When I saw the trailer for Netflix’s remake of ‘Queer Eye’, I wasn’t sold.
Recently, in one of those YouTube blackholes where you go further and further into the internet with each already lined up video, I found myself watching the ‘gay episodes’ of early 2000’s MTV dating shows. (I didn’t make that up, they were literally titled the ‘gay episodes’, production companies versions of the GBF).
Honestly, I don’t think I have ever cringed as much in my life and not just from the onslaught of 00's frosted tips and 3/4 length trousers. Shows such as ‘Next’, a tinder prototype, and ‘Room Raiders’, where contestants pick a date from the state of their bedrooms, were beyond superficial. I didn’t even bother to watch the ones where guys picked dates by dating their mums first.
The sass felt forced as each contestant tried to be even more 'bitchy' than the last, while the stereotyping was incessant with gay people calling out other gay people for being ‘too gay’. Meanwhile superficiality reached new heights when dates were rejected early for the most unfair of reasons like not being fully out of the closet.
So when Netflix were advertising their remake of Queer Eye, a show that had previously played up to the ‘gay men are effeminate and know fashion’ trope, I was definitely hesitant.
However, Netflix proved me wrong. The remake is probably the best reality show out there right now. The premise of the show remained the same as its predecessor with 5 incredibly attractive gay men, (known as the fab five) giving mostly straight southern men a makeover in fashion, beauty, home and lifestyle.
What I liked most about the show was that it wasn’t about changing the person and making them cover model worthy but rather using style to emphasise the person as they were and give them a new confidence to go about their lives. Every episode left me beaming at the screen as the uncomfortable, awkward or lonely guy had a new leash and outlook on life once he had become comfortable in his own skin.
At the same time, the audience learns a lot themselves with the show teaching about picking the right suit for you and your body, morning routine colour correction and much more. Although Anthony the food expert, in his vamping up of normal everyday dishes, creates some questionable meals like cottage cheese mac and cheese with peas, he gets kitchen fearful men into cooking with tasty, simple dishes and much avocado. The biggest transformation of the show has to be the work of the home renovator, Bobby, who is turning Georgia Redneck bungalows into New York style open houses, while the standout member of the fab five is Johnathan, the beauty expert with his hilarious outbursts and unapologetically sassy yet lovable personality. There is also the fashion expert, Tan, who works wonders getting men to stop wearing loose fit jeans and add colour to their wardrobe tastefully.
Unquestionably, the best moments of the show come from Karamo, the culture expert whose job kind of means nothing except having deep chats with the lost, unfashionable souls. However, these conversations are so heartwarming and important. In a world where groups of people are constantly being pitted against each other, the show makes a decisive effort in these moments to be a reminder that not all trump supporters have the same social views as the man they support, not all policemen are corrupt, not all Christians are homophobic, not all firemen know how to work a pole and not all gay men are fashionable. While these things seem so obvious they’re easy to forget when what is mostly portrayed in the media is the extremes.
I would highly recommend watching Queer Eye, especially since season 2 has just been announced. It is hilarious and sassy while emotional and moving. Is it too early to say it’s the best reality show of 2018?
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