Recently, Netflix released a new mini-season of its hit reboot series, Queer Eye. While the season itself only has four episodes, there’s so much to love about it that you won’t even notice. While the show usually features the Fab Five roaming around the southern and midwestern U.S., this season they head abroad – all the way to Japan!
I’m probably biased because I love every single episode of Queer Eye without fail, but this season definitely brought something super unique to the table. Obviously, the guys are used to working with American cultural guidelines so I was interested to see how it would translate to Japanese culture, which is leaps and bounds away from what we’re accustomed to in the good old U.S. of A. In addition to this, I was skeptical of how they would overcome the language barrier – if you’ve seen Queer Eye, you understand how central communication is to each story. Karamo’s entire job is basically providing the “heroes” of each episode with emotional counseling…so how was not speaking the same language going to affect this?
Honestly, after watching each episode, I was shocked at how well the Fab Five were able to connect with each individual person even when they faced such big obstacles. Among the heroes of the episodes were a busy hospice care worker with no time for herself, a manga illustrator with a history of being bullied, a man trying to rebuild his confidence and relationship with his wife, and finally my favorite story of the season, a man trying to develop ways of expressing himself and his relationship with his boyfriend.
I won’t go into the details of the episodes because, spoilers, ya know? But, with the help of a translator, the cultural and linguistic barriers were hardly noticeable, and if anything made the season more fun to watch. In the moments where cultural differences were present, the Fab Five took it as an opportunity to learn and adapt their way of helping, which I thought was amazing. It just goes to show that giving someone the tools to love themselves is a universally valuable experience, and the positivity that radiates from the Queer Eye guys is able to transcend basically any boundary. If you’re looking for something to binge watch while waiting for the snow to melt, it should be this!