “Best Friends” written in bold letters above their heads. And, as best friends would, the host stepped into this emotional moment when Katya began to explain that she was obsessed with a film that explored “the governance of the afterlife.”

Every episode of ‘UNHhhh’ demands re-watching

Trixie Mattel and Katya Zamolodchikova host their web series, 'UNHhhh.'
Image via ET Online

As the “Best Friend” edit in “I’m Just Like You” suggests, UNHhh Use its solutions wisely. Series editor Nonphu And Jeff Maccubin Fill each episode with countless backgrounds, images, text, and music that add another level of comedy value to every moment of the show. By expanding the conversation between its hosts, and through the anger of some creative choices, UNHhhThe solution of increasing comedy show and rewatch.

Throughout the series, editing effects highlight and expand the hosts’ jokes beyond their dialogue. In “Theatre,” Trixie bemoans when the actor just accepted the award. As she discusses the issue, the screen cuts to a cartoon drive-in movie theater, with Trixie animating what looks like a woman in a hospital bed on a drive-in screen. Katya then appears in a car that collides with the car parked in front of her. Then the drive-in screen reveals the name of this fictional movie as “Blind Woman in War and She’s Gay.” Playing off Trixie’s comments, the edit adds several layers of humor to the conversation. There is an anachronistic use of the drive-in as a setting, satirizing the unpredictable nature of Katya with a car accident, and, of course, mocking the melodramatic theme of Oscar bait movies with ridiculous movie titles.

Importantly, the entire drive-in scene described above takes place over the course of a few seconds. The number of jokes packed into each episode requires viewers to watch an episode multiple times so they can catch every reference on screen. If someone didn’t rewatch to get all the gags, they might just experience the amazing nature of the graphics and the text that appears. When discussing her routine at home in “Pain”, the TV screen is fixed in a frame with the text “Bear PornTube” written over a video of two real bears mating. While referencing Trixie’s love of bears (a gay icon, not an animal), the silliness of the dating video is hilarious enough.

As the bear’s reference shows, UNHhhBrand of humor pulled from the lives of its queens. In “Awards,” Katya tells Trixie that she once won an award in first grade for self-control. Then, the image of the plaque with the award is superimposed on the image with the text that reads, “This is real.” The discussion of the host and the edited text is a mockery of this award, which depends on knowing Katya’s personality. In addition, the long-term audience payment also comes from a series of self-reflections from pulling out of their own bank of expensive lines and edited beauty, like every time the background is filled with flying birds and the text “* bird sound *” during Trixie’s laughter. Moments like this are definitely funny to casual viewers, but that humor pays off the most for fans who have watched, and re-watched, the series with devotion.

The heart of ‘UNHhhh’ is dialogue

Trixie Mattel and Katya Zamolodchikova host their web series, 'UNHhhh.'
Image via YouTube

Although there are wacky solutions and countless callbacks, the core of UNHhh is a conversation. Dialogue structure is important for two reasons. One, the structure of the show is relatable for the audience because the conversation feels like something you would have with your best friend. Trixie and Katya’s conversation is invited, making the audience feel like they could be part of the conversation. This is even more evident during the show “Let’s be Questunhhhn” that has appeared since the fifth season of the series. During these segments of the show, Trixie and Katya offer advice in answering audience Twitter questions. Unexpectedly, and disturbingly, their advice was nonsense.

UNHhhThe focus of the conversation also makes it stand out from other TV-centered shows. For many viewers, they are probably most familiar with the drag juggernaut. RuPaul’s Drag Race Kingdom. For this reason, and because such shows are canceled too soon Queen of the Universe, drag is often similar to competition. Even Trixie and Katya themselves are, of course, alumni from the Ru Kingdom. Even other notable drag shows, e.g drag me to dinnerthrive on mocking competition mode. UNHhhAlthough, offer something different. Although it is one of the most embarrassing things you will see on the screen, because of the dialogue format, the show is, above all, about the connection. And there is never a more pressing time than when the art of drag is under attack, than to focus on its power to connect us.

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