I'd thought Queer Eye for the Straight Guy had passed entirely into irrelevance, but the third season premier for Ray S. (ep. 153) was excellent and heartbreaking. The episode is about a 37 year old soldier about to be shipped out to Iraq. The Fab 5 swoop in to lift him and his woman out of their bleak apartment lives, help them quickly get married, and set up Ray's wife for the year and a half he's about to be gone.

Queer Eye is usually a silly show, with howlingly bad fashions (from both sides), Rip Taylor dialogue, trivial consumer indulgences, and some sappy sentimentality that doesn't work. But here we have a guy who's about to go to Iraq, some truly generous and thoughtful gifts, and an emotional honesty that's rare on TV. Maybe the show has some life in it yet.

It seems appropriate that the show was not overtly political. There's one small "gays in the military" joke, but no comments about what's going on in Iraq, just lots of sympathy for the situation the soldier is in. But you can't watch the human scale of this, this poor guy being taken away to fight a disastrous war started under false pretenses, and not get angry. At least, I couldn't. But the Queer Eye team was smart and stayed away from that. Let their viewers draw their own conclusions.

  2005-01-15 16:20 Z