Yay for me, first kid on the block -¦ again! This time, I’ve been the first boy I know to view the premiere episode of the blockbusting new TV show, Queer Eye For The Straight Guy.
Which means I now get to be the first columnist to decree that Queer Eye For The Straight Guy sucks a fair bit of ARSE.
Oh, all right, it doesn’t really suck a fair bit of arse -“ I just said it to be controversial.
The show is kind of funny, in the way that hanging out with a bunch of pretentious queens can be funny for, like, five minutes.
But the novelty wears off. After a while, the carping, mother-knows-best triumphalism of the five gay stars gets irritating. In the first episode, the Fab Five take their straight subject (a hapless artist named Brian) and make him over with a haircut, a hair-dye, a fake tan, a new wardrobe and a newly configured apartment. They also make him some canap?for the opening night of his new exhibition and give him tips on how to ingratiate himself with the crowd. The artist -“ who at first seems so artless in his own personal deportment -“ becomes the artwork, but strangely (for this jaded queen, at any rate) there was something more appealing about him in his unreconstructed state.
Having said that, there are things I like about Queer Eye For The Straight Guy. I like its good-humoured embrace of stereotypes, and the idea that everyone is in on the joke, straight and gay. In some ways, the show seems to hark back to an earlier idea of what a gay man is: someone unapologetically faggy and quick-witted, rather than the dull-eyed, straight-acting circuit dude image we’re stuck with today. So in that respect, it’s a tonic.
Apparently, Channel Ten is forging ahead with plans to create an Australian version of the show, using local talent, and is currently scouting for poofs who know a thing or two about fashion, grooming, interior design, food and culture.
I hope they choose wisely. According to the popular myth, all gay men are finely-tuned arbiters of taste -¦ but the banal truth is that while some of us are a little bit stylish some of the time, many of us are just as daggy as straight men.
And those gay men who think they’ve got the style thing licked, usually haven’t -“ especially in the areas of fashion and grooming. There are heaps of otherwise handsome gay men in Sydney who mar their beauty with a prissy devotion to forearm waxing (yuk) and eyelash tinting (double yuk).
What these men don’t seem to realise is that vanity is like a seasoning. A smidge of vanity is great, even healthy, but throw in too much and you ruin everything.
Queer Eye For The Straight Guy premieres on Channel Ten on Monday 29 September at 8:30pm.