After 10 years, Queer Eye For the Straight Guy is being rebooted in minimalist, but just as flamboyant fashion as Queer Eye. Now streaming on Netflix, if you loved the original or looking for something to binge-watch, look no further than the revamped Fab 5 that are likely to steal your hearts, make you want to cry your eyes out and maybe even transform your own life.
I am no stranger to makeover tv shows. The classics Snog, Marry, Avoid, the new 100% Hotter and the iconic TyOver episodes in America’s Next Top Model. However, these shows can seem very superficial with the goal to make people with very unique, individual styles fit into the standard and acceptable norms in society based on physical appearance. Do not get me wrong, I absolutely love these shows! I think they are completely ridiculous and I do enjoy analysing the stylist’s choices. After binge watching Season 1 of 100% Hotter on Netflix, I raided the Twitter hashtag to find similar themes of disappointment and general amusement. With all that being said, I can confidently say there is an exception to the typical ideology behind these shows and it’s Queer Eye.
Queer Eye features a group of gay men, known as the Fab 5, who initially helped transform straight men, a concept that has been expanded to other members of the LGBTQ+ community and a woman in the latest season. The Fab 5 all specialise in different areas, from fashion to food, working towards a well-rounded, total transformation that is more than skin deep. The show originally aired in 2003 with the likes of Carson Kressely who now frequently appears as a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race. In 2018, the show made a return with a new Fab 5 – Tan France as the stylist, Antoni Porowski as the Food and Wine expert, Karamo Brown as the culture guru (IMO he’s like a therapist), Bobby Berk as the interior designer and Jonathan van Ness as the groomer.
L-R: Tan, Jonathan, Bobby, Karamo & Antoni
While this show does have aspects that seem to be superficial, every story has a more complex and compelling character behind it that makes the transformation much more than just refining a look. Through watching shows like this and from my own experience, I recognise that it is important for physical makeover as you see a version of you on the outside that can then inspire a change within whether it be additional confidence or a different perspective that can form an emotional makeover. An emotional makeover should also have it’s time to shine, an aspect that is given importance on Queer Eye. The Fab 5 are always attentive, carefully and compassionately expelling real emotion and genuine vulnerability from their heroes for two reasons: the Fab 5 create comfortable, open spaces and the hero’s actually want to improve.
As seen on other shows, the people who are nominated for the change (and in some cases, those who nominate themselves) often do not want to be there. The main dramas of the show come from the pure disdain and aversion of the participants, an issue that is not present on Queer Eye. They genuinely seem like they want to be there and the drama, as essential for any show, comes from the real issues each individual faces. Everything from getting out of a funk to opening up to connection to coming out of the closet.
Fab 5 Spa Day! Invite lost in the mail…
Some noticeable quirks of the show revolve around the cast. From the get-go, the Fab 5 overstep potential boundaries, tearing apart the homes of these strangers. Quite literally, the five men open up closets and fridges and bathroom cabinets to uncover the truth of the situations at hand. While this seems like invasion of privacy, I feel like this allows the participants to open up to the Fab 5 quicker as they feed off their vibrant energy and bubbly personalities. They are quick to invite themselves into the strangers lives in the best way, which is encouraging to the guests.
Admittedly, acceptance and tolerance of the LGBTQ+ community has grown significantly, not to say that it is completely solved. With that in mind, I’m surprised by the crushed stereotypes present in the show. The first season features very religious, redneck type personalities who would be the people expected to be homophobic, bigots. However, it is quite the opposite. Watching a Southern, Caucasian American man cry in the arms of an open and unabashed gay man, is both totally beautiful and surprising. Restore your faith in humanity and possibly have your mind blown by watching this tv show.
Most important of all, the cast is truly incredible. I can guarantee you will fall in love with at least one of the Fab 5, and then proceed to sulk that most of them are in serious relationships. Special shoutout to Jonathan who is an icon and has some of the best one-liners that you will aspire to live your life by. A personal favourite, “There is a diva in there, but all she needs is a little bit of a bold lip.”
Jonathan always knows what to say!
Whether you love makeover shows, interested in supporting the LGBTQ+ community or just looking for something to binge, try your hand at Queer Eye. If you don’t fall in love with Fab 5 or the concept of the show, you’ll be inspired by or excited for each of the guests. There is a certain positivity in each episode that will make you smile and you’re sure to learn a little something either about style or life.
This was not at all sponsored, I was just feel very inspired after binge-watching cast interviews on YouTube and then the full episodes of Netflix. It’s my first review! Let me know if you watch the show and who your favourite is, definitely start watching if you haven’t seen it yet. Celebrate Pride Month the Queer Eye way!