Queer Eye: Queer Eye Season 4 (Full Season)
July 19, 2019 4:58 PM - Season 4 (Full Season) - Subscribe

The Fab 5 visits Illinois and Missouri to work their magic. As one does!
posted by schroedinger (21 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm almost done with the 1st episode and HOO BOY THE HAPPY CRYING HAS ALREADY COMMENCED
posted by rather be jorting at 8:50 PM on July 19 [1 favorite]

The emphasis on the impact from kind, encouraging, wonderful teachers in this 1st episode is really just so much! I'm so glad the season began with this spotlight on Jonathan's high school music teacher. What a hero, indeed.

It's reminding me of all the great teachers who supported my young teenage smartass self during an awkward identity-exploring time. I'm feeling like that Mr. Rogers award acceptance speech where he asked everyone to take a moment to think about someone who helped them become who they are, and he'll watch the time. *sniff*

When Kathi was saying she felt kinda undeserving of all the attention (girl no!!!! you do deserve it!!! aaaaaaaaaa!!!!) and Jonathan started tearing up while he was telling her how she changed his life when he was in high school!!! And she held his hand. Aw man.
posted by rather be jorting at 9:07 PM on July 19 [2 favorites]

"Stoner Skates By" might be peak Fab 5 Glee, between Antoni and his corgi surprise, and Jonathan meeting Michelle Kwan and getting to inform a young girl about the history of Olympic skating.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:50 PM on July 19 [8 favorites]

"Public school educators are one of the most important pieces of the fabric of our society, yet they're one of the least valued and least celebrated. Thank you, Kathi. Thank you."
posted by rather be jorting at 10:12 PM on July 19 [2 favorites]

Kathi's episode underwhelmed me a bit because she clearly did not love her haircut and missed her mullet (it was hers!) and I wish they'd gone for something longer for her, but the follow-up said she had grown to like it and more importantly, took the self-care message to heart and finally took time off to get HIP SURGERY she'd put off for more than two years after the show aired, and was happier and healthier.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 12:25 AM on July 20 [5 favorites]

The episode with Wesley Hamilton, from "Disabled But Not Really", wasn't even halfway over before I was Googling him to learn more and that's the FIRST time that's ever happened.

What a remarkable man.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:40 AM on July 20 [3 favorites]

I really like this season so far. I really appreciated their sensitivity around Wanda's traction alopecia and not insisting on showing it "before". You could tell she was already extremely uncomfortable with what they did.

I do sometimes give a side-eye to Jonathan on how he deals with textured hair though. It's great that he's really pro-natural, but he doesn't seem to really embrace curls? It seems like he's always going for the blow-out. And I think black women especially should be encouraged to embrace whatever makes them most comfortable, if that's sew-ins, wigs, or natural. If you don't like someone's wigs, then get them better wigs, you don't have to throw them out entirely.
posted by schroedinger at 6:01 AM on July 20 [3 favorites]

I've seen the first three episodes so far. Kathi and Jonathan were amazing together, Wesley was an such an incredible human being I think he even affected Karamo strongly, and replacing the #hiptip to showcase Jonathan's newly learned skill at the end of the Stoner episode made me sob. Lucy Stoner is a charmer and her dad struggling to admit that he suffers from depression hit me really hard. I love this show.
posted by ceejaytee at 9:29 AM on July 20 [3 favorites]

I had to rewatch the Wesley episode. Man. He's so incredible. I was really knocked out by the home makeover in this ep as well - emphasizing all the functional changes that people who aren't using wheelchairs don't have to think about, from the ramp to the tilted mirrors so Wesley could actually see himself to the adjustable-height bed, all these things that combine to enable Wesley's independence. And he's already been doing so much for others, too! Even with all those everyday impediments from his living environment. It's just really incredible.


This Vanity Fair interview with Karamo really made me appreciate his "life coach" role even more. An excerpt:
When we got down to the end, it was myself against someone who was the owner of an art gallery and also had a Broadway show coming out. [The producers] really had to figure out which way they went. I’m glad they went with me—the other guy was phenomenal. No shade to him…. But when I went into casting, I was very clear: I have a background as a social worker. Being able to get to the emotional core is the only way to sustain change…. I can introduce you to an art gallery all day long, but that’s not going to help you to figure out why you haven’t cleaned your house, changed your hair, changed your diet…any of those things, in 20 years.

n season one and two, they were still balancing how to do in the edit from my point of view. I would have these heartfelt conversations, but [the viewer] didn’t really understand, in my opinion, that, Oh, his role is to fix the inside. Because you know, everything else is external. You cut someone’s hair, you change their clothes, you see their diet, you see the house. Mine was a little bit more ambiguous. But as the fans of the show responded, they were like, “No no no, we want more of what Karamo’s giving! I realized every time he comes onscreen I start crying.”

[The producers] leaned into it for season three, and I’m really proud of season four. They really have leaned into even more of, like—we don’t need you to do anything but sit down with a person, and really help them figure out what’s going on, emotionally and mentally. I think that has changed the show in a really positive way—and is why people have such connection now, versus it just being a makeover show. It’s one thing when someone has a shirt on that you like. But it’s another when you’re like, This is exactly what I’m going through with my mom. This is exactly what my dad is going through. This is exactly what I’m feeling.
In episode 2, I was nervous and secondhand deeply anxious about the conversation between Wes and the man who shot him. But it helped to know that Karamo has the training for mediating these kinds of confrontations, in addition to his personal emotional intelligence. I'm very conflict-averse myself when it comes to emotional confrontation, so it was hard to watch, and my flight response was very activated - why do this?, but it was truly a remarkable scene. I want to quote Karamo's description of his personal investment from the interview, it's so matter-of-fact, like of course he'd find it important because of these reasons, but it's also remarkable:
For me, it was important on two levels. First level is to help Wesley, but also, as a former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas [High School] in Parkland, Florida, where the kids were killed—my former classmate was killed. And as a black man in this country, we see people die in the streets—we see it on Facebook. We have so much trauma around this, and people are never getting to the source…to sit down and confront this face-to-face.
I loved his STOP GUN VIOLENCE sweater during the follow-up sequence back at the Fab Five HQ.
posted by rather be jorting at 9:47 AM on July 20 [12 favorites]

He also pointed it in that interview it was a three hour conversation - they enter at daylight, leave at night.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 12:48 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]

I am still not feeling great about the pass that crappy dads are getting. I want to see them help a mom in similar circumstances with the same support. Queer Eye feels like it has a structural class and gender blind spot.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 12:50 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]

Yeah, Queer Eye provides the babiest of baby steps in introducing conversations about tolerance, diversity, etc to people who either never think about that stuff or actively reject it. They aren't where you're going to find in-depth, firey criticism of the kyriarchy. It is the kind of show where the client can say "Can you belieeeeeeeeve I am hanging out with five gay guys" fifteen billion times throughout the episode and nobody punches him in the face because they're about meeting people where they are, no matter how absolutely buck-wild that place is. I also think that they're not just about introducing people on the right to those concepts above. They know very well that a big chunk of their audience is on the left and they're choosing to humanize people on the right anyway. On the one hand, you can say this is a marketing strategy to ensure the show appeals to everybody. On the other hand, given how uncomfortable this can make both sides you could also argue they're trying to challenge everyone in a relentlessly positive format.
posted by schroedinger at 11:50 AM on July 21 [9 favorites]

When it comes to meeting people where they are, I think Karamo has the hardest job in that respect. Because it's one thing to encourage someone to find a better hairstyle/clothing/home decor, it's another thing to address some fundamental negative aspects of a client's identity and psychology and get them to start thinking about addressing those issues. Which is not to denigrate what the other guys do, because there are definite messages built into their recommendations: learning to love your body by dressing it properly, encouraging someone to embrace an alternative version of fatherhood and masculinity by teaching them to make pancakes for their kids, getting someone out of their shell by building a more guest-friendly living space. But Karamo gets directly in it.
posted by schroedinger at 12:04 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]

I want to see them help a mom in similar circumstances with the same support. With the stoner episode especially, I was thinking that in some cases the moms are getting an indirect but potentially significant lift - because their partners are being encouraged to cook more, show up more, take better care of themselves, take on some emotional labor. That is, of course, not at all the same thing as being directly helped and celebrated. Deanna is a mother of 4 but the kids were not the focus of the episode.

The Kathi episode makes me want a QE spin-off to do this for ALL the teachers, every where. OK, all the teachers but especially those with crap salaries doing too much with too little.

I love that their work in helping Wesley have a more independent life meant that his mom could also enjoy more freedom and independence. And that they got him to say thank you.

With the "never even talked to anyone gay before!" guy, I kind of wanted someone to say "Seriously, if you really think you've never met a gay person before, it's because they didn't feel safe letting you know. Let's talk about that."

All of the featured individuals this season are doing some sort of significant work in their communities and struggling to balance that with the rest of their lives; in the first season we saw more people who were just every day folk trying to make it through life - the dump truck driver and the app builder. I don't necessarily have a problem with that shift in focus - I don't think? Right now I'm just noticing it.

All that said, I really loved this season. I started off thinking "can it really be as good as the past seasons?" but if anything, it was better. Not a single episode fell flat for me.
posted by bunderful at 1:37 PM on July 21 [6 favorites]

I am really, really worried for poor little Lucy Stone. She's so mature and articulate at such a young age, and her Dad seems really depressed and absent from her life. Watching her cook her own breakfast and get herself ready for school was a bummer.
posted by all about eevee at 9:28 AM on July 23 [6 favorites]

posted by all about eevee at 9:50 AM on July 23

all about eevee, agreed. I spent that entire episode cringing at how parentified that poor kid was and how the show depicted it as "cute."
posted by zenzicube at 6:45 AM on July 25 [4 favorites]

I didn't think the show depicted it as cute. The Fab 5 seemed fairly horrified, or as horrified as they're allowed to show publicly.
posted by schroedinger at 8:26 AM on July 26 [8 favorites]

Yeah I remember the horrified look on Bobby's face when he made a joke about getting Lucy her own Lyft account and her Dad said that was something that he had wanted to do before being vetoed by his wife. [!!!]

I do hope this guy gets a clue. The ending gave me a bit of hope but I know old habits die hard.
posted by M. at 8:59 AM on July 26 [5 favorites]

I was generally underwhelmed by most of the episodes this season. I just feel less connected to the transformations. I'm not sure why. More of the people identified seemed less 'in need' of help and change? I don't know. I'm writing this as watching the farmer episode, and that might be why I'm feeling this so strongly. He already seemed particularly privileged and well-off, his house, while not modern was completely fine and he didn't seem to particularly 'learn' anything from Karamo.
posted by liquorice at 2:24 AM on July 28

Liquorice - you've hit on something. I was noticing before that all the "heroes" this season seemed to be people starting new businesses or doing things in their communities .. as you point out they're also a collectively a little higher up the economic/social status rung and less in need than the heroes of prior seasons.
posted by bunderful at 6:04 AM on July 28 [2 favorites]

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