Saturday, February 12, 2005

Critical Eye For The Queer Eye

Wednesday night saw the premiere of the Aussie version of 'Queer Eye For The Straight Guy'. I was quite interested to see how well they would do with it, given that a)it would likely be an 'imitation' of a known format, always problematic, b)interest in the original Queer Eye seems to be waning slightly, as the unchanging format and much of the gags become repetitous and c)much of the charm of the original is in the casting and personalities of the guys.

Well, they actually did better than I thought, but in the end my reaction was a bit meh. Sure it is only episode 1, but it may or may not have been the first episode they filmed and it is the one they chose to premiere with. On the US series the first episode 'Butch' was one of the best of the season, and you would assume they wanted to open with a strong episode here too.

The format was basically a repeat of the US version, right down to the camera shots even, which was to be expected. I was pleased to see the opening graphics had a bit more of an upscale look, more of a 'indie graphic novel' style of design about the drawings, and of course it was fun to see the Sydney skyline shown and the use of 'Bent St' (which is a real street in Sydney) to replace the US 'Gay St'. I always thought the US title graphics looked a bit cheap, like they made them for a little show they thought might not get picked up (elements of truth in that).

I think a big part of the problem was that the 'guy' came across as a bit reticent, he didn't seem all that emotionally involved in the process - although the proposal to his girlfriend was quite touching. There wasn't a great deal of the 'process' shown I thought either, we got a quick lesson in why shirts have collar stays and how to buy missmatched chairs and fish, and then it was pretty much done. Pretty much no shots of the house being decorated, no haircut/skincare grooming yadda yadda except instructions to shower, shave and put on moisturiser.

The clothes were nice but a bit bland, the house was likewise nice but a bit bland, ditto food... I'll watch the next episode with an open mind, but at this stage I think it is not adding anything new to the franchise, except maybe that now we will see products and stores that we recognise.


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