Arts & Life, Film & Television

‘Queer Eye’ is making emotional vulnerability fashionable again

If you’d like to contribute to the puddle of tears you’re already drowning in this Pisces season, you’re in luck — the third season of “Queer Eye” premiered on Netflix this past Friday.

The gaggle of gays are back and better than ever, with a dash of heavily scripted banter and a sprinkle of social commentary. The Fab Five provides viewers with eight episodes and eight incredible transformations.

Unlike the past version of the show “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” the Netflix remake dropped the latter half of the original title, opting for just “Queer Eye.” Instead of solely focusing on sad, straight men, the latest version features an array of makeover subjects, including women and other queer people.

In the premiere episode, experts Tan France, Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown, Antoni Porowski and Bobby Berk help makeover a prison guard who’s really into camouflage. Camo pants, camo shirts, camo shoes, camo lingerie, camo…everything. The chemistry between the makeover subject, Jody, and her husband, Chris, is palpable, and after the Queer Eye boys finish with her, she is a glowing goddess with a ton of newfound confidence.

There is a much larger focus on self-care this season; the series doesn’t just enlist five shallow gays to cattily tell their subjects everything that’s wrong with them. The Fab Five aim to highlight what is already great about their subjects.

When Tan revamps an entire wardrobe, he sticks to things that people feel comfortable in. When Bobby remodels a bedroom or a business, he doesn’t completely scrap everything, he incorporates the old into a new fresh design. Karamo digs deep into past traumas, and helps his makeover subjects move forward on an emotional level.

This season, like every season, is inspiring to watch because the show consistently communicates the message that viewers have all of the tools that they need in order to become the best version of themselves. Sometimes, you just need a group of friends (or a gaggle of gays) to remind you of what makes yourself great.

“Queer Eye” consistently continues to up its game in terms of storytelling. While some critics may argue that five gay men shouldn’t be tasked with resolving the struggles of straight men, I’d say they’re missing the point.

This season, and this iteration of the show, runs much deeper than the past version that aired on Bravo. For example, when camo-loving Jody shares her struggles with feeling “feminine,” Karamo enlists an array of women, (gay, straight, black and white) to share their stories with her. The end result is a heartwarming scene and a reminder that there is no single, correct way to be a woman.

At the end of the day, this is a makeover show. So yes, Tan cleans up their wardrobe, Jonathan gives them a fresh haircut and Antoni teaches them how to do the bare minimum in the kitchen. Meanwhile interior design expert Berk, the unsung hero of the cast, works away to revamp an entire home or business.

While this season provides many inspiring stories, from a duo of sisters who run a barbeque restaurant, to a Black queer girl who was rejected by her adoptive family, we also get to know more about the cast as a result.

We know from the last season that design expert Berk struggled with growing up in a strict, religious home. In the fifth episode of season three however, viewers also find out that he was adopted. As someone who is also queer and adopted, I was thrilled to see two other queer adoptees discuss their shared experience. I was immediately reminded of the power of representation, and feeling “seen” on screen.

It’s refreshing to see gay men on television with complex, storied backgrounds. For straight viewers, it’s vital they see these men as more than magical accessories, or mere comedic relief.

While some of the candid, funny, moments the Fab Five share in the car at the top of each episode appear to be heavily scripted, by the end of each episode I seemingly forgot any of the cringe-worthy dialogue. Instead, with tears streaming down my face, I was reminded of the show’s sincerity.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Daily 49er newsletter