Cover image found here.
As a celebration of Queer Eye releasing it’s fourth series TODAY 19.07.19, (Please head on over to Netflix to check it out immediately!) I thought I’d write a little opinion piece regarding it’s importance in today’s television landscape.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about when I mention Queer Eye then I must assume that you have been living under a wonderfully grey rock for the past 2 years. Luckily, I am here to brighten up your life and introduce you to one of the most fantastic television series that I have come across in recent times.
What is Queer Eye?
Queer Eye is a reboot of the naughties show, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and has been running since February 7th 2018. The premise of the show is that 5 gay men go and makeover a straight man’s life. But instead of living in the concrete jungle of New York as it was originally set, this newly adapted Queer Eye is helping out people in Atlanta, Georgia and has since moved to Kansas City, Missouri.
Each episode begins with the Fab Five introducing us to their client for the episode and explaining, in the words of their nominator, why they deserve and need this makeover. The range of people you’re introduced to episode to episode is really great. From age, background, race, religion, sexuality, and gender, there really is a diverse group of people each series. And yes, in the latter series of this reboot, Queer Eye makeover us women too which I think is a wonderful way to expand the brand and idea.
So, during the episode you’re going to witness the transformation of a client with regards to their exterior look from being groomed, to them trying on and receiving a new wardrobe, the re-decoration of their home or apartment, and we also witness a transformation of their personal mindset too. The show sometimes focuses on the different situations that are laying heavy on a clients mind, from leaving home for college, parenthood, being independent to learning about their family history, and with the help of the Fab Five, they get to understand and learn how to deal with these internal feelings too.
All in all, the clients really do go through a massive life experience and the improvement within their day to day life is amazing. You see the gratitude in the emotional thank you’s that are returned to the Fab Five after their week is complete. The show always has a massive feel good factor ending, even if you do have to endure an emotional rollercoaster the rest of the way!
Who are the Fab Five?
I realise that I’ve been speaking of the Fab Five without actually introducing you to them all. Each member of the team contribute a specific aspect to the makeover. And, through that, they all create different relationships with each client that they go and visit.
So, here is a mini introduction to the Fab Five, their different expertise and how they use their knowledge to help change people’s lives.
Antoni Porowski: Food & Wine Specialist
Antoni uses his time with each new client to find out what they’re currently eating and making necessary changes to improve their diet. He makes sure he finds out what their favourite types of foods are before finding a recipe to teach them. Using the information gives the clients more of an interest into what they’re learning and makes the client realise how easy and enjoyable cooking can be.
Another way that Antoni shares his message is by taking a client to a restaurant and showing them there, that even what the professionals cook, is simple and easy to replicate in their own kitchen.
It’s really great how Antoni works because he always thinks about the surroundings and how what he’s teaching will be appropriate and suitable for his client’s current situation. This means thinking about family meals and teaching how to cook for 4 or more people, or teaching how to substitute certain foods out for more healthy and sustainable foods, and what’s great is that as a viewer, we learn a few things too!
Tan France: Fashion Expert
My favourite thing about Tan is how straight talking he is to the clients. He doesn’t step lightly around what he sees, but instead heads straight in to tackle the core of the problem. If he doesn’t like what they’re wearing, he’ll let them know straight away.
But, to make up for this, he makes sure that everything else he does makes the client feel like they’re worth every penny. He explains how the way you dress isn’t just about how you look, but about how it makes you feel and how it makes other people feel around you. So, by changing their clothes slightly, it will automatically make them feel more confident and just see a more refined version of themselves.
I also just want to say a huge thank you to him for introducing me to the French Tuck!
Bobby Berk: Interior Designer
I would absolutely love Bobby’s job. If I could swap places for a day with any of them, it would be him.
Changing and adapting someone’s home must come with huge pressure. The memories, the life and the experiences that have all played out in all of those houses is some of the most precious moments in people’s lives and to come in and change it all must be rather daunting. But Bobby does it with such ease and what he produces is amazing.
He takes all aspects of his clients life and makes sure that he includes all of that within his designs, and better yet he still manages to make it feel like it’s a home. He’d add space for children but also balance it out with a proper adult bedroom and space, or create a gorgeous kitchen or study depending on what aspects of life his clients are most focused on. It really is fascinating to see the completed work that he comes up with at the end of each episode.
Jonathan Van Ness: Grooming Consultant
Jonathan is one of my favourite television personalities around at the minute. He’s so open and obviously happy within himself and that radiates off of him which makes everyone else he meets a lot more comfortable and relaxed whilst he’s there.
I feel like what Jonathan and Tan do are very similar in the fact that they give confidence back to people when they look in the mirror. Seeing yourself run down, whether you see it properly or not, automatically has a negative effect on how you’re feeling, the way to hold yourself, and your mindset for the day. So, for Tan and Jonathan to come in and make people realise that it doesn’t take a lot to look after yourself and to looking feel good, really does make a difference to everyone they meet.
Karamo Brown: Culture Expert
Karamo is such an inspiration. The things he does for these people is incredible. He truly knows how to read people and comes up with some brilliant ways in combating some of the fears and insecurities that they have. But what he does that’s so amazing is that he makes sure they realise that there is no shame in how they’re feeling and that feeling certain ways is normal and shows them that with a little bit of courage, you can conquer any fear and change the way you see yourself for the better.
I’d say that Karamo has one of the hardest jobs on the show, mainly because he has to gain people’s trust and to get them to let him help with everything they need to become the people they want to be. I know there are probably scenes and interactions that we don’t see on the show, but Karamo comes across very honest and like he really does have a passion for helping people.
Why Queer Eye is important.
I love watching TV shows and seeing the different reactions online from so many different people, and for me, Queer Eye is developing a side of this creative industry which has been growing for quite some time. Following in the footsteps of Ru Paul’s Drag Race, and paving the way for shows like Pose, it’s clear that Queer Eye was created during this new interest of inclusive and diverse tv shows, which is one of the reasons as to why I think it’s doing so well. But as I say new, this audience has been waiting for this much variety and representation for a long time. Audiences want more representation and it’s shows like Queer Eye and all of it’s sister shows that are doing this, especially for the LGBTQ+ community.
It’s not just the fact that it’s LGBTQ+ representation, but it’s seeing a diverse representation of it too. They could’ve easily cast all stereotypical gay men, but instead they chose a cast that were from a variety of different backgrounds, different parentage, different religions, all of which show audiences that being a part of the LGBTQ+ community is making it whatever it is that you want it to be. There is no right or wrong way to be part of that and this is the continuous message that is the core to this whole show. Some of the people that the Fab Five ‘makeover’ are from a place that stereotypically aren’t as accepting of this community, and seeing the way that these stories play out is amazing.
Everything about this series is inspiring to all types of audiences, with one of the best aspects tearing down moulds and stereotypes within the LGBTQ+ community by having 5 successful gay men running the show and doing it so honestly and naturally. It really is a pleasure to watch and I’m now in a massive debate as whether or not to watch Series 4 all in one sitting or to watch it little by little to savour it!
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this post and please let me know your opinions on Queer Eye, even if you’ve only just started watching it. I’d love to read other people’s opinions on it as I have such a strong love for it.
I would also like to say before finishing that I don’t have much experience in writing about the LGBTQ+ community and tried my best with regards to what I know, but if I have used misinformation or any wrong language then I do apologise and would be open to any constructive criticism to improve.
Thanks again for reading!
Until next time,