Entertainment Weekly reports Tuesday that the hit early-aughts TV show Queer Eye For the Straight Guy is being rebooted by—who else?—Netflix. In case you don’t remember, the show was about five sassy queens who raided the homes and closets of dirty bros in an attempt to make them, like, cook better, dress better, shave better, and decorate better.
Like Will and Grace before it, the show was less about inclusive television than it was about creating the opportunity for straight people without gay friends to convince themselves that they’re tolerant as long as the gay person is a flaming queen who makes them laugh and never ever mentions how much he loves dick. And though I can (for the most part) look back on the show’s original run and think, “I suppose visibility is always good thing,” it’s going to be much more difficult to forgive this reboot. Why are we, in 2017, dusting off an artifact from the pre-marriage equality era in which queer people were nothing but arbiters of style advice for straights and putting it back on television?
When I saw Moonlight I felt pride and comfort. When I read this official statement I...didn’t:
“In a time when America stands divided and the future seems uncertain, a team of five brave men will try to bring us closer together with laughter, heart, and just the right amount of moisturizer. The Emmy Award-winning Queer Eye is back and ready to Make America Fabulous Again. With a new Fab 5 and the show’s toughest missions to date, Queer Eye moves from the Big Apple to turn the Red States pink — one makeover at a time.”
While it’s true that America “stands divided” with an “uncertain” future (though honestly when does it not), one thing that is absolutely not going to solve any of our problems is yet another piece of image-obsessed aspirational programming that equates looking good with feeling good, while at the same using gay men as desexualized objects to be laughed at and quoted, but not understood, all in a desperate (and, frankly, transparent) attempt to sell products made by brands who have more than likely paid astronomical sums of money to be featured on the show.
“You better WERK, hunty,” some Queer Eye will probably say to a Straight Guy with a rehearsed glee that masks all the doubt he felt for agreeing to take the gig. “And that’s why I suggest moisturizing with Kiehl’s Age Defender Moisturizer for men.”
Throw this show in the garbage.