If you’ve been on social media or perused Netflix within the past month, chances are you’ve come across a show by the name of “Queer Eye.” A reboot of the early 2000s show “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” the eight-episode season was released to Netflix on February 7.
The reality show’s concept is similar to TLC’s “What Not to Wear” … someone described by friends and family as desperately in need of a makeover is nominated, and the men of “Queer Eye,” also known as the Fab Five, swoop in and change lives. The reason for the show’s name, however, is that the Fab Five are five gay men tasked with making over the style, grooming habits, diet, home and confidence of one straight man per episode.
Each member of the Fab Five is an expert in one category of the men’s makeovers. Tan France and Jonathan Van Ness handle wardrobe and grooming, respectively.
While these aspects are maybe the most commonly associated with makeovers, the show is more about a lifestyle change than strictly a change in appearance. Chef Antoni Porowski teaches each man simple recipes to either impress guests, feed the family or simply to enjoy on their own, rather than reaching for unhealthy options (or room-temperature pickle juice, in one case).
Bobby Berk is the show’s interior designer and is tasked with remaking each nominee’s living space into one that is both stylish and comfortable, but also reflects the best version of the man living there.
Karamo Brown is the Fab Five’s “culture expert.” While his job doesn’t necessarily provide the man in question with a new haircut or wardrobe, the change is still a physical one. The lesson learned from Karamo throughout the show is often learning confidence.
As they say at the beginning of the first episode, the original show was “fighting for tolerance,” while the reboot is fighting for acceptance. While differing ideologies and clashing personalities make for laughs, the show also tackles its fair share of social and political discourse.
Rather than ignore or gloss over potentially awkward dynamics between the members of the Fab Five and their nominees (a black man and a Trump-supporting police officer, five gay men and a southern devout Christian), the show dives into the heart of each difference between individuals.
Whether you choose to watch “Queer Eye” for its premise, incredible cast of personalities, representation or graceful handling of difficult discourse, VALLEY can assure that this series will become a staple in your Netflix queue.
Already watched “Queer Eye?” Anxiously awaiting the recently-confirmed season two? Inspired to start bingeing now? Tweet us @VALLEYmag and tell us what you think!