Picture this- five very telegenic gay men – think Manhattan warehouse, designer clothes and grooming products, travel to Kansas to help a camouflage besotted huntress find her inner woman. This could be a recipe for disaster. It turns out to be a very mushy but endearing show of human renovation.
I love these guys. Watching Queer Eye on Netflix is fun even if some of the “Structured Reality” situations are a little daft. The program is into series 3 and this episode is called “From Hunter to Huntee.” The team of 5 men are tasked with serious specialist areas. Tan does fashion, Antoni does food and wine, Bobby tackles design and the lovely Jonathan excels at grooming with a dash of theatre. But it is Karamo who is charged with “Culture.” His role has morphed into analyst/ life coach and he does the slightly serious stuff where tears are usually shed. They are the sort of guys you’d love to have to dinner because they do kindness, funny and glam all in one sitting.
Essentially the fab five arrive at the home of someone who has been nominated by a loved one for a total lifestyle and personal makeover. In this episode Jodie, who works in a male prison and loves hunting is also addicted to wearing camouflage. She doesn’t own a dress… (Horror!) She and her husband are about to celebrate their 10th anniversary dinner and the fab five are called in to renovate home and Jodie. The couple are lovely and it’s clear this is a very special occasion for them. Their 1875 farmhouse is strewn with “ taxidermied” animals, trophies of their hunting trips.
It’s a gentle renovation and Jodie does end up buying a dress and looking lovely for the dinner. Their home is transformed with only one wall of stuffed animals now being featured.
You can probably detect a touch of cynicism in this review. I’m not entirely comfortable with the concept even though I have watched 3 series of “Queer Eye.” It’s very engaging and full of modern day homilies that have a touch of truth in them. “It’s your life, design it well” or “Self- care is an inside Job” are coaching strategies employed. Superficial but nice. But then “Femininity is whatever she wants it to be. Everybody feels comfortable somewhere on a continuum from masculine to feminine. Wherever you are is just fine.”
There’s a humanity to the show. There’s a sense of fun and also an acknowledgement that we are fine as we are but with just a bit of pizzazz and self -love we can be even better. For a Friday night, ease into the weekend kind of show Queer Eye is good company.