Chris Perron, Business Manager
Starting this February, Netflix has taken up the previously ended “Queer Eye for The Straight Guy” with a new cast, new locations and also a new name. The show is now just titled “Queer Eye” as it no longer features just straight men being made over by the “Fab Five” as they are called and is a completely different experience from when the show ended in October of 2007.
“Queer Eye” is filmed in Atlanta, Georgia in the deep south where one might expect some tricky situations with the locals. One involves a police officer and an African American member of the group who is pulled over en route to meeting their first makeover meetup.
We can clearly see the tension in the vehicle rise as the officer asks the driver (Karamo Brown) for his license and registration. This is truly an honest moment on a the show and brings up some touchy social issues that we deal with today. These are often difficult conversations to have but regardless is a dialogue that needs to take place. Brown is put in the hot seat when he tells the officer that he does not have it because they are filming a show. The mood instantly shifts from bubbly excitement to uncertainty and fear when Brown is asked to step out of the vehicle and we can only assume the worst is about to happen. This scene has already been picking up a lot of traction lately as race relations are always a hot topic.
The most important revolving topic, and one I feel is honestly the focus of the show, is finding inner beauty and self-confidence. In the first episode, we see the group encountering Tom, an older bachelor struggling with low self-esteem who feels that he is “too old” and “too fat” for women to like him or love him. Low self-esteem has led to his struggles in relationships and social circles.
“Queer Eye” is not just about making someone look good on the outside but also about helping us see our inner beauty and often looking past stereotypes to see people as they really are. The makeover process extends beyond pedicures and facials and often leads to complete 180s of the featured individuals. The ultimate goal of the group is not just to “make you pretty” as grooming specialist Jonathan Van Ness would say, but also to focus on what the person being made over is doing right instead of doing wrong. Highlighting their features but not without pointing out some minor flaws of course.
The stars of the show are not the “Fab Five” like they often were in the previous season but those average guys being made over. “Queer Eye” does a great job of highlighting the families and lives of the people and how their lives are impacted by the show, which is something the original series failed to do. The people featured in the episodes took a back seat to the over-the-top stars of the show. Halfway through the season, we even see the five members meeting with an Atlanta engineer who is gay but has not come out to his parents yet. This is a beautiful moment for the show, and it touches on something that is incredibly important to the LGBT community—support and being true to yourself. These are all incredibly relevant everyday lessons that we can all take with us.
The takeaway from “Queer Eye” alone is enough to watch it. Do not judge a book by its cover or a show for that matter. For those who may be on the fence about the new series, give it a chance. “Queer Eye” is the perfect weekend binge watch. Order some pizza and invite all your friends. Just bring some extra Kleenex.