First glance at the evolution of ‘Queer Eye’

First glance at the evolution of ‘Queer Eye’

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While Philly is consumed with “Queer Eye” Season 5 filming in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, Season 4 is set to air — and PGN got a sneak peak.

Spoilers aren’t much of a worry, as every “Queer Eye” episode begins with someone selected for a makeover and ends as something fully affirmative for all involved, including the cast: “Fab Five” Antoni Porowski (food and wine), Bobby Berk (interior design), Karamo Brown (culture), Tan France (fashion) and Jonathan Van Ness (personal grooming).

Still, we’re excited to share what can be expected in Friday’s premiere. As always, audiences can expect emotionally resonating content.

The newest episodes in the Netflix series feature “heroes” like Matt Moreland (“Farm to Table”), Brandonn Mixon (“Soldier Returns Home”), Wanda Winters (“How Wanda Got Her Groove Back”), Kenny Yarnevich (“On Golden Kenny”) and Deanna Munoz (“A Tale of Two Cultures”). And these shows score high on the “Queer Eye” poignancy meter.

In the episode “Stoner Skates By,” the focus is on the relationship between single dad John Stoner and his 10-year-old daughter — who often seems to be raising him. His lackadaisical parenting skills and the daughter’s take-charge command of everything from fresh family breakfasts to wakeup calls don’t depict Stoner in the best light.

But Brown discovers Stoner is experiencing a deep depression, mostly due to his recent divorce from a wife with whom he’s still friendly.

Thanks to Porowski and France, Stoner starts eating better, preparing meals for his family and looking good as he does it.

In addition, the Fab Five allows space for Stoner to open up — and, in turn, he becomes a proactive, vocal part of his daughter’s life, as well as his own. Oh, and during it all, ice-skating champ Michelle Kwan shows up, thrilling Van Ness.

In the season opener, “Without Further Ado,” Van Ness returns to his hometown of Quincy, Ill., and to the woman who helped give him strength as a young man.

As a bullied teen, Van Ness found an ally in his music teacher, Kathi Dooley — whom he credits with helping him through a tumultuous time, giving him the chance to become what he is today: fabulous.

Dooley has served as a lifeline for the entire school community with her kindness and much-needed fundraising. Still focused on helping others, the teacher has little time for herself — which explains why she still sports the same fashions and flaming-red mullet –— not the cool, Bowie-as-Ziggy Stardust kind — she had three decades ago.

Van Ness, a former Blue Devil cheerleader, leads the charge — and a few cheers (proving he’s still got it) — to give his former teacher a new look. With a haircut and eyeglasses that scream hip, Dooley and her husband head out of town for a Broadway extravaganza weekend.

Van Ness shines in this episode. He’s nervous to be around his mentor but also teary-eyed at the recollection of how Dooley helped him come into his own.

Episode 2, “Disabled But Not Really,” takes the Fab Five to Kansas City, Miss., and the doorstep of a 30-year-old man who was paralyzed from the waist down from gunshots suffered at age 24.

Once a man who didn’t think he’d live past 21 and in spite of the catastrophic injury, he said he’s become a happier  man after the incident and a more productive person — one who started eating well and working out, eventually launching an exercise service for those bound to wheelchairs.

Hamilton’s “Queer Eye” dilemma? He wants to elevate his style, and he lives with his daughter in a house that is simply not practical for a man in a wheelchair.

Berk gives Hamilton a spruced-up environment that makes life in a wheelchair easier and handier to navigate and Tan finds jackets tailored for his wheelchair’s folds. But, more poignantly, Brown brings Hamilton face to face with the man who shot him — and they work toward understanding in this gripping episode.

The series evolves with each season. And after you’re finished crying and cheering, start looking out your window for familiar faces in front of camera crews on Philly’s streets. The Fab Five reportedly is filming here this month. 


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