By Sarah Gray
February 7, 2018

Queer Eye, a show in which five gay men help makeover a straight man, was cancelled in 2007 after five seasons on cable channel Bravo. On Wednesday, the series made a comeback on Netflix, which premiered eight new episodes with a new cast, but a similar mix of politics, comedy, and schmaltz.

“Our new Fab Five will forge relationships with men and women from a wide array of backgrounds and beliefs often contrary to their own, touching on everything from LGBTQ rights and social commentary to how to make the best farm-to-table guacamole and more!” Netflix says in a statement.

Fifteen years ago, the show debuted with a somewhat stereotypical view of queer culture including fashion, culture, grooming, design, and food. Initially called Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, the series was set in pre-gay marriage New York City.

The remake, in contrast, is set near Atlanta following the 2016 election—a time of increased fear among some in the LGBT community because of policies supported by the Trump Administration.

A GLAAD survey released this year at the World Economic Forum in Davos showed a decline in acceptance for LGBTQ people. In 2017, fewer straight people were calling themselves allies (49% compared to 53% in 2016) and more in the LGBT community were reporting discrimination (55% compared to 44% in 2016).

“The original show was about fighting for tolerance,” Tan France, the show’s new fashion expert, says in the first episode. “Our fight is for acceptance.”

The all-new cast includes France, Antoni Porowski (food), Bobby Berk (design), Karamo Brown (culture), and Jonathan Van Ness (grooming). The creator of the original series, David Collins, returns as executive producer.

Queer Eye is not the only reboot to tackle our current political climate. NBC’s Will & Grace, which was also groundbreaking for LGBT acceptance, returned to the air in 2017 after ending its run in 2006. The show’s reboot was spurred by a 10-minute 2016 election short in support of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

ABC’s Roseanne is also returning 21 years after going off the air. Producer and star Roseanne Barr, who like her character Roseanne Conner, supports President Donald Trump, has said the show will tackle political issues.

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