'Queer Eye' plans parody show, while launching U.K. version and calming fans
By Wade Paulsen, 11/18/2003
If you liked Queer Eye for the Straight Guy with the "Fab Five," just wait for Straight Eye for the Queer Guy with the "Scab Five."
E! Online reports that, even though the first season of Bravo's Queer Eyeisn't over yet, Scout Productions and NBC (Bravo's parent) have been planning some "special events" for the 40-episode second season, including a self-parody episode.
In the self-parody, Straight Eye for the Queer Guy, a quintet of straight men will tutor a gay man in the "finer points" of straight male life, such as sports-event etiquette and power tools (sounds like an opening for a Tim Allen segment). The quintet has not yet been cast, and an airdate for the one-off episode has not been determined at this time.
The self-parody may serve to blunt the impact of such outside parodies as Straight Plan for the Gay Man, featuring the "Flab Four," a three-episode spoof of Queer Eye that will air on Comedy Central beginning February 17, during the key February sweeps. We probably don't need to add that Comedy Central is wholly owned by CBS parent Viacom, which would like nothing better than to damage one of NBC's brightest programs.
Apparently Bravo and Scout hope that, if they can dangle the possibility of an appearance by the REAL Fab Five, viewers will wait for the self-parody. We shall see.
Meanwhile, NBC and Scout Productions are moving forward with the Queer Eye brand to the U.K. In a joint release along with Flextech, the U.K. licensee of the format, it was announced that 10 episodes of the show will be produced by the U.K. independent production company ViaDigital, with an expected debut on British TV in the first quarter of 2004.
However, some Queer Eye fans are still up in arms over an apparent first-season "scam" pulled on the show's producers. In episode #11, entitled "Meet the Folks," the straight guy "made over" by the Fab Five -- who was presented as a "real-estate speculator" on the show -- is really a comedian and media "ho" named Alan Corey. Although Corey does own two rental properties, he is no more a real-estate speculator than a waiter -- which he also pretended to be so that he could get cast on another reality show this summer: NBC's The Restaurant. No wonder the restaurant had so many issues during its start-up.
Some of the Queer Eye fans have started a petition to have this show removed from the cycle of repeats -- which is quite difficult for Bravo to accomodate, since there were only 13 episodes filmed initially. We think that an alternate approach might be to run the show with a disclaimer that the "straight guy" might not be who he claims to be. Then again, what man is?