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03/08/2004 Archived Entry: "Queer Eye Strain"
Posted by CKL @ 08:51 AM PST

I watched a couple new episodes of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy over the weekend, and while I don't think it's quite jumped the shark yet, it's not doing too well. Herewith, some modest proposals for restoring the makeover mavens to their former glory:

No more random celebrities! What the hell is Kylie Minogue doing, tacked on to the end of the show? I don't have a problem with Rosie O'Donnell showing up as part of the makeover activities-- that's product placement, just like the rest of the show-- but at least respect the audience enough to make up a plausible, relevant reason for the appearance.

Less mugging, more tips. Sure, it's funny to see the Fab Five romp through the straight guy's pre-makeover domicile, making catty remarks about his lack of organization, messy kitchen, dirty bathroom, and so on, but we don't need to spend a full quarter of the freakin show on it. You're there to help the guy, remember?

Jai Rodriguez: Use him or lose him. I love Jai as much as the next guy, but the producers still haven't figured out how "the culture guy" fits into the show. I think they need to be a little bolder, to start having deeper and more interesting conversations than just reminding the straight guy to make eye contact. Not that it should turn into a therapy session, but culture isn't just skin deep.

Comedy Central just launched their parody series, Straight Plan for the Gay Man, and Saturday Night Live and South Park have already lampooned Queer Eye. It's difficult to recover from such an onslaught of satire unless you're self-aware enough to reinvent yourself without alienating your fan base. I'm not sure the QE crew are savvy enough to stay on mission, but I remain optimistic.

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