It was either this or I was going to write a free verse poem about each of the Fab Five with a pushy amount of alliteration. If you have Netflix, you need to check out Queer Eye. If you don't have Netflix, you need to get Netflix and then check out Queer Eye. It's a reboot of the original Queer Eye For The Straight Guy which aired from 2003 to 2007. Now, there's a new Fab Five in town and they're ready to help people transform into beautiful butterflies.
The show follows the Fab Five:
The first season of the reboot premiered February 7th. So if you haven't heard of it by now, get with it, honey. I'm sorry; that was aggressive. I'm here to help.
Take a leap of faith and click play to go through a rollercoaster of emotions. I laughed, cried, got frustrated, felt inspired, and ate a lot of girl scout cookies while watching. If you're not convinced, check out eight of the reasons I've been recommending Queer Eye to friends and family and that random guy on the street.
1. You'll see beautiful transformations
The Fab Five advise a new man in every episode. You'll meet a diverse group of men including a cop, an app developer, a hardworking father, and a comedian.
2. The Fab Five Make Great Cheerleaders
When they scream, I scream. There are many moments where their excitement is incredibly contagious. They genuinely get invested with the men they are advising each episode.
3. Watching People Grow feels like a warm hug
I haven't watched a heartwarming show like this before. Usually, reality shows leave me frustrated and a little hangry. Queer Eye is truly an exception.
4. Learn how to open up and get help
Asking for help is a difficult task for most of the men on the show. As each episode unfolds, the audience gets to watch them slowly open up and begin to grow as people.
5.The cast learns to be more open too
An unexpected (or maybe expected) side effect of their journey of helping people is learning and growing as well. They learn how to be more open-minded to groups of people they've learned to be afraid of. Check out Episode 5 (the fab five welcomed into a religious home) or Episode 3 (the cop episode), or just the whole season.
6. Each episode is overflowing with helpful tips to elevate yourself
Jonathan reminded me that sunscreen is important. Tan made me realize I need to up my shoe game. Bobby made me realize old family furniture can be transformed into something modern. Antoni reminded me that guacamole isn't that hard to make on my own. Karamo showed me how to be open to hearing people's stories before making assumptions.
7. Rekindle that fiery confidence
The emotional parts of each episode always involve a leap of faith. People are learning how to trust in themselves again. There's nothing more motivating than seeing these men take control of their lives again.
8. The Fab Five are....fab
The cast is wonderful. They each have their own knowledge to bring to the table and they have an entertaining group dynamic. All I know is I've seen many people raving about this show and it's a fun club to join. Not only is it entertaining, it's also incredibly meaningful. It is easy to make assumptions about a person's life without knowing anything about them, but that doesn't mean you should do it. Everyone has their own struggles and the world would slowly become a better place if we all started to realize that and act accordingly.
Just before we hung up, I looked around nervously to make sure no one was overhearing our conversation, then lowered my voice to make a humiliating request: "Could you DVR Gossip Girl?"
It wasn't always this way. Gossip Girl, which will air its series finale Monday, was never meant to be quality television, but for a while it occupied the same cultural space as ABC's Revenge, one of those so-called guilty pleasures you didn't actually have to feel guilty about enjoying.
It was a teen drama whose sophisticated setting and elevated references seemed equally appropriate for an adult audience. Gossip Girl even charmed most critics.
In an initial review, Mary McNamara of the LA Times swooned over "the leggy glamour of it, the pretty rich girls at cocktail parties, the rumpled sexiness of those school uniforms, the gothic romance of stone-mansioned New York," comparing the show to both The Catcher in the Rye and A Separate Peace.
Midway through the first season, New York magazine ran a cover story titled "The Genius of Gossip Girl," naming it "the greatest teen drama of all time."
For a show that won such effusive early praise, Gossip Girl's decline was precipitous, its consignment to the realm of the embarrassingly passé sudden. Most fans view Season 3, the first season after the majority of the characters graduated from high school, as the beginning of the end for the program.
In fact, the trouble started even earlier than that, and can be traced to an event entirely beyond the writers' control: the financial crisis. The show's fall serves as a clear example of how economic realities and cultural tastes are unavoidably linked.
Gossip Girl premiered on September 19, 2007, only a few weeks before the stock market hit an all-time high. America was already feeling the effects of the subprime crisis, but the economic meltdown wouldn't penetrate the popular consciousness until a year later.
When banks began to fail and the market plummeted in October 2008, a few episodes into Gossip Girl's second season, public opinion turned swiftly and dramatically against the very rich. The New York story pointed out that the show's appeal was in how it "mocks our superficial fantasies while satisfying them, allowing us to partake in the over-the-top pleasures of the irresponsible superrich without anxiety or guilt or moralizing."
But in the throes of the most catastrophic recession in several generations, that kind of magical, aspirational thinking became more difficult with each passing week.
The show's Season 2 ratings reflect this abrupt shift. Less than two months after Gossip Girl soared to a September 15, 2008 series high of 3.73 million viewers, its audience began to drop below three million. The attrition continued into the winter and spring of 2009, when not one of the season's final 10 episodes drew more than 2.5 million viewers.
Bravo's clearly Gossip Girl-inspired reality show NYC Prep, which followed real-life Manhattan prep schoolers, debuted in June of 2009 and fared so poorly its low ratings prompted an incredulous analysis by The New York Observer. Although it outlived NYC Prep, which only lasted eight episodes, Gossip Girl never regained the ground it lost that year. Viewership dropped off gradually over the four seasons that followed. Earlier this fall, its sixth and final season premiered to an audience of just 780,000.
The show's creative decline can't be considered in isolation from the financial crisis, either. It wasn't just the characters' departure from the confined world of the Upper East Side that disrupted its storylines; it was also the increasingly amoral trajectories of even the most initially sympathetic characters.
Earlier rich-kid dramas that aired during more prosperous eras descended into the same kinds of repetitive romances and sensationalized plots that have plagued Gossip Girl without demonizing their central clique. Over the course of Beverly Hills, 90210's decade-long '90s run, haughty Kelly Taylor and meathead Steve Sanders actually became more likable and human.
Even Gossip Girl co-creator Josh Schwartz's mid-2000s teen soap, The O.C., managed to navigate dark storylines without turning every character into a villain.
The ways in which Gossip Girl's characters have devolved since Season 3, the first complete season to air after the economic meltdown, echo the ambient cultural suspicion of the group now known as the one percent.
At first, Gossip Girl revolved around the sweet, unlikely romance between Brooklyn-dwelling outsider hero Dan Humphrey, described in the New York magazine feature as "sensitive and wise," and repentant Upper East Side party girl Serena Van Der Woodsen. But in recent years, the central (and by now painfully redundant) romantic tension has been between scheming achiever Blair Waldorf and debauched Chuck Bass—a character so originally vile that he attempted to force himself on Dan's 14-year-old sister in the series premiere.
And yet, it's not surprising that viewers' allegiances have shifted so dramatically when Gossip Girl has also become the story of Dan's moral downfall, presented as an inevitable side effect of his integration into ruthless Upper East Side society. Just a few weeks ago, the rising literary star rekindled his relationship with Serena purely to exploit her in a tell-all Vanity Fair essay. Now that everyone has sunk to Chuck's level, it makes as much sense to root for him as anyone else.
And it makes sense that Gossip Girl's cast members have come to express embarrassment about their involvement in the show. A few weeks into Season 4, Chace Crawford was poking fun at his character Nate Archibald's stupidity and Penn Badgley was summing up his feelings about Gossip Girl with the cliché, "It is what it is." A year later, Badgley implicitly yet radically distanced himself from the show's sparkly economic elitism by visiting and speaking out in support of Occupy Wall Street.
Gossip Girl tried to sell escapism, and until the recession hit, it succeeded. But when the real world encroached upon its high-society fantasy, the show faced an impossible dilemma: Would it dispel what was left of its glamorous illusion by changing with the times or continue as though conspicuous consumption had never gone out of style? Already hemorrhaging viewers, Gossip Girl did a bit of both, keeping the posh costumes and lavish parties while dropping any pretense of making its characters likable.
The series that was outmoded the moment the Dow Jones dropped below 9000 hung on for far longer than it had any right to, all the while diluting its glamour with heavier and heavier doses of contempt. When Gossip Girl ends on Monday, it will go out like the waning aristocracy it is—dripping with jewels, mired in scandal, and with the stubborn tenacity of a dying breed that once ruled the world.