The premiere introduces Ru as Ruby Red, a legendary Manhattan drag queen who announces that she’s leaving the island to open her own drag club in (wait for it) Queens called (wait for it again) Queens in Queens. Even better, she’s going into business with her boyfriend of seven months, the Sonny to her Cher… or so she thinks.
Upon arriving at the site of her new club, Ruby and her roommate Louis — aka Cocoa Butter, played to side-splitting, scene-stealing perfection by Michael-Leon Wooley — discover that Ruby’s “boyfriend” has made off with her savings. “I have nothing,” she laments. “No money, no love. Can’t I at least be 40?”
And Ruby’s thieving lover couldn’t have picked a less convenient time to ruin her life, as she’s scheduled to hit the road for a six-month tour, culminating with the Miss Drag USA competition in Dallas.
This is where the “AJ” part of “AJ and the Queen” comes into the picture. Ruby’s upstairs neighbor, a pint-sized grifter with the mouth of a sailor, has always been a bit of a pest, but when AJ sneaks into Ruby’s apartment and steals the last of her hard-earned cash, the six-foot-four drag queen reaches her breaking point.
Upon discovering that AJ has been living with no parental supervision for more than a month, Ruby does what any sensible person would do, tying AJ to the radiator while she calls social services. Unfortunately, she puts Louis in charge of keeping an eye on their captive, who effortlessly slips out the window unnoticed. (Did I mention that Louis is blind? It’s pretty much his whole schtick.)
With a stack of old Oprah VHS recordings ready for binging, Ruby embarks on her road trip, discovering far too late that AJ has been hiding under one of her dresses the entire time. Ruby is also surprised to discover that her troublemaking stowaway, whose flowing locks have thus far been concealed under a hat, is actually — gasp! — a little girl. (Shocking, I know.)
And these are just two of many surprises in store for AJ and Ruby as they tour the country. But will you be joining them for the ride? Cast your vote in the polls below, then drop a comment with your thoughts on RuPaul’s new Netflix comedy.