“Heroes.” That’s what executive producer David Collins calls the men being made over in each episode of “Queer Eye.” But it’s hard not to think of Collins himself, along with his new Fab Five, in a heroic context.
The Netflix-fueled return of the series, originally produced by Collins for Bravo in 2003, spotlights the talents of five experts who also happen to be gay — Bobby Berk (Design), Karamo Brown (Culture), Tan France (Fashion), Antoni Porowski (Food), and Jonathan Van Ness (Grooming). Like the original show’s stars, this new group is sent into the homes of strangers to change their lives.
In the Bravo incarnation of the show 15 years ago, the subjects were exclusively straight men living in New York. But now, the revival’s “heroes” are all based in the Atlanta area (and one episode spotlights a gay man who gets help not just with his home and wardrobe, but with his ongoing coming out story).
“Our partners at Netflix are amazing now, because we get to tell a complete story,” Collins told IndieWire during a recent press event. “We don’t have commercial breaks, we don’t have recaps. We get to have a beginning, a middle, and an end of each hero. Each hero’s story, each hero’s little town he came from or his family came from. His background, his politics, his religion all come to the table. The Bravo version was perhaps a little glossier. A little less deep.”
Read More:‘Queer Eye’ Review: Netflix Delivers TV Comfort Food That Aims to Make the World a Better Place
Updating the original 2003 series to reflect the current social and political climate of today’s America was important for Collins, given how much things have changed. For starters, it feels possible to be more open about the Fab Five’s personal lives: “We’ve evolved in a big way,” Collins said. “If you think about the fact that our original Fab Five [didn’t use] word ‘my husband’ or ‘my boyfriend’ or ‘my kids’ — America was not ready to handle that. [Now], we get to see that Karamo is a father of two, Tan’s a Muslim man married to a Mormon cowboy. And Bobby’s been married for almost fifteen years now.”
Collins described the search for his new Fab Five as a quest for …read more