Art by Mags Ocampo
Just when I thought that I couldn’t write anything more about Netflix’s Queer Eye (I’ve written about it twice before), in comes the third season. Hot off the heels of its highly regarded first two seasons (which were actually filmed as one but split into two, if the grapevine is to be trusted), the makeover show is back with even more joy-sparking magic.
In this season, the Fab Five (once more, for those living under a rock: Karamo Brown, Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk, Tan France and Jonathan Van Ness) move from Atlanta, Georgia to Kansas City, Missouri. The season is kicked off with Jody, a prison guard who has a seemingly undying love for camo and hunting — so much so that she and her husband went hunting on their first date. The episode takes a while to pick up its pace, or maybe it’s just the fact that I, a person of color from the Philippines, cannot relate to her. I don’t want to say it’s because she’s so white, but that’s just it.
Anyway, that’s all beside the point. It gets interesting when Jody has a conversation with Tan at a boutique while shopping for clothes, and it’s about gun control. It’s a pretty safe and short one, but that’s when the show reminds you that this is not, once again, just a frilly show with five gay dudes. It’s a frilly show with five gay dudes with an agenda. In this age of Trump and Duterte, it’s not the LGBTQ+ community’s place to be neutral, nor is it in our best interest. Jody’s stand is that people must still have a right to own guns, but with very thorough checks and balances.
As we move through the season, there’s an overarching theme that ties together all of the “heroes” (that’s what they call the featured people in each episode): self-care. I mean, it’s a pretty obvious one, considering that this is a show that gives people makeovers, but it’s more than that. In this season of Queer Eye, Karamo, Antoni, Bobby, Tan and Jonathan remind us that there is no one way to care for ourselves. It really is about knowing yourself, and then discovering (or rediscovering) how it is you should take care of yourself over time.