“Queer Eye”, once known as “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”, is a Netflix original series reboot of the early 2000s makeover show in which five gay men—Antoni Porowski (food expert), Jonathan van Ness (grooming expert), Tan France (fashion expert), Bobby Berk (design expert), and Karamo Brown (culture expert, though he is more of the therapist in the group, if anything) get together to give fellow straight ‘nominees’ a well-needed makeover. And as with most things in life, it’s queerly more than what meets the eye.
Right from the get-go, you realise than it’s more than your typical makeover show. It deals with more than just the men’s clothes; the why’s and how’s of these men are always brought up in every episode. It brings in politics, from the racial tension between cops and people of colour to death of loved ones, identity, and personal beliefs into the mix. Not so much that it’s in your face constantly, but they are mentioned enough times to make it a running theme. What surprised me most was how open minded all the nominees were. They handled all these talks professionally with a few jokes thrown in between. Sure, they may feel awkward at first, but no one was put off at all.
I wasn’t expecting to be emotionally impacted by this show. I tend to keep reality TV at arm’s length because I know how scripted and manipulative things usually are. All the hostility and drama doesn’t sit right with me. But when I do watch reality TV, it’s almost always something to do with makeovers. Two reasons: I’ve always been fascinated by the ‘before and after’ phenomenon and I love living vicariously/window shopping through the makeover participants.
The Fab Five all seem like wonderful, hilarious people and, much like my own queer friends, have a flair for the dramatic. What really got me as well was how genuine everyone was. Nothing felt manipulated or scripted. It tugged at your heartstrings when both the nominees and hosts talked about how these worldly issues have affected their livelihoods. It was like a breath of fresh air for me and heartwarming at the same time.
“Queer Eye” has a lot of emotional truth going for it. How someone presents themselves may not always be something that they can help, but also is part of how someone feel about themselves. The show takes its politics seriously but presents it in such an open and communicative way. There was no way you could twist anyone’s words around. It’s all on the table, plain and simple. It may just be another makeover show at a glance, but it has heart at its core and that’s what makes it special.
If you’ve made it this far into my post, thank you for reading! Have you watched “Queer Eye”? If so, what did you think? If not, would you want to? Let me know in the comments and I’ll see you in my next post!
Until next time,