Around early July of this year I found myself running out of things to watch as I continued my quarantine binge. Normally, I try to stay away from reality tv unless it’s some form of a cooking show, but over the summer I was introduced to Queer Eye. For those who don’t know, each episode features five gay men (also known as The Fab Five) giving someone else a makeover in all aspects of their life, whether it be culture, cooking or fashion, as they prepare them for an end of the week goal or event. If you’re looking to laugh, cry or just smile, Queer Eye has it all; so without further ado, here are my top four favorite episodes.
4. Season 2 Episode 3: “Unleash the Sexy Beast”
In this episode, viewers meet Leo, a bartender whose family eats only leftover bar food for dinner. Antoni Porowski, the member who handles food, makes it a goal to teach Leo how to cook a home cooked meal and gifts him a pasta maker, in the hopes that he’ll have bonding cooking experiences with his kids. As someone who considers themselves a pasta aficionado and also a huge fan of Antoni, I was partially jealous of Leo but watching them laugh as they cooked made it all worth it. The member in charge of culture, Karamo Brown, takes Leo to an event that gives him the opportunity to interact with other parents as the event for the end of the week is a parent teacher mixer that Leo feels unprepared for. As the kid of a single mom, I’ve seen the nervousness firsthand that comes with meeting other parents and that’s one of the reasons I love this episode. Another reason I love this episode is because even though Leo was ashamed of himself and embarrassed of his job, his wife continued to show unconditional love for him. While some partners may have nominated their significant other because they were embarrassed of them, Leo’s wife did it because she wanted to see him happy and at his best self and I think that’s beautiful.
3. Season 5 Episode 2: “Groomer Has It”
This episode is centered around Rahanna, a mobile dog groomer who was nominated by her parents. For a while, Rahanna’s business was booming and she had been booked for weeks in advance but at the start of the episode, The Fab Five realizes that her RV had it’s generator stolen. What was once a successful mobile dog grooming endeavor had turned into a parked RV getting electricity from extension cords running from her parents house. Not only did Rahanna deal with business hurdles, it was also revealed that her boyfriend cheated on her in the past and it had affected her confidence. As Karamo worked to help her re-understand her worth, another member, Tan France made sure she had a new wardrobe to go with it. At the end of the week, the Fab Five hosted a fashion dog show with models all groomed by Rahanna to get her business booming again. Not only is Rahanna overwhelmed with the support, viewers also get to see Antoni freak out over the adorable corgis and the Fab Fives leaves Rahanna with one last tear-jerking surprise.
2. Season 2 Episode 1: “God Bless Gay”
Set in Gay, Georgia, a small town with eighty nine residents, the Fab Five meets Mama Tammye, a strong cancer survivor who just radiates love. While many of the nominees had their houses be redone by Bobby Berk, fixer upper extraordinaire, Mama Tammye asked him to help fix the local church in order for the community kids to have a safe and fun place to hang out. This is said about twenty minutes into the episode and I was already tearing up. The goal for the end of the week was to get Mama Tammye’s son, Myles, to go to an event at the church. After realizing Myles had a fear of being rejected by the church, Karamo and Tan take him to a gay and lesbian choir where Myles is able to reignite his love for singing and gain some confidence back (cue tearing up session number two). Karamo and Myles even have multiple introspective walks and heart to hearts as they talk about being Black and gay and the rejection Myles felt he would experience if he went back into church. As the episode ends Mama Tammye has a moment with each member of the Fab Five, explaining how she believes God brought them all together for a reason. Regardless of your views on religion, it’s a scene almost guaranteed to make you cry, or at the very least, give you chills.
1. Season 5 Episode 2: “Jones BBQ”
After rewatching this episode the other day, there was no doubt in my mind that it’s the number one episode. Visiting two pitmaster sisters, Little and Shorty, the Fab Five sees these strong women hard at work as they try to contain the line outside of their visually run down barbecue restaurant. Despite the fact that their sign had been stolen and it was just the sisters running the establishment, customers waiting in line admitted that they ate there multiple times a week and to be honest, even though I’m a vegetarian, the food looks pretty good. As it becomes revealed that the Jones BBQ barbecue sauce is a customer favorite and the Jones sisters were unable to meet bottling production demands, Antoni decides to take them to a bottling plant so they can sell the sauce in stores and watching them reach this milestone is incredibly emotional. As Tan works on teaching the sisters the magic of the French tuck, another member, Jonathan Van Ness, makes a special appointment to help one of the sisters regain her confidence. Without giving too much away, it’s a scene that makes me tear up every time I watch it (apparently it doesn’t take much to make me tear up, but I mean it, it’s pretty emotional). At the end of the week is the grand reopening of Jones BBQ and the sisters are shocked when they see their remodeled shop. Bobby was able to completely transform the restaurant and even got the sisters new menus with their family history on the back. It’s safe to say that the Jones sisters were incredibly grateful for their time with the Fab Five and it was an experience no one, not even the audience, will be able to forget.
If you haven’t turned on Netflix by now and queued up an episode of Queer Eye, then I just have one question: what’re you waiting for? Even if none of these episodes sound like something you would enjoy, I promise there’s an episode for everyone and if you want to chat about any and all things Fab Five, feel free to reach out to me on Instagram!