What if I told you that, on the season premiere of a popular reality show, a man compliments a woman’s breasts, says her “butt looks fantastic in these jeans” and tells her, “you just look so hot.”
I know, I know. That sounds just awful. And I can’t imagine circumstances under which this would be considered OK … except that it’s Utahn Tan France on the Season 3 premiere of “Queer Eye.”
France is, of course, the fashion guy on “Queer Eye.” (Shopping hint from Season 3, Episode 1: “If you see a pair of capri pants, run!”) France, who has long made Salt Lake City his home, is the one who helps the subject of each episode dress better. And, more important, to feel better about themselves.
In the first of eight episodes that begin streaming Friday on Netflix, the Fab Five — Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Antoni Porowski, Jonathan Van Ness and France — swoop down on 49-year-old prison guard Jody, who doesn’t own a dress or anything “girlie” and prefers to wear camouflage prints.
“Camo is not your friend,” France tells her.
Except when she goes hunting. And France sounds somewhat sympathetic toward hunters because of a family connection — his husband, Rob, is from Wyoming, and his in-laws are hunters.
“Before I met them, if you had asked me what I think of people with guns, I would say, 'They're out of their minds. Nobody should have a gun.' My opinion has changed a little bit,” France says. He then adds, “It does worry me that just anybody can get a gun.”
“It does me, too,” Jody replies, adding that “gun laws need to be stricter” and that there should be “more training.”
“I think we’re on the same page. I love that we are,” France says.
That's a continuing theme in “Queer Eye” — that the Fab Five (and, by extension, the LGBTQ community) can find common ground with anyone.
“Queer Eye” is, of course, a reboot/update of the original “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” which aired from 2003-2007. By the time the show returned 11 years later, things had changed.
“The original show was fighting for tolerance,” France said in Season 1, Episode 1. “Our show is fighting for acceptance.”
Two seasons and 16 episodes later, after “Queer Eye” has once again become a pop culture phenomenon and won three Emmys, France tells viewers the show “has been an incredible experience. We showed that we can love each other despite our differences.”
And that the Fab Five can help people find the best versions of themselves. In Jody’s episode, France asks her what she sees when she looks in the mirror. An “aging” woman, she replies.
“You do not look 49. You look incredible,” France tells her. “Your skin's beautiful. Your eyes are beautiful.
“Remember, I'm gay. I'm married to a man. So this does nothing for me. Your boobs are fantastic. And they're hidden away. They're literally camouflaged.”
He also tells her she's been wearing her bra incorrectly. And by the time he's done helping her find clothes — and Van Ness has done her hair — Jody looks great.
“Queer Eye” doesn't pound anyone over the head with its agenda. It's the TV equivalent of comfort food that makes you feel good.
That it opens eyes and changes minds is a bonus.