Netflix’s reboot of Bravo’s 2003 hit makeover series Queer Eye is currently filming its third season in Kansas City, Missouri. The series centers around a group of five gay men, “The Fab Five”, and their attempts to help people become the very best version of themselves, one person at a time. Each member of the Fab Five contributes to a different aspect of life: grooming, food and wine, design, fashion and culture. The show immediately caught on with viewers thanks to its relevance to today’s society, its lessons on inclusiveness and its meme-able cast.
Here are the two biggest reasons you should consider either adding Queer Eye to your Netflix watchlist if you have not already or, if you have, bingeing seasons 1 and 2 again just one more time.
The most rewarding part of the makeover process is not the end result but instead the journey that it takes to get there.
In “Camp Rules” (season 1 episode 5) the Fab Five make over a devout Christian father of six and we see a powerful lesson in acceptance. Bobby Camp explains to the Fab Five “you’ve taught me so much about loving somebody that’s come from a different background than me, that has a different world view than me, that has a different story. But you’re people and hopefully my kids have seen it-that we’re all people,” causing more than a few teary eyes with groomer Jonathan Van Ness quipping “well thanks for making me cry. Pretty cold.”
In “Sky’s the Limit” (season 2 episode 5), the guys are brought in to assist Skyler Jay, a young transgender man who recently completed his top surgery. Though mostly confident in his journey, Jay was still struggling with some aspects of manhood, having never had a male figure in his life to teach him basic lessons such as shaving. The episode addresses several issues that transgender men face while also celebrating Jay’s journey. One of the more meaningful moments comes at one of the most unexpected places, the DMV, where Jay is finally able to change the gender marker on his drivers license.
The Fab Five
Jonathan Van Ness – grooming
The biggest draw of the show, however, is the Fab Five themselves. Arguably the heart of the show is groomer Van Ness. A walking meme, Van Ness showers everyone with as much love as possible while using hilarious descriptions such as “world tour purpose Biebs, except for one that didn’t get canceled” or “strugs to func”. He sees everyone’s beauty from the inside out and it is refreshing to witness the world through his eyes. While Van Ness is responsible for the more visual makeover of each individual, what comes across most is his love for humanity.
Bobby Berk – interior design
Some of the show’s most heartfelt moments have come via designer Berk who has twice faced a past where he was forced to become an outcast from his church, a time that he states in one episode “is a really sensitive topic for me.” In the premiere episode of season 2, “God Bless Gay”, Berk speaks to Tammye Hicks about his personal issues with the church and is met with understanding and compassion. No matter what space Berk is given to work with he always manages to turn it into a work of art.
Antoni Porowski – food and wine
When season one ended one of the biggest jokes involved Porowski being a food expert who only knew how to do things with avocados. If you actually watch the show, though, he does much more. No one who is new to cooking is going to be able to learn to cook a five course meal within a couple of days. What Porowski does is teach a simple and realistic recipe that any beginning cook can master.
Tan France – fashion
Upon my first binge of the show, fashion expert France was my stand out favorite. With his silver hair and British accent, it was hard not to fall immediately in love. France uses fashion as a teaching tool, showing that even the smallest touches can change a person’s look and, in turn, boost their self esteem. He describes the importance of looking nice, not only for the benefit of other people but for the benefit of the individual.
Karamo Brown – culture
As the culture expert on the show, it is Brown’s job to delve into the mindset of each individual and find out anything that may be mentally holding them back from achieving their full potential. Brown shines during his one-on-one conversations that take place while he is driving the individual to the next location. The lack of forced eye contact relaxes the person enough to open up and allow Brown in just enough to lay the foundations for change.
All in all, Queer Eye is worth a watch simply because it provides a happy escape in a world of chaos. There is no judgment, no harsh words. Just kindness and love brought to you in the form of five individuals who more than live up to the word “fab”.