Aug 24, 2018

[TV] Queer Eye: Season 2 Review

So I think a lot of folks were surprised by how enjoyable the first season of the new Queer Eye turned out to be. And while the format is generally familiar and consistent with what the first series had started, the new Fab Five certainly tried to add their own spin on things. And beyond that, the show felt like it had a bit more of a focus in terms of a message it wanted to send through the people they ended up helping.

I'm pretty sure a lot of people were pretty surprised how quickly Netflix had confirmed a second season for the show. Then before we knew it the season was already available for streaming and now it feels like they never stopped filming and had a second season in the can right off the bat.

This season season continues their efforts to change people's lives one at a time and with a diverse range of people to boot. This season really stresses how it's more than just the old Queer Eye for the Straight Guy as the show has expanded to much more.

Synopsis: Queer Eye is the reboot of the Bravo reality show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy created by David Collins. The show has already been confirmed for a second season in 2019.

The second season resumes what the first started as the Fab Five continue to help people in Atlanta. And the start things fresh by their first subject Tammye, a teacher who is very active in her church community. She's actually the first woman who has ever been the focus for the franchise. Similarly this season also features Skyler, the show's first transgender male subject.

Beyond that the show still features an interesting mix of characters with their respective stories. And building on the first season there twists like how their efforts don't always culminate with a house reveal but also with a party, "coming out" about not having graduated university, and even a dinner for international dignitaries. They really tried to make the show feel like more.

What I Liked: I feel like there was as serious effort to better balance out the contributions of the Fab Five this time around with more distinct sections for each and a relatively more equal screen time. You can tell because each of them have very distinct solo interview bits that have them discussing their thoughts in detail before we see the clips of their actual efforts. And diversifying the range of possible subjects was a great thing along with continued efforts to give each episode a subtle alternate theme or some area of self-improvement for one of the Fab Five to focus on apart from the makeover.

I also feel they tried to give more relevance to what each would do. Naturally Tan, Bobby and Jonathan have more concrete efforts with fashion, design and grooming. But I think they tried to give more focus for Karamo's culture piece which is more often than not more about self-esteem and confidence while Antoni actually cooks this season and doesn't just prepare quick dishes with avocado.

What Could Have Been Better: The slight downside of the more discrete sections for the show is that it felt a little less organic and not quite as funny as the first season. And that's largely to less screen time for Jonathan, which is a shame. The first season had him quipping almost non-stop and that got a lot of focus. This time I think in an effort to even things out we didn't get as much from him.

If the first season had Antoni always preparing avocado dishes, this second season felt like Tan was dressing everyone in the same way. And thus more often than not everyone gets a suit of some sort as the focal point. And this is a minor point I suppose but it was a little stand out.

TL;DR: Queer Eye is still a great show and this second season probably could have been part of a longer first season but that's okay. I'm glad it continues to push forward and the results are quite beautiful. And thus the show gets a good 5 beautiful home or community makeovers out of a possible 5.

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