This article was published on April 10th, 2019
While most of Hollywood is fishing in the ponds of yesterday looking for ideas, shows, and movies to resurrect, regurgitate, and reboot, there haven’t been many TV remakes that have actually lived up to their original series potential. That is—until Queer Eye came out last year. Yaaaas queens, the Fab Five are back, changing lives and helping people rediscover the best of themselves in the revamped series from Netflix. And we cannot get enough of them.
Don’t get it twisted: the original Queer Eye for the Straight Guy was completely ground breaking and revolutionary for its time when it debuted in 2003 on Bravo TV. The idea and concept made light of the fact that gay men who are experts in their field can be just as effective in helping you change and advance your life—if not more so—than their straight counterparts. Carson Kressley, Jai Rodriguez, Ted Allen, Kyan Douglas and Thom Filicia broke down walls through their humor, wit, and fierce gayness. It ran for five seasons and was a great reality show.
Flash forward 11 years after the first rendition’s final episode to last February when Netflix released this newest incarnation: Queer Eye. Starring as the new Fab Five are hair aficionado Jonathan Van Ness from Gay of Thrones, fashion expert Tan France, Karamo Brown, lifestyle and culture guru, renowned Canadian Chef Antoni Porowski for food and wine, and design expert Bobby Berk. It can be immediately noted just by looking at these five that they are younger and more diverse than the original cast.
Berk, Porowski, and Van Ness are all Caucasian, but both Porowski and Tan France are foreign: France, of Pakistani decent, hails from the UK and Porowski, as mentioned above, is Canadian. Karamo, the seeming mother of the group, is African American, and is engaged to be married and has kids. France and Berk are also married. While not perfect, this mix is younger and much more representational of the five. Though they had presence in media before Queer Eye, each has brought a unique, important roll to the show that dive deeper than its predecessor.
The new Netflix version has the audience getting to know a little bit more about the Fab Five through helping their makeover subjects deal with their own complex problems. The show has touched on addiction, depression, coming out, grieving the loss of a young mother, adoption, abuse, cancer, homophobia, gender roles, having babies, and a myriad of real-life issues not often discussed on reality TV in a positive setting.
You’ll mostly hear about episodes like Black Girl Magic where the fab five help an African-American lesbian—who was thrown out of the house as a teenager—realize her own powerful magic. Or Sky’s the Limit, where the five help a transgender male become the man he has always dreamed of being. Netflix has released three seasons within the last year, with 25 episodes in total. Each season, Queer Eye gets more and more real and that having a tissue box nearby becomes a necessity. You’ll laugh your ass off, cry, scream yasss girl, and live your best life streaming every single episode.
This time around, Netflix has managed to strip away some of the over-the-top parts that the original had while delivering the most solid reality show in years. If you would have asked two years ago if the original Queer Eye for the Straight Guy needed a reboot, you’d be crazy. Now, fans can’t get enough of Queer Eye. Yaaaaassssss, indeed.