photo from MCT campus
I’ll just admit it — reality television is my vice. Ever since I had my wisdom teeth removed last summer, I’ve been hooked on “Below Deck” and “The Housewives” (let me tell you — senior year is not the time to get hooked on any television series).
But once I had finished all that Hulu had to offer, I was left looking for something a little more fulfilling. Enter “Queer Eye” — a show featuring five fabulous gay guys looking to give people the makeovers that will make Jonathan say “Yas Honey!” and help them to feel their best. I decided to give the show a try, and have since been not-so-patiently waiting for season three, released on March 15, which just so happens to have been filmed right here in KC.
Each season is made up of eight 45-minute episodes where the Fab Five successfully make over a — let’s just say “lifestyle challenged” — man or woman. Together, they address different aspects of the person’s life and help them transform into a better version of themselves, complete with a killer wardrobe, restaurant-worthy recipes and house decor that even Joanna Gaines would approve of.
The show, which initially ran on Bravo from 2003 to 2007, was originally known as “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” Due to its wild success, Netflix decided to reboot the show with a new cast known as the Fab Five. Each with their own expertise — Bobby Berk (design), Karamo Brown (culture), Tan France (fashion), Antoni Porowski (food) and Jonathan Van Ness (grooming) — together the Fab Five can give you a makeover faster than you can say “French tuck!”
Season three showcases eight different Kansas City citizens from different backgrounds ranging from a lesbian woman kicked out of her ultra-conservative home to a man struggling to raise his two kids after his wife died of cancer. Each episode beautifully tells their story and showcases their journey to confidence.
It’s easy to fly through the season as each episode just gets better, and leaves you feeling inspired. And while I recommend watching each episode, feel free to skip around and watch episodes in any order. But make sure to stop at “Black Girl Magic” and “Elrod and Sons” — both equally inspiring stories unmatched in other episodes.
But don’t be fooled — this show isn’t a sob fest. While you may need a few tissues to blot your eyes (it’s not just allergies), each episode is equal parts inspirational and funny, thanks to Jonathan’s eccentric outfits, Tan’s iconic strut and their food-stealing French bulldog Bruly.
However, while each episode does tell a different story, the season can seem repetitive. Essentially, each episode is the same, just with people from various stories and backgrounds. You can only hear Jonathan yell “YAASSS QUEEN” so many times without wanting to rip your Airpods out. But the views of Kansas City and final reveals of the newly transformed “hero” — Queer Eye’s name for the people they showcase — make each episode worth it.
And while the Fab Five may have been the real stars, KC has my heart. I found myself squealing as Tan went into the Plaza J. Crew and Rye — two of my favorite spots. I even saw that my pastor was featured in a wedding on the show. Plus, the videography presents the city in a way that would make any KC native proud — from the sprawling views of downtown to the Spanish architecture featured on the Plaza.
And from the looks of the show, the Fab Five really embraced Midwestern culture, frequently commenting on the friendliness of KC and, of course, the barbeque. Antoni can even be spotted wearing a Greeting Committee shirt, one of KC’s most prominent local bands.
But, let’s face it. This isn’t a review of the city. “Queer Eye” is so much more than any location or a makeover. It’s about changing people’s lives and helping them to see themselves for what they are and loving every bit of it. And according to the Fab Five, confidence is beauty. And I couldn’t agree more.
And while I may not have had the chance to meet the Fab Five while in KC, I can only live vicariously through the season (and patiently wait for when the next special Queer Eye: ‘We’re in Japan’ premeries later this year).