Here’s something to consider: Perhaps a couch from Goodwill is what [Bobby and Shannan] can afford. Maybe they didn’t replace perfectly functional furniture because bedroom sets cost money. It’s possible that Shannan trims William’s hair in their bathroom because professional haircuts are expensive. For a show that touts self-love and confidence, it spends a fair amount of time ignoring financial obstacles and shaming hard-working people for their outdated or messy homes.
But Queer Eye doesn’t want the audience to think quite so much about what’s arguably its greatest entertainment: the easy-breezy spending of money—and money’s great proxies, time and labor. Hollywood screenwriting textbooks advise creating characters who have an external motivation (get the treasure, save the world) and an internal motivation (find love, move on from trauma) so that movies can provide the magic of resolving two quests at once. Queer Eye performs the same sleight of hand. Can you learn to love yourself anew without new stuff? The show, unsurprisingly but also significantly, avoids the question.
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