Why Netflix’s Reboot of ‘Queer Eye’ will leave you craving more
By Kenya Staley
After a weekend of binge-watching Netflix’s reboot of the Emmy Award-winning reality series “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” now called “Queer Eye”, it is safe to say everyone can use some of their advice. Throughout the series, the cast tackles conversations on homophobia, racism and gender roles. Originally aired in 2003, the trail-blazing show depicted five gay men who advised straight men on culture, grooming, fashion, food and design in New York. Fifteen years later, there is an all-new and most notably, more diverse “Fab Five” giving makeovers to straight and queer men in rural Georgia.
At first glance, the show may seem like it is centered around the physical transformation, but the constant feel-good warmth and tears of joy prove that the Fab Five is capable of transformation from within as well. The series opened up with the Fab Five showing 57-year-old Georgia native Tom the importance of self-care and why it is vital for any man of any background to take care of himself. Tom’s favorite self-descriptive line, “You can’t fix ugly”, conveyed that it was not his appearance that needed all the attention, it was his confidence. The Fab Five worked tirelessly to prove to Tom that, in order to be beautiful, you have to believe it first. By the end of the week, there was such a startling juxtaposition of who he was in the beginning and who he would become, he could not believe his life had changed so much in a matter of a week. Eyes filled with tears, he broke down and admitted to the group they have changed his life for the better. His pores were now seeping out confidence that only the Fab Five could have given him.
One notable difference from the original series is the Fab Five are improving the lives of queer men as well. In the episode, “To Gay or Not Too Gay” the group travels to Atlanta to perform an emotional makeover for AJ. The group immediately picks up on his timid personality, but wonders if he truly is the conservative man he claims to be.
Soon after meeting the group, he confesses to them although he has a boyfriend, some of the most important people in his life are unaware of his sexuality, including his stepmother. AJ admits to the cast one of his biggest regrets is not coming out to his father before his untimely passing, therefore it is really important to come out to his stepmother. Later on in the episode, AJ tells Karamo, the Fab Five culture expert, black men already have one strike against them so coming out makes it that much harder. Karamo reassures AJ by telling him living in your truth can be difficult at first, but it is truly liberating. To celebrate his week with the Fab Five, AJ throws an intimate party in his newly renovated apartment and finally sits his stepmother down for a conversation he has been waiting to have for years.
Throughout the series, the cast proves to the men that it is okay to be unapologetically yourself as long as it comes with confidence. Contrary to popular belief, self-care is not the recipe to femininity, and it is okay to take care of yourself and own it! This colorful cast will leave viewers craving another episode filled with belly laughs and joyful cries. Fab Five member Bobby wraps up the first episode perfectly by noting that “we all just want to be loved”, and with that comes confidence in who we are.