For better or worst Queer Eye for the Straight Guy has been rebooted with five new gay men dishing out advice to hopeless straight men. Love or hate the original Bravo show, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy brought five stereotypical gay experts into our homes on a weekly basis — the modern equivalent of the Village People.
‘for the Straight Guy’ has been removed from the title leaving us with a vague premise. The Queer Eye is watching and judging you. Maybe that’s not a bad thing. But the modern guy is woke and metrosexuals are a thing of the past. Really does Queer Eye have a place on the virtual dial? There are plenty of other gay-friendly tv shows worth rebooting, not just Will & Grace. The struggle for gay-themed or gay-lead shows is ongoing and probably not helped with feeding the stereotype.
Netflix has recycled the same formula from the original with near hour long complete make-over of one straight guy. The theme song has been recut and the familiar five areas of improvement have been recast. Antoni Porowski handles food & wine, Tan France on fashion, Karamo Brown on culture, Bobby Berk on design, and Jonathan Van Ness on grooming. As a team they are immediately more diverse then the original five, and not all stereotypes or over the top. On camera they’re all energetic extroverts forward enough to barge into a man’s home and begin ripping through his closet.
Their first challenge is Tom, a good-ole Kentucky boy (living in Georgia), who’s single and three times divorced. Within a few minutes your heartstrings are pulled by Tom’s situation, and quickly you’re rooting for him. Tom is good-natured, warm hearted and open to sharing his emotions. And he happily plays along willing to be improved physically. At one point Tom makes a faux pas, and the guys gently school him with plenty of humor, helping Tom grow inside too. As the first show progresses, the fab five has Tom laughing and playing along, especially when the boys are being silly and over the top.
Launching with someone from rural Georgia (where the boys are based) also helps break down misconceptions about the people from red states. At the top of the show they say the original version was about tolerance and now it’s about acceptance — they don’t mean seeking acceptance, it’s already there. They might want to look in on themselves and ask if sending five gay men is the correct message — there are plenty of non-gay (possibly still queer) people with just as much style and advice to give.
The remaining seven episodes of the first season all find a good subject to improve, including the ‘straightest gay guy in Atlanta’ (hence one reason the show dropped ‘for the straight guy’).
Still if you’re interested, tune in on Netflix and watch the new fab five dish out style advice. Or instead why not binge on Queer as Folk, also currently on Netflix.