BY SABRYNA COPPOLA ’22
Netflix released the eagerly anticipated third season of “Queer Eye” on March 15, providing the perfect binge-watch for this spring break. The Fab Five are back to “zhoosh” up Kansas City, MO. This season, Antoni, Bobby, Jonathan, Karamo and Tan bring a new sense of hope and confidence to nine new ‘heroes.’
Tan France visited Smith College on March 7, giving audience members a more intimate account of what it is really like to make “Queer Eye.” He talked about how close the cast is now, revealing that it wasn’t always that way. He confessed that, at first, he “didn’t think he liked” Antoni and that Antoni had felt the same way about him. But as time went on, he said, they grew much closer, becoming “a little family.” He disclosed some secrets and personal quirks of the Fab Five, some hilariously embarrassing and some sweet. He told the audience that Karamo drinks at least four cans of Diet Coke a day, a fact that was met with shocked gasps and laughter. Knowing these details about the cast made watching the new season even more special.
This season projects a message of self-love over everything. In contrast to past seasons, which emphasize the ‘heroes’ finding dates and external validation, this season places more importance on selfacceptance.
An outstanding episode in the new season revolves around two sisters who own a barbecue restaurant. The Fab Five teach self-care to these hard-working women, showing them that they can be beautiful and happy while maintaining a flourishing business.
Another fan-favorite episode is about a black lesbian named Jess, who has struggled to find a sense of belonging due to her marginalized identities. The guys help her embrace every aspect of herself and show her that confidence makes all the difference. They teach her that choosing her own family is a crucial part of finding her place in society, as many members of the LGBTQ+ community have to learn the hard way. Simon Dutton ’20 said, “It was wonderful to watch the Fab Five help people who really deserve it.”
Though the show is heartwarming and fun to watch, it is dependent on a single template that limits the uniqueness of every episode. The formulaic structure does not provide anything exciting because of its familiarity. Vulture reviewer Jen Chaney said, “the trick is to be predictable without being too predictable” and that Queer Eye dances “very delicately on that line.” The formula of the show leaves the uniqueness of the episodes completely up to the “hero,” however knowing how the episode will end makes the show not only enjoyable but also comforting; we always know there will be a happy ending for our “heroes.”
“I think it’s really important for the Fab Five to be spearheading this ‘feel good’ show about helping people who need it in areas of the country [...] where people may not exactly be comfortable with people from the LGBT community, let alone people who are so comfortable with and proud of their identities,” said Dutton. “It has been inspiring to watch the ‘heroes’ open themselves up to both accepting themselves and also realizing that people in the LGBT community deserve all that love in return.”
The third season of “Queer Eye” continues to remind us that loving ourselves is an important step to being happy. The new season is somber and emotional at times but does not sacrifice any of its playful energy. Most importantly, the show continues to build a network of allies, not only to the LGBTQ+ community but among Americans. Nurturing understanding and acceptance through entertainment is Queer Eye’s way of making society more unified, even if all it takes is a French tuck to get the job done.