BitterSweet: Queer Eye

Weekly columnist Amy Gildert reviews the unique makeover show.

Amy Gildert
15th October 2018
Image Credit: YouTube

There is certainly no shortage of makeover shows out there, but one show that’s made a comeback recently is Queer Eyethe makeover show that sees five gay guys take a seemingly hopeless man and turn his life around.  


If you’re here for fashion tips, I wouldn’t follow by example from the ‘Fab Five’, because some of their outfits are WILD. One particularly memorable outfit sees Jonathan in a romper that feels less like Jungle Explorer and more like Budget Plumber. But hey, whatever works for you my dude.  

[pullquote] Some of their outfits are WILD[/pullquote]

Structurally, the show often feels imbalanced with the guys’ different segments. Whether this is to do with the editing or the actual content I’m not sure, but I often wonder what Karamo, the so called Culture expert, does half the time apart from being unbearably handsome and being a personal hypeman. SimilarlyQueer Eye’s Antoni’s role in the team is food and wine, and while he tries his damnedest to convince you that he is a Cooking Expert, don’t you believe that for one second. It’s less professional cooking tips and more hot dogs covered in carrots to convince people that they’re fancy. I see you Antoni, you’re not fooling me with your beautiful hair and sliced melon.  

One of the side effects of a makeover show like this is the fact that while watching it, you will almost certainly feel like a gremlin. As the Fab Five critique the corners of the man’s life, you will almost certainly become acutely aware of every pile of clothes that you haven’t put away yet, every unwashed dish that festers near your sink, and that hole ridden tank top you’ve been wearing as pajamas for the last week. If you think these guys wouldn’t roast your life, then you’ve got another thing coming to you.  


Queer Eye lures you in with the pretext of being a cute makeover show, but what I didn’t expect from it was how serious it would get at times. Over the course of eight episodes, the Fab Five address loneliness, institutionalized racism, and homophobia in the Church. I for one was pleasantly surprised by the intelligent way they discuss these issues.  

[pullquote] The Fab Five address loneliness, institutionalized racism, and homophobia in the Church[/pullquote]

The show is also surprisingly emotional, and not in a staged way either. The guys that are nominated for this show feel like real people who are each dealing with their own problems and struggles. The pure amount of heart in each episode is truly touching. In one episode, grooming expert Jonathan says, "You can't allow yourself to numb your feelings, if you try to numb the vulnerability, you also numb the joy, happiness and connection". If that doesn’t show the emotional nature of the show then I don’t know what will.  


For me, Queer Eye stands apart from other makeover shows by the way it takes a simple concept and uses it to address a variety of serious societal issues. And, although I know the Fab Five would roast me as I watch it on a Friday night, surrounded by sweet wrappers with a pile of laundry to do, the shows unyielding heart earns it a Sweet rating.   

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