Article by Savanna Graves
In 2003, Bravo released a TV show featuring five homosexual men giving makeovers to struggling straight men. Queer Eye For The Straight Guy was an instant success, the “Fab Five” being experts in food, grooming, interior design, fashion, and culture. The show was canceled in 2006, but received a much-deserved reboot 11 years later when Netflix announced they would be bringing the show back with a brand new “Fab Five.” Now, with the second season just released, the show is taking makeovers a step further with deep and serious conversations about politics, religion, and more. These conversations filmed for the whole streaming world are conversations which desperately need to be had.
In season one, episode three, the Fab Five take on a police officer. As they get to know each other, they find they’re very similar and probably would’ve been friends in high school.
The conversation ends with the two men shaking hands, and Kamaro, the culture expert, telling the camera so much is to be learned in conversation. “It has to start somewhere and I’m not saying that a conversation with one police officer and one gay guy is gonna solve the problem but maybe it could open up eyes to something.”
The conversation was empowering to watch as the two brought up serious topics and were able to talk with kindness rather than hate and judgement. It’s very rare to see conversations like this happening, and even rarer that they are being televised.
A couple episodes later, the Fab Five take on a devout Christian father with a big family. The two begin talking religion, and the two come to an agreement on how the focus should be on God and His love, rather than the religion and politics of the church.
At the end of the episode, the Fab Five sit down with Bobby Camp, encouraging him as he takes on this new chapter in his life. Camp then thanks them wholeheartedly, telling them his whole family had prayed about this situation, and they “wanted to use [this experience] as an opportunity to open up our lives to other people.”
“We want you guys to come to our house and feel loved and accepted.” Camp goes on, making the whole room tear up. “We want you guys to know that you have been loved here.”
The importance of this show comes from bringing out confidence in the people whose lives they are changing. The conversations being had with drastically different people and viewpoints is beautiful and refreshing. Not once is there a set narrative throughout the conversations; rather, two people listening and replying with kindness and respect.
I started watching this show because I was looking for humor, and this looked like a solid choice. When conversations did spark up, I was worried the Republican or the Christian was going to be made to look like a fool. I was pleasantly surprised when Kamaro and Bobby were, instead, kind and intent on learning from a differing opinion and made an example of civil discourse.
With these conversations, both sides of the political aisle — Republican, Democrat, and everything in between — are having strong realizations. It’s very evident by listening to them that at the end of the day, both sides believe their way is the way to success. Each side ultimately wants happiness and safety and love, but disagree on how to achieve it. When our happiness and the ones we love are threatened, anger and hate rear their ugly heads.
The rich examples of conversation in this show are exactly what we should be looking for in this day and age with so much hostility. It’s difficult to even mention politics without getting your head bit off by either side, but this show is helping exemplify civil conversation is not only possible, but fruitful and exciting as well.
Cover image courtesy of Cosmopolitan