When Queer Eye for the Straight Guy first premiered in 2003, it was very much a product of its time. The show leaned into — and helped solidify — the popular stereotype of gay men as preening, fabulous divas, and it relied on the inherent assumption that many straight liberal men had never met any out gay men in their lifetimes. It easily became a cultural phenomenon, and won an Emmy for Outstanding Reality Program in 2004.
But even if you rolled your eyes when you heard that the show is being revived for Netflix, you shouldn’t be too concerned. The show’s creator, David Collins, recently told Entertainment Weekly that the show has been updated for “a new time with a new audience.”
“If the original round was about tolerance, this time it is about acceptance,” said Collins, who added that the new series, which premieres in February, will ditch the concrete bunghole of New York and travel to the desolate, dreaded Red States of the South and Midwest. The revival will also focus more on the “Fab 5” and their personal lives as they attempt to form long-lasting relationships with heterotastic, possibly homophobic men like “Cory,” a police officer from rural Georgia (shudder.)
Collins also stressed that storytelling was now the show’s top priority.
“Makeovers are very important and the reveal and all that, but really the bottom line is that inside change, that moment where they’ve had a revelation … an understanding.”
And while the show’s original Fab 5 “may or may not return,” the new Fab 5 is sure to entertain viewers. In addition to Jonathan Van Ness of Gay of Thrones, there’s Karamo Brown of The Real World: Philadelphia and relative unknowns Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk, and Tan France. France is the creator of women’s clothing line Kingdom & State, Porowski is former Fab 5-er Ted Allen’s personal chef, and Berk has a line of home furnishings.
We might take a look. Will you?
BTW, we heart this episode of “South Park” where the Fab 5 are revealed to be crab people.