Netflix has ordered an eight-episode reboot of relic reality series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
The show ran on Bravo – the U.S. home of the reality juggernaut Real Housewives franchise – for five seasons between 2003 and 2008, notching a total of 100 episodes.
The “Fab Five”, who hosted the original, will not be returning to Netflix’s update of the show, with a new batch of five stylists to be cast in their place.
Carson Kressley, the series’ breakout star, is now best known as a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Ted Allen hosts cooking show Chopped and Jai Rodriguez has forged a career as an actor, recently appearing in two seasons of popular webseries The Horizon.
The reboot comes as Netflix looks to move heavily into unscripted and reality television in 2017.
Queer Eye never became a lasting global hit due despite numerous attempts at spin-offs, including much-forgotten Aussie Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and a raft of hilarious international translations of the title, including France’s Queer, Cinq Experts dans le Vent (Queer: Five hot experts), Chile’s Ojo con Clase (Classy Eye), and Germany’s Schwul macht cool (Gay makes you cool).
Logo, which airs RuPaul’s Drag Race, has aired two seasons of a lifestyle series called Secret Guide to Fabulous, marketed as a gay spin on the Queer Eye concept.
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy was controversial in its time for its reliance on the stereotype of gay men as innately concerned with fashion and style. Critics also argued that the show exploited gay culture purely for the benefit of straight audiences.
In a time when LGBTQI representation on television has become more comprehensive and diverse than ever before, it would be surprising if Netflix simply casts five gay men to host the series again.
A 2017 version of the show would really benefit more from turning its queer eye away from straight people and instead looking inwards at its own community.
Using its “make-better” concept to assist homeless youth, address rampant body image issues in our community and help trans people in reaching their ideal selves – among other things – might just make it a modern show.
Returning to the original, narrow-focus format would only serve to remind audiences of how dated the concept truly is.