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In an age of reboots, remakes, and revivals, reality television staple Queer Eye has made one of the more notable comebacks, becoming a fixture at Netflix as their unscripted space began to grow.
A ‘make-better’ show, as creator David Collins calls it, Queer Eye follows the Fab Five—five gay men, experts in five lifestyle disciplines—as they revamp the lives and living spaces of various subjects. Retaining the essence that made Queer Eye a smash hit at Bravo, all the way back in 2003, Collins’ revival has also evolved to reflect life in a new era.
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It would be an understatement to say that America has changed significantly in the 15 years since Queer Eye’s Bravo launch. In 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to recognize same-sex marriage; and now, in 2018, gay marriage is recognized nationwide.
Of course, fundamental social problems remain—homophobia and bigotry among them. But what Queer Eye spotlights is quite the opposite, people from all different backgrounds coming together to acknowledge and celebrate what it is that they have in common. Amidst a polarized political climate, Collins’ series works toward healing, embracing all perspectives.
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In its original incarnation, Queer Eye focused on makeovers for straight men. But now, the series has broadened its focus in the subjects it takes on. “It’s no longer Queer Eye for the Straight Guy; it’s Queer Eye,” Collins explains. “And Queer Eye can apply to men, women, families, couples—the works.” In the revival’s second season, the Fab Five welcome their first female and transgender subjects.
Bringing his series back to television, Collins has embraced all kinds of changes and the opportunities they present—including changes in content distribution, which have expanded both viewership and fan engagement. Bowing on Netflix in February, Queer Eye returned for its second season last week.
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