Feb 21, 2018

The New Netflix Queer Eye Makes Georgia Boys Fabulous

I never watched the Bravo reality series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (2003-2007), which sent five screaming queens out to teach macho men how to get chicks by getting their femme on.  It pandered to stereotypes on every level. All straight men grunt and scratch themselves and are completely clueless about the finer things in life.  But all gay men -- aka "girls" -- are fabulous!

Apparently somebody liked it, as Netflix has produced a retread. It's rated TV-14, though nothing sexual occurs, because, of course, even in 2018, kids must never know that gay people exist.

The new Fab Five is a little more diverse, fewer screamers, some ethnic minorities: Bobby Berk (design), Antoni Poworski (food), Jonathan Van Ness (grooming), Tan France (fashion), and Karamo (culture).

Their new stomping ground is small-town and suburban Georgia, where, instead of macho men, they descend upon the scariest ZZ Top lookalikes who ever drove a red pickup truck down a country road while listening to "Sweet Home Alabama," escort them to clothing stores and barber shops, and display their new fabulousness to their friends at the American Legion.

1. A 57-year old dump truck driver who lives in a one-room apartment believes that you "can't fix ugly" until the Fab Five convince him to embrace his inner fabulousness.

2. A shy, reclusive guy with long hair and a longer beard lets the Fab Five draw him out of his shell.

3. A NASCAR enthusiast wants to become more likeable and connect with his family.

4. The "straightest gay guy in Atlanta" learns to be gayer.

5. A devoutly Christian redneck gets a home makeover to impress his new wife with.

6. A young entrepreneur gets a home makeover.

7. An aspiring comedian who still lives with his parents at age 33 gets a new pad and a new "brand."

8. A firefighter gives his whole firehouse a makeover.

Not much beefcake in these episodes --  even the firefighter is hardly the stuff of calendar shoots. But the whole point is that the straight men (and masculine gay guys) look rather undesirable, chubby, scruffy, and geeky before they learn how to dress and groom themselves.

I have to admire the Fab Five's courage -- I'd be afraid to even drive through those small towns, let alone pop into Jimmy's Bring-Er In Tavern and announce "We're here to do a makeover, girlfriend!"  I'm sure everyone who appears on camera has been extensively vetted, but still, it's rather enjoyable to see roomsful of shaggy guys in overalls and feed store caps displaying no homophobia whatsoever.

And no racism, for that matter.  Isn't rural Georgia Trump country?

But watching the Fab Five escort their subjects through getting haircuts, trying on shirts, and shopping for mattresses gets really boring.  I don't like doing those things myself -- why would I want to watch someone else do them?

And the number of takeaway points for at-home viewers is limited: don't wear a baseball cap unless you are going to a baseball game; buy matching furniture sets rather than individual pieces; cut down on salt while cooking.

And  I still disapprove of the definition of "gay" as "flamboyantly feminine" rather than "attracted to the same sex."


  1. New theory: Sentient ads were created by crab people.

    But seriously, though, it feels a bit out of place when the metrosexual is so last decade. Now we have the spornosexual (hairless below the ears, spend plenty of time at the gym, maybe some tattoo that looks like barbed wire, hair above the ears is often dyed, and not a natural color) and the lumbersexual (basically a lumberjack).

    Hey, maybe a bit about Zyzz?

  2. I don't watch anything that uses the Q-word in its title.


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