The boys are back! This time, the Fab Five—Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Karamo Brown, Jonathan Van Ness, and Bobby Burke—are imparting their fabulous expertise on all things fashion, culture, design, grooming, and food to some of the deserving folks of Kansas City. Will our favorite makeover team live up to the success of the past two seasons of Queer Eye? Check out what we thought of the first four episodes to find out. (Be warned, though: A few tears were shed!)
What I liked About It
It's heavy on self-love.
While the last two seasons tackled heavy topics like internalized homophobia and racial discrimination, the first four episodes of the third season offered by Netflix were, in comparison, a bit lighter, but still impactful nevertheless. That said, perphaps the commonality for the season's episodes so far would have to be self-care and self-love.
Take for example a soon-to-be-married man who, while undeniably sweet and could rival Antoni in the kitchen, has a mouth that runs a mile a minute with nothing but condescending comments about himself. There's also a self-made, independent pitmaster who struggles with accepting compliments—an ordeal I'm sure most of us can relate to. Suffice to say, while it takes years to break a negative habit, the Fab Five offer them a start in the right direction, reminding them that they are beautiful, or that they do deserve to be pampered and taken care of. It's an important sentiment that our boys drill into their clients over and over again until they start to believe it themselves, one that is also able to translate beyond the screen and onto the unassuming audiences like me and you. Four episodes and Karamo's soothing yet determined voice in your head later, and you find yourself starting to believe that you're good enough, too.
It's all about highlighting the best parts of oneself.
Much of the criticism thrown at Queer Eye for its past two seasons has been its apparent leaning towards the societal constructions of what is handsome, pretty, or presentable. We're talking about clean-shaven faces, tamed locks, a proper button-down shirt with a blazer or bomber jacket thrown over it. In some people's eyes the epitome of a true Fab Five transformation always turns out to be a bit too corporate cookie-cutter, and I completely agree. Which is why it was refreshing to notice that this season made quite the effort to shift from conforming to societal notions of beauty, to simply enhancing and reiterating the underlying good or positive features that a person already has. Granted, button-downs are still a must, and considerably tamed and shorter hair is still given precedence at times, at least you don't see Jonathan going around itching to completely shave off the first beard he sees. But then again, that's just the icing on the cake.
It holds up to its past two seasons.
The quick wit and humor of seasons past are still alive and well in Queer Eye's third season. You still have the ever-fabulous Jonathan prancing and dancing around, sometimes jumping out of cakes; the stylish Tan and his French tucks (always with the French tucks); Antoni blurting out cooking terms that, for the life of me, I might never understand; Karamo's coaxing words reducing everyone to tears; and who could skim over Bobby, who magically turns a ratty house Pinterest-worthy, à la Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, in the span of a week!
And, of course, the heart remains at the center of the show. It wouldn't be Queer Eye if you don't catch yourself crying at one point or another. Seriously, I'm not much for crying over films or TV shows but you better believe I found myself tearing up over a woman who just got a new set of front teeth, it's almost ridiculous!
What I Didn't Like About It
It can still come off as insensitive.
Some people often overlook this tendency in favor of their sassy, hilarious comments. While I'm sure this isn't the Fab Five's intention, there are moments where they do start excessively broadcasting their passionate disapproval, and sometimes even disgust, when first entering someone's home. I found it unsettling, to hear them comment on the lack of hygienic ameneties an individual or a home has without taking into consideration the fact that maybe these things aren't exactly accessible to them unless provided by the powers that run a Netflix hit TV series. After all, not all of us can afford the luxury of having a full-blown skincare routine.
So Should You Watch It?
That said, if you're one for a heartwarming, more-than-a-makoever reality program that's also equal parts hilarious and entertaining, then I suggest you let these five fabulous men take over your weeknights come March 15. You're guaranteed to laugh, cry, and wish for Tan France to breathe some life into your wardrobe as well, AKA buy you new clothes with free styling tips included. Remember to always French tuck!