Queer Eye (S01E01): “You Can’t Fix Ugly”

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“The original show was fighting for tolerance, our fight is for acceptance”, this quote by Tan France resumes perfectly the show. This is, their goal, their Leitmotive, their essence, and it’s also a solemn pledge they make to the viewers, and they live up to it

It’s not the only promise, Anthony Porowski is the one in charge of making their second pledge: “my goal is to figure out how we are similar as opposed to how different we are”

And with this two motto, it starts the show, and it’s what I call a perfect beginning.

Tom Jackson presents himself as “some dumb, old country boy from Kentucky” and later on he puts the icing on the cake with the infamous “ugly can’t be fixed” It breaks my heart to hear someone with such a low self-esteem. One of the best things about this show it’s that every single man the Fab5 get to help has something incredibly special and extraordinary within them that it flourishes with the help of the Fab 5.

Tom is sweet, honest, funny, open-minded and he knows how to choose his cars.  He is an animal of habits, who never goes out and does the exact thing over and over again, Tom loves his armchair, his cap, his T Mex food and his jorks. And his circumstances are not the best, he lives in a basement apartment, has lupus, which causes his face and skin to get red and puffy, and he broke his back, which results in a series of back problems that influence negatively in his love life and day to day habits.

The Fab 5 go through Tom’s house as a tornado. They put everything up and down; they taste the redneck margarita; Jonathan looks fabulous with his hair blowing in the wind of a hairdryer after giving fantastic advice regarding how to take care of yourself if you have lupus; Bobby decides that Tom’s chair needs to die; Tan finds out that Tom has a playful side and a bunch of jorks that need to die; Karamo starts working to improve Tom self-esteem and shows us his own playful side and Antony is the star.

Besides making friends with a drap doll, Antoni proves two things: one, he is the bravest soul when he dares to smell Tom’s chair, and two, he is fantastic at getting down the mask, the laughs, and the appearance. And that is how we find out about Abby… And we all are Antony when he says “bringing two people together who are meant to be, I think that’d be really sweet”. After that, the Fab 5 explain which ones are their goals, and each of them has one, all of them directed to help Tom to get out of his rut. But after that conversation between Tom and Antony, we know that Tom’s aim is to get Abby back… and we do too.

So first thing first, getting rid of the chair. As Karamo says that chair was the symbol of everything that needed to change, especially the feeling of being alone, and the staying at home instead of going out. Tom says goodbye to it and by doing that, he accepts to begin a new brand life.

Next step is the mattress shop, although before that we get one of those moments that makes this show so special. I’m talking about the car conversation. Tom asks Bobby about his marriage, and who is the husband and who is the wife, and instead of getting mad or defensive Jonathan and Bobby laugh, joke about it and explain it to Tom. As Jonathan explains, it doesn’t matter if we are “moon” (feminine energy) or “sun” (masculine energy), there is strength in both and the lines are starting to get blurrier.

After the mattress shopping it’s Tan turns, again with great advice for people with lupus, and he follows what is a subtle intervention, he calls Tom handsome, he talks about Tom’s stunning blue eyes, he tells him he looks better with the flat cap because it shows his face. This is a fantastic job, something that goes beyond a great makeover, Tan doesn’t want to make Tom more handsome, he wants to show Tom that he is already handsome, and the rest of the gang follows the lead. It is such a wonderful thing to see how Tom starts to change in front of our eyes. You can see how proud he is after Jonathan cuts his hair and trims his beard, you can see his happiness every time one of the boys shows up and hugs him, you can how his smile becomes more honest and the light in his eyes shines stronger. This is the magic of the Fab 5, they don’t do a makeover, they don’t change people and their lives, they help people to change and change their lives, there is a difference.

Though the house does get a renovation. And oh boy, what a house. And Tom enthusiasm is contagious. The backyard is the best part, now it’s a place where Tom can receive his daughter, Kate, and his cute grandson, Chandler. The icing on the cake of a beautiful bedroom is that there are two chairs, if he had one single chair now he has two, and we all think about Abby, his Lady Friend.

And it’s time for the Fab 5 to leave, Tom cries, the Fab cry and I cried like a baby because Tom humanity really touched me as very few things have done before.

Lastly, time for the Fab to see if their hard job has paid out. First of all, we have Tom following Jonathan instructions to a T, he wears his ice masks for a little while, then he takes it off and puts his sunscreen and green stick to hide the redness and puffiness caused by lupus. His outfit is cute, he is not following Tan instructions blindly, as Tan himself says, Tom has found the balance between the old Tom and the new Tom, and the result is cute, the boys are happy. And finally, the moment we all are waiting for, the cars show and Abby. The Fab 5 become the biggest shippers in the world cheering and rooting for Tom and Abby, and we are doing the same. My favorite Tom and Abby moment is when they sit in the new chairs, they say that the chairs are “his and hers” and they exchange a meaningful gaze. Tom and Abby have their happy ending and we are ecstatic.

It’s a great start for one of the best TV Shows I’ve seen in a long time. It made me cry, it made me laugh and it made me cry of happiness, which it’s a first.

I want to end with a quote by Bobby Berk:

“It doesn’t matter if we are gay or straight, a common thread that holds every human together is that we wanna be together”

 

 

 

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