It could so easily be nauseating, but the Fab Five’s life-affirming makeover show still has a remarkable gift for staying the right side of saccharine
After two wonderful, weepy, life-affirming seasons of Queer Eye (Netflix), there were bound to be questions about longevity. How many more the National T-shirts could Antoni possibly own? Will France give its namesake Tan honorary citizenship for pioneering the French Tuck? Can avocados ever be the only ingredient in a recipe? I would gladly take an endless number of its makeovers – there’s nothing more heartwarming than a lumberjack discovering he loves himself – but inevitably, there will be a question, too, over whether it can still churn out the freshness it brought when it first put an up-to-date spin on its old guise, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, at the start of 2018.
The Fab Five do not balk at fridges full of leftovers on the turn, or T-shirts that have long since missed their calling as a dishrag, and for this third season, they have pointed that can-do attitude towards their own format. That’s not to say there are any radical differences in the premise: five gay men, in differing shades of outlandish, head to the midwest of America to meet people whose lives need shaking up and give them motivational speeches about self-worth and self-care while tidying up their appearance. There are, however, attempts to widen the net – to make it just that little bit different.
Their first case, Jody, is a 49-year-old correctional officer from the outstandingly named Amazonia, Missouri. She is a camouflage-wearing, animal-hunting, self-confessed “country backwards” kind of woman. She is at her happiest when hunting or fishing. Her wardrobe consists entirely of clothes best described as functional. Her husband, Phil, loves her, but she wants to start taking more care of herself. The men swarm around her daily routine like birds flock to Snow White. Tan sorts the wardrobe, Jonathan grooms her long red hair into a Connie Britton-esque glamour ’do, Antoni tells her not to be afraid of chomping down on a lobster in a posh restaurant, Bobby tries to wrestle the hunting trophies into a single wall of death, and then Karamo does his thing. Oh God, when Karamo does his thing.