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Queer Eye for the Straight Guy: Then vs. Now

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy is a reality television show that debuted on Bravo in 2003 and was rebooted by Netflix in 2018. This video (from YouTube media criticism channel Cinematica) compares the original version of Queer Eye to the new version. The video juxtaposes the hosts, format, goals, and content of the two series. The video argues that the original show sought to bridge the divide between gay and straight men by offering “stereotypical expertise…in easily digestible and often heartwarming chunks.” It was half self/home improvement show and half “how the other half lives,” and its creator David Collins called it a “make-better” show. The reboot, by contrast, “focuses on helping straight guys overcome the forces of toxic masculinity” and raises topics such as “religious homophobia, racism, contentious politics, and, ultimately, what makes a real man,” according to the video. The new “Fab 5” were chosen for their “capacity for vulnerability and openness.”

discussion

What is television show is this video about?

How would you compare the original “Fab Five” to the new “Fab Five?” Specifically, how diverse are they, and how were they selected?

Why do you think Cinematica prefers the reboot to the original version? What does the reboot do that the original show did not?

Can you think of other reality TV shows that attempt to represent a subculture or a minority culture to a for a mainstream or majority one? How are they similar to/different from Queer Eye?