WOW Presents Plus UK Review: (Almost) All Things Drag

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Since its premiere in 2009, RuPaul’s Drag Race has become an international sensation, with multiple international versions and spinoffs. So, in the streaming world we live in, the company behind it did the sensible thing – and opened up a dedicated streaming service.

WOW Presents Plus is a paid streaming service that aims to be the ultimate destination for Drag (mostly) and some LGBTQ+ content – from multiple seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race, to documentaries and talk shows and everything in between (with a few bizarre shows thrown in).

It sounds perfect for fans of drag-related content, but there are also a few downsides – mainly some missing titles, and a user interface that leaves room for improvement. So, is it worth the cost? Let’s dig in…

WOW Presents Plus

Quick Look – WOW Presents Plus

What is it:  A paid streaming service dedicated to all things drag, with RuPaul’s Drag Race being the main attraction. Pricing: £4.49/month or £43.99/year, after free trial (as of this writing).

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Pros

  • Unique collection if you’re a drag fan
  • Smooth streaming and good picture quality
  • Subtitles for most shows
  • Available on many streaming devices

Cons

  • Not a complete Drag Race library
  • The interface is very basic, with a few issues
  • No direct support for ‘Smart TVs’

Summary

Neat little streaming service for fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race and similar content. It’ll help fill your cravings, but – disappointingly – there are quite a few seasons and incarnations of Drag Race missing, so it’s not the end-all-be-all RuPaul library.


What is WOW Presents Plus?

The beauty of the streaming TV world, is that there’s a place for everyone – including niche channels that cater to very specific tastes.

And that’s exactly where WOW Presents Plus comes in – a streaming service dedicated to everything related to drag-based entertainment, LGBTQ comedy and queer culture, with the super popular RuPaul’s Drag Race as the crown jewel.

The ‘WOW’ comes from World of Wonder – the media company behind Drag Race and other programmes and projects dedicated to queer culture.

WOW Presents Plus is available on many stand-alone streaming devices, such as the Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV and Google’s Chromecast, as well as apps for mobiles and tablets (but currently not apps for Smart TVs).

WOW Drag Race countries on Roku

If you’re a fan of the genre, you’re going to find a lot of fun content to watch, but keep in mind that if you’re here mainly for Drag Race, you might be disappointed, as many seasons – such as the UK one, or even the latest seasons of the main boat – are missing from the service.

The price is reasonable for what you get, though the annual subscription might be a bit too long for most – this is the type of streaming service that works best when you jump in and out – subscribing for a month of two, cancelling, and then re-joining a while later when there’s more stuff for you to watch.

What Can I Watch on WOW Presents Plus?

First and foremost, of course, there’s the mothership (or queenship) – RuPaul’s Drag Race. While I hoped this would be the ultimate library of Drag Race content, it’s not – as the rights to some of the incarnations and seasons belong to other companies at the moment.

So as of this writing, in the UK, you can find Seasons 1-10 of the original (American) version of Drag Race, the All Stars version, Drag Race Espane, Drag Race Holland and Season 2 (what happened to 1?) of Drag Race Thailand.

Noticeably missing are seasons 11-13 of the American version (they’re currently on Netflix in the UK), Drag Race UK (which is exclusive to the BBC for now), and a few other international versions (you can see the full Drag Race availability chart here).

The fact that you can get all seasons of the American version, 1-13, on Netlifx in the UK, as well as Drag Race All Stars, makes the service a bit redundant IF you’re just here for Drag Race.

However, if that’s just part of your attraction, you’re in luck – as there’s more similar content to be found here.

First, there’s a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ content related to Drag Race, as well as shorts and even sketches starring some of the participants. Some other examples include:

  • Werq The World, which follows 10 quintessential drag queens on and off the stage as they’re touring Europe.
  • UNHhhh is an ongoing miniseries starring fan-favourite All-Stars Trixie Mattel and Katya Zamolodchikova, in a weekly discussion show about drag, gay culture, relationships and more (Subscribers receive exclusive access to the series on WOW Presents Plus for 30 days before it releases on YouTube).
UNHhhh season 6
  • Painted with Raven is a new makeup competition show that’s exclusive to WOW Presents, hosted by Raven, who is best known for the second season of Drag Race as well as the first season of All-Stars.
  • Gay Sex Ed brings Drag Race queens Vanessa Vanjie Mateo and Kameron Michaels for an entertaining ‘Sex Ed’ class from a gay male perspective.

And the list goes on and on. The ‘Documentaries’ category is a bit strange, with titles that are not really related to the channel’s subject matter in any way – from a Q&A with Monica Lewinsky about her ordeal with Bill Clinton, to The Last 48 Hours of Kurt Cobain, and even J. K. Rowling and The Harry Potter Express, that follows “the story behind the woman who wrote the wildly popular Harry Potter book series” – does J.K. Rowling really belong here?

All in all, there’s a decent collection of comedy and reality TV (and those strange documentaries), so there’s a lot to binge-watch if you’re a fan of the subject matter – some of the content is a bit bland (and low-budget), but some is truly hilarious.

Using WOW Presents Plus: The Interface

If you’ve seen one streaming service, you’ve seen them all – and indeed, the interface is pretty clean and intuitive.

It’s a bit too basic, though – the ‘Continue Watching’ feature is the main annoyance, as it doesn’t work very well – it remembers your place in the current episode you’re watching, but doesn’t keep tabs on past episodes you’ve already watched.

WOW Drag Race on Roku

Furthermore, there’s no ‘Watch Next’ option, so you have to jump around all over the place when you want to continue watching a series you’re in the middle of.

On the plus side, the interface works pretty much the same on all the different platforms (I mainly tested it on a Roku device and a PC browser), so you’re not going to get lost when you jump between devices.

The gist of it? The interface works, but it’s a bit rough around the edges, and could use some improvements, to meet up with what modern streamers are used to.

WOW Presents categories on browser

Bottom Line: Is WOW Presents Plus Worth It?

The point of niche streaming services, is to please very specific audiences – and WOW Presents+ does that well – up to a point.

If you’re a fan of Drag Race and the type of content library it belongs to, you’re going to find a lot to enjoy here, at least for a month or two at a time.

I would have liked this to be the ‘Ultimate’ Drag Race library – and it’s not. You still have to go to places like BBC iPlayer and Netflix to find missing seasons – and hopefully this will get better over time, as broadcast rights are released.

But if you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for some hilarious drag-related content, WOW Presents Plus certainly fits the bill.

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