I recently read about the final season of Queer Eye For The Straight Guy starting, and like a lot of people, apparently, didn't realize it hadn't ended long ago. I loved the first season, but after it started to morph away from its initial formula, I totally skipped it.
It was exciting when the show first started. First because the show itself was actually entertaining. Second because it was great to see five gay men making the rounds of all the talk shows where the hosts and the audiences seemed to be quite comfortable with being gay with people being gay. I remember making sure I watched their appearance on The Tonight Show when they redecorated the set. I was on vacation at Disney World at the time, but the idea of watching gay men being celebrated for being gay instead of despite it, made it must see tv.
The parts of Queer Eye that I enjoyed were the initial inspection of the home with the humorous comments, the shopping trips, and the commentary on the subject's preparation for the get together with his significant other or family. The clothing and grooming advice were interesting although rather simplistic.
Of the Fab 5's individual contributions, Carson's critiques of the wardrobes were hilarious and Thom's makeover magic were jaw dropping. I don't care for cooking so I was less attentive during Ted's segments. The good parts made up for the fact that Carson's tastes were atrocious and Kyan was a little too hands on with the straight guys. Oh, and Jai, well I agree with the parody that Mad TV did of QE, where when they mimicked the overlay of the person's name and their specialty, they labeled him "Jai (useless)".
Where the show went wrong is that its producers starting tweaking it after the first season. I assume they did what happens with a lot of shows, which is look for the aspects that people like best and emphasize them more. The show was intended to appeal to female viewers (go figure), and they liked the part where the female comes in for the "reveal" and the segment afterwards. Everyone loves the "reveal", that's the highlight of every makeover show. But what they should have kept in moderation was the section after it. As I recall it seemed like they moved the reveal to the 30 minute mark, which greatly reduced the amount of time where the queer guys interacted with their subject. That interaction was the meat of the show. What followed was just the fluff. Once the Fab 5's participation level dropped, I dropped the show.
Note to all television producers: tinker with a show when it is not doing well or has not reached its potential. If you have already hit your peak, keep everything pretty much like it is (think American Idol).
The show's Hoosier connection: Ted Allen graduated from Carmel High School in the Indianapolis area and went on to get his Bachelors degree from Purdue University.