Queer Eye Season Five: A flam-buoyant life raft to save us from the apocalypse
If you were worried that Queer Eye might lose any of it charm through the seasons, the new series is proof that the show is as hardy as a hipster’s succulent collection. And in the midst of these bleak times, it’s blossoming more brilliantly than ever.
From the opening shots, which feature the fab five renovating their new Philadelphia den to the unsurpassable sounds of Elton John, it’s clear this season will be as camp and colourful as we had hoped. Pirate costumes and bonnets promise a fun and flirty reunion – and that’s just what we get. Episode one brings the familiar formula back to life, tackling the recurrent theme of religion through the story of the aptly named Noah, a gay pastor struggling to truly celebrate his sexuality. Though we’ve seen similar stories of rebirth and renewal, now that the apocalypse has hit and left us all stranded in the flood, it feels like it’s not just Noah being pulled from the water, but the whole of humanity. Queer Eye is a life raft in a sea of bad news.
As ever, a transformation occurs with the help of the group’s expertise, from Tan’s fashion commandments – “Thou shalt not wear Cargo pants” (preach) – to Antoni’s divine cookery sessions, Jonathan Van Ness’s eyebrow intervention, Karamo’s emotional enlightenment and Bobbi’s inspired interior design. But this show is marketed as “more than a makeover” and true to its word, the men are much more than their individual roles. As our favourite life guru JVN notes, though it’s important to feel confident, it’s as much about showing vulnerability as showing strength. Once again, it’s their own investment into the story that makes for the most tear-jerking moments – in this case, Bobbi’s willingness to reopen personal wounds in order to let another into the family.
Unlike a lot of reality shows, Queer Eye manages a level of introspection that, despite all the editing and makeup, feels genuine. The pastor admits he has been “writing a negative script” about himself, but it’s the belief that everyone can rewrite their own script – with a little help from their friends – that makes the show so successful. The world is a congregation just waiting to be converted to the Queer Eye way of life.
Queer Eye Season Five is released digitally on Netflix on 5th June 2020.
Watch the trailer for Queer Eye Season Five here: