If you are a TV lover like me, we are blessed with plenty of good programming the last few years. At our house, we don't have cable but we do have Netflix and recently added a subscription to Hulu. Between the over the air programming from broadcast networks, originals from subscription sites, British and other international programming and the older cable shows like Mad Men that we never saw the first go round, there is a ton of stuff from which to chose.
Yet, despite having a far longer list in my queue than I really have time to watch, I still look for things to add to keep a balance of drama and lighter programming. One day I noticed this new show on Netflix and I had a few minutes so after perusing quickly the glowing user reviews, I decided to give it 15 minutes and see how it went. I couldn't stop. I watched the entire 40+ minute first episode without even leaving my chair for a break.
The show is Queer Eye. This is a remake of Bravo's Queer Eye for the Straight Guy from many years ago. Having never had cable, I didn't know anything about the original other than it featured several gay guys. I didn't know if it was a comedy or drama. I certainly didn't know it was a reality, makeover show. And that is a very good thing. Because had I known, I probably would not have watched.
I really detest reality or as I call it UNreality TV. I'll watch makeover shows now and then particularly when we are on vacation and I have access to cable and the show "What Not to Wear" though I'm not sure why since I have quite a few criticisms of that show.
Most reality shows are so far from the real world, it isn't even a joke. What's realistic about putting a bunch of attractive strangers on an island and making them do silly games to see who can survive? Contest shows waste so much time not spent on the singing, dancing or whatever. (Maybe that is where NBC got their idea for drawn out Olympics coverage).
Makeover shows are interesting again if you could actually get to the content. Those shows though tell you at the beginning what they are going to do and then repeat that and a synopsis of what they have done at every commercial break. Plus the useless interviews of how everyone feels about everything.
What I loved about Queer Eye is that is breaks those molds. Five guys - all gay, each with different areas of specialty such as fashion, design, cooking, etc - spend 1 week making over another guy's life including his home, wardrobe, relationships, nutrition and hair. Oh, the hair! The guys they makeover are almost all straight but that is about all they have in common demographically. They are single, married, young, old, with children, living with a roommate, living alone, living in the city or living in the suburbs. The only thing they have in common is that they could all use a little help with their appearance and home design.
Oh and there is one other thing which is what gives this shows such rave reviews. Each of these men let themselves go for a reason. Tracking down that reason and helping them through it is a key element to the show. This happens naturally through conversation.
The interaction between the main cast and their fixer upper of the week often breaks down stereotypes and deals with current issues in a moderate, mature way. It's these natural conversations that make the show really shine and also mean you ought to keep a box of tissues handy if you watch.
The show hasn't yet been renewed for Season 2 but if the cast is game I certainly think it will be. It has received critical and viewer top reviews. I did read that the would probably move from their base location of Atlanta to a midwestern city in a colder climate. Apparently Hotlanta is just a bit warm for filming.
Wherever they end up, I look forward to the next season to see how they can transform a guy's wardrobe, nutrition, house, social interactions and well, life.