Queer Eye S5

Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, Tan France and Antoni Porowski in Queer Eye season 5.
Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, Tan France and Antoni Porowski in Queer Eye season 5.
Photo: Ryan Collerd/Netflix


4/5 Stars


This season Queer Eye trades its original New York setting for communities in and around Philadelphia. Our new Fab Five will forge relationships with men and women from a wide array of backgrounds and beliefs often contrary to their own, touching on everything from LGBTQ rights and social commentary to how to make the best farm-to-table guacamole and more.


The Fab Five are at it once again for their fifth season in two years, but it's much of the same content we're used to.

Queer Eye was a revolution when it came out in 2018. It was a new, updated, less problematic look at Queer Eye For The Straight Guy that ran from 2003-2007. We all fell in love with them and their heroes.

But maybe five seasons in two years might be a bit much?

The show is undeniably a hit. It's emotive and comforting. It's like catching up with a group of friends you really love but don't get to see often. But, personally, I'm starting to get a little inspiration fatigue, which is why I suggest consuming this in bite-sized portions instead of binge-watching it and crying uncontrollably.

At its core, it's the same old formula we know and love. But then things start to feel a little fresher a few episodes in as you see the diversity of the heroes (who range from an older gay pastor who came out late in his life, to a young activist, to a man who is in his forties and emotionally unavailable) and learn more about the stories of the Fab Five themselves.

This season, they've brought in diverse stories that are important in America right now but can also be consumed around the world. They've made strong women more visible; women who think that self-care means they don't care about their family or are very accomplished but don't have the confidence to accept it. They show men who are afraid of being vulnerable because they've been taught that men aren't allowed to be, and how they're working through that. They talk about immigrant families and the pressure of being a first-generation child whose parents moved to America to create a better life.

There was also a nice nod to the tackling of gentrification and how it's taking over smaller towns and swallowing smaller businesses but showed how aforementioned businesses can compete. I think it was a nice touch.

If you're one of the "Antoni can't cook real food!" people, he's showing us all his chops in the kitchen with beautiful, simple recipes the heroes and viewers can make at home. He's also adorable when he learns one of the heroes has polish heritage and teaches her how to make traditional food.

Jonathan still doesn't know how to style any hair that isn't type 2 but gets in experts who can, and they do amazing jobs. I just wish they would get slightly more recognition for it.

Tan still amazes us with his great approach to fashion, and we see less obvious French tucks this season, but they do also playfully make reference to it which is hilarious.

Bobby is still an amazing design expert and a little bit of a business coach this season. There's more about his backstory of being homeless and ostracised from his church when he was younger, and how he went from having no education to being successful.

It does feel like they highlight this more with Bobby and less so with the others, and I would like to see the rest of the Fab Five talking more about their successes and failures as well.

Can somebody please tell me why Karamo's designation is "culture" and what that actually means? Is it because they can't call him a life coach? Taking people on nature walks and reconnecting them with people is not "culture"; that's an Oprah moment.

All in all, the show still holds up well. The Fab Five genuinely like each other, and it's great to see five men who are comfortable with each other and themselves spreading joy and inspiration, but perhaps the formula needs a little reworking, and we need more of a break between seasons.



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