To the delight of many, Netflix recently gave a reboot of the reality TV series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and in an unexpected move, the new incarnation of the Emmy-winning TV show is superior to its predecessor. It induces just as much laughter as it does tears, in the most authentic and genuine manner. Its earnestness is incredibly refreshing, especially at a time when irony dominates the enjoyment of reality television.
Introducing us to an all-new “Fab 5,” the reboot follows the same premise as the original: take a less-than-stylish man and give him a makeover in an attempt to have him reach his full potential. Each member of the Fab 5 has a specialty like culture, grooming, or fashion, all with the aim to dust off an unhealthy lifestyle and achieve something greater.
While this may seem extremely superficial, the execution is anything but. Each episode teaches the viewer a thing or two about male vulnerability and self-care. It’s more than becoming “commercially attractive”; it’s about becoming your best self. With that comes revelations of self-esteem and insecurity, among a bevy of compelling internal struggles.
Like its predecessor, Queer Eye has a relatively light tone throughout, consistently showcasing banter among the magnetic and charismatic Fab 5. But Queer Eye goes unexpectedly deep. It digs beneath the surface of each subject, answering why they haven’t been taking care of themselves, to incredibly fascinating results.
It’s worth noting that the series manages to spotlight the kinds of culturally conservative Americans you wouldn’t expect on a reality show like this, confronting subjects like police brutality and sexual identity along the way. It’s topical, it’s smart, it’s engaging but never is it preachy or pretentious.
Queer Eye does exactly what a reboot should do, and more. You won’t question why the reboot exists because it’s so clear that we need a series as genuinely insightful and revealing about the human experience at a time when our culture is coated in misconceptions and deceit.
A masterful makeover, Netflix’s Queer Eye uncovers truths about masculinity you wouldn’t necessarily find in the original.