Queer Eye For the Straight Guy (Bravo)
The basic joke of the show (playing on straight guys' implied homophobia and their wives' repressed fabulousness) is good by itself, but it is in the genuine transformations that occur that Queer Eye becomes more than just a stunt show. As with the powerful, whole-life makeovers you'll see on Oprah and whatnot, the lives touched by Queer Eye become boundlessly better for the encounter.
This owes a lot to the fact that the "Fab 5," instead of being a tittering gaggle of JM J. Bullocks, are not caricatures so much as fabulously sensitive specialists they pay attention to each man's life and personality, and bring it out from beneath layers of three-day beardscruff and soily socks. Instead of imposing a gay aesthetic onto the guys' lives, they use the queer sensibility to reveal what the men are really all about, putting them in touch with their inner glitz.
The humor of the show isn't comedic per se, rather, it swims in the unacknowledged third stream of comedy that is, fabulousness. It's not about being funny, but being beautiful and letting one's glitterball shine for all to see.
The men who appear on the show reinforce every terrible thing ascribed to straight guys they don't cook, they don't pamper themselves, they don't decorate, they don't dress with any particular attention to detail, they don't communicate their emotions. Queer Eye really picks on the Clueless Guy more than anything.
Which brings up my sole frustration with the show, and that is, it's given every woman in the world the idea that their partner is in dire need of a Queer Eye makeover. Sure, 90% of guys I know could benefit, but I personally take umbrage to the notion. Why isn't my partner grateful for how gay I already am? I mean, I use high-end moisturizers, I buy designer clothes, I can cook and present a meal, I jerk off to extremely hardcore gay pornography, I hold dinner parties with the aim of seducing underage houseboys, I wear women's lingerie down to the pier and take on as many comers as will have my ass what more can I do? Women are just never satisfied until you're totally gay these days.
That said, the Queer Eye crew are a sincere and insightful bunch, consistently proving their ability to stay within straight guys' comfort zones while pushing the boundaries as far as they can. The show is always uplifting to watch, with the reactions of the dudes' spouses, partners, kids, and families giving the proceedings real heart.
I don't go out of my way to watch Queer Eye, but I always enjoy it when it's on. I'd say the same thing about the fisting sites I regularly visit, but I do go out of my way for those. Mind you, it's all in the name of being the best straight guy I can be.
Review by Chicago Hilton © 2004