In 2003, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” made its first appearance on TV. The show revolved around five gay men—“The Fab Five”—who gave makeovers to straight men in need of a lifestyle change, and it starred Carson Kressley, Kyan Douglas, Ted Allen, Jai Rodriguez and Thom Filicia. The reality TV show wrapped in 2007 with a successful four seasons behind it.
Kicking off in 2018, a new version of “Queer Eye” has hit Netflix, and it’s no doubt one of my favorite shows of the year already. Netflix released eight episodes in February. Although the reboot has the same initial idea as the original, the new “Queer Eye” delves deeper into making over men externally and internally, and has already gotten so many people hooked.
The new “Fab Five” consists of Jonathan Van Ness (grooming consultant), Antoni Porowski (food specialist), Bobby Berk (Interior Designer), Tan France (fashion consultant) and Karamo Brown (culture specialist). From the start of the very first episode, I was already hooked. The show is set in Atlanta, Ga., and this reboot focuses not only on the makeover aspect of men externally, but also helping them grow internally.
In each episode, the Fab Five makeover a man, typically called in by a friend or family member, and go to his house and help him in all the areas he needs to make better in his life. With all of their specialized skillsets (listed previously), the Fab Five make over each aspect of the man’s life. Jonathan makes his hair and hygiene better. Antoni teaches him how to cook and be healthier. Bobby literally fixes his entire house. Tan makes him more stylish and helps him make better wardrobe choices. And Karamo does whatever he can to make him more confident and experienced culturally, whether it be by taking him to a workout class or even just talking about pressing internal issues.
With all the tragedy and trauma that is circulating around the country today, “Queer Eye” gives me a small sliver of hope and happiness. It gives me the sense that even the smallest differences can make a big change or impact on someone. For example, in one of the episodes of the show, the Fab Five give a makeover to a policeman, and there’s a part of the episode where Karamo and the policeman actually talk about current issues regarding racial relationships between black people and cops. By the end of the show it’s established that even the smallest conversation can lead to some sort of progress, even if it only changes one individual’s ideology.
I admire all of the Fab Five. Jonathan is probably my favorite, and he brings comic relief to some of the more sentimental parts of the show. And he is on “Gay of Thrones,” which is absolutely hilarious, even if you don’t watch “Game of Thrones.” Antoni is just a beautiful man and makes me feel like I need to get my life together and start cooking. Bobby, although maybe an underdog in the show, does absolutely incredible work with his interior decorating; he’s better than any HGTV show. Tan dresses so nicely and makes me want to dress better myself; also, he’s British, which makes him even cooler. Karamo is so kind and so understanding to everyone, and also he was on “The Real World: Philadelphia,” so that’s funny.
If you haven’t watched “Queer Eye,” stop what you’re doing and go watch it right now. It’s motivational, and it makes you want to be a better person. The Fab Five just got renewed for Season 2, and I’m just hoping that it is coming soon, because if not, I’m going to have to just rewatch the first eight episodes over and over again (which is something I will probably do anyway).