Every now and then, boredom and idleness often lead to aimless browses through the troves of shows available on Netflix. The next time this happens, try out an episode of Queer Eye, which is probably the most 2018 show out there.
Queer Eye is the Emmy winning 2018 Netflix reboot of the 2003 Bravo series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. It is a reality TV show where 5 gay men, called the Fab 5, perform lifestyle makeovers for people who both need and want a refresh button in life.
The Fab 5 come with their own individual specialties: Bobby Berk in interior design, Karamo Brown in culture and lifestyle (but really the therapist of the show), Tan France in fashion, Antoni Prowski in food and wine, and Jonathan Van Ness in hair and grooming. From the Fab 5 Loft located in downtown Atlanta as their base of operations, the Fab 5 go around the state of Georgia changing lives.
The makeovers that the Fab 5 perform are hands down amazing. Bobby is a savant at redecorating homes and makes sure to spruce up a home while still leaving it reflective of the homeowner’s personality. Tan’s sense in fashion is as chic as it gets, and his advice is broad enough, so regular viewers can pick up easy tips to upgrade their own fashion style. Jonathan draws out the beauty in the nominees with the makeovers and brings all the flair in the world with him (his penchant for exclaiming “Yasss Queen” is very addictive). Karamo is the ‘culture’ expert but is more of a life coach and tries to teach the nominees how to become a better version of themselves. He also provides the show with the most therapeutic quotes: “When people build up walls, they end up keeping other people out. But they’re also keeping themselves in”, “He needs to understand that being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength. It shows that you are in tune with yourself, which is the sexiest thing to men or women.” Antoni is the food and wine expert, but in all honesty, doesn’t really seem like a person who can cook. His camera times are noticeably shorter than the rest of the hosts and the meals he teaches are in essence: avocados are great and that you should move away from preservative filled foods towards more natural ingredients. The most sophisticated dish he teaches a nominee is a chili hotdog.
What differentiates Queer Eye the most from other reality shows is how genuine the hosts come across to the audience. The hosts do not try to apply a single framework for helping people indiscriminately. Instead, they methodically carry out their mission by really thinking about the people they are trying to help and carefully bringing about changes in their lives.
The makeovers themselves are also only a small part of the attraction of the show. The core of the appeal is emotional as the Fab 5 delve into deeper and more profound issues. From the onset of the first episode, they declare that while the original show was “fighting for tolerance”, in the reboot they were “fighting for acceptance”.
In the third episode, there is a discussion between Karamo and a cop about police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement. In another, the Fab 5 help a semi-closeted gay man come out to his step-mother. The show also shows Bobby discussing with a nominee, who is a devout Christian, about the discrimination he faced at Church while growing up in the South and how he would spend “every Sunday crying and begging God to not make [him] gay”.
The next time you have time on your hands why not watch an episode of Queer Eye? The show is fun, light-hearted in nature, and full of awesome lifestyle tips for self-improvement, but it is also filled with so many genuine moments providing food for thought. It is a show that highlights how being more open and true to your emotions can be healthy, and how traits traditionally associated with gay men are actually necessary for leading a healthy lifestyle. Through one episode at a time, Queer Eye is making America gay again.