Entertainment with Purpose
A clear intention or potential to cause positive change isn’t necessary for art or entertainment to be successful and valuable. Sometimes, creations are to allow the viewer to create their own opinion, or understand their own perspective without guidance. Maybe the entertainment is purely for amusement, nothing more.
However, Netflix’s Queer Eye is entertainment with purpose.
Diversity within a show’s dynamic gives the audience a method to open these conversations in their own lives. Queer Eye’s dynamic highlights the importance of diversity and inclusion. In each episode, a new hero is introduced. The Fab 5 boosts their confidence, and improve their mental and physical lives. Showing them that they innately had the ability to meet their dream goals.
The Fab 5, consists of Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, and Jonathan Van Ness. Antoni, the food expert, teaches smart choices and how to have fun in the kitchen. Tan, the fashion expert, guides the hero through a journey to personal style. Jonathan, the grooming expert, makes the hero more confident in their physical appearance. He also teaches them to set time apart for self care. Bobby renovates their homes, making things safer and more welcoming. Finally, Karamo challenges the hero to be vulnerable and open to change. We must learn from the past to gain strength for the future.
Learning from New Perspectives
Each season focuses on one location. The past seasons have covered Atlanta, Kansas City, Japan, Philadelphia, and Australia. The filming locations are important for the dynamic of the encounters between the Fab 5 and the hero. In some episodes, the hero is very conservative and isn’t thrilled by the idea of opening up to these boys on TV. I would assume that the Queer Eye fan-base is accepting of diversity and the LGBTQ+ community, but seeing the Fab 5 get to know someone with different views is a great lesson. This is proof that people can let go of their differences, to some extent, and create constructive relationships with each other. These situations on the show provide the viewer with a bridge to start potentially difficult, but important, conversations with family and friends.
Representation & Visibility
The cast of Queer Eye is a beautiful example of working with and learning from those who aren’t exactly the same as you. The Fab 5 are all male, and majority white, but the audience gets to learn through their experiences, not just their identities. Visual representation is so important, but experiential representation is too. Obviously, the positive portrayal of people of color, different religions and the LGBTQ+ community in the media is refreshing.
The connection of similar appearance isn’t common in the media for most minorities, so when you see someone who looks like you who also has a similar struggle, it’s touching. Over the seasons, the Fab 5 open up and share their stories of substance abuse, difficult relationships with family, homelessness, and bullying. These 5 amazing, joyful people struggled to get where they are now, therefore proving that hardships result in strength overtime, and provide you with tools to go and help others.