‘Queer Eye’ Quintet On Giving Viewers A “Virtual Hug” With Season 5 Trip To Philadelphia – Contender TV Docs + Unscripted

There are no masks or social distancing in Season 5 of Queer Eye, but the Netflix series arrived last summer as most of the world was coping with the effects of Covid-19.

“It felt really good to kind of give everybody that virtual hug,” said Bobby Berk, one of the show’s five hosts, “and give them that warmth and love and connection that for the last year we were all missing.”

Berk joined Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness for a virtual conversation at Deadline’s Contenders Television: Documentary + Unscripted evet about the season’s Philadelphia episodes.

Brown said the diversity of the season’s participants attests to Netflix’s push to feature “heroes” – as the show calls participants transformed by the show – “who reflect America.” A varied group received the show’s trademark makeovers in terms of style, fashion, home decorating and food.

Logistically and in terms of production quality, Brown also said the season showed a notable improvement from its beginnings in 2017. “We have all gotten stronger and better,” he said. “I remember Season 1 when we were all, like, ‘OK are we going to do this?’ We were bumping into each other. We knew what we were saying, but we’d also kind of pull back. Now, we’re secure, we’re sure of it.”

Agreed France, “After all these seasons, there’s this really natural flow. … We know each other so well, so we know whether to move forward or pull back.”

A number of the “heroes” from Season 5 left a strong impression on the hosts. Among them was a teenaged environmental activist, whose fashion sense, confidence and home décor all reflected the burden she felt from climate change.

“Gen Z has had a broken planet handed to them,” Porowski said. “To see how that was affecting her .. was eye-opening and a lesson for all of us.”

The Texas-set Season 6 of the series has been announced, but production was delayed due to Covid-19, leaving the hosts without a sense of where they will take the show next. Brown promised, “We are not going to shy away from Covid and the reality of what’s happening and how it’s affecting people.”

Van Ness also teased, jokingly but almost credibly, a bold new initiative. “We’re going to be practicing the move where all four boys are going to pick me up as I careen towards them for a new opening sequence,” he said. “It’s Dirty Dancing. Then, they throw me up and Karamo catches me. It’s really gorgeous and we’re really excited for that choreo sequence.”

Check back Monday for the panel video.

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