Queer Eye breezed back into our lives this weekend, spreading the gospel of skinny jeans, hair pomade, fresh pasta, and tasteful interior decor for another delightful season. And boy, do we need it.
The eight new episodes find the Fab Five reprising their starring roles as a much-needed respite from the chaos of the world. In their universe everyone is beautiful, inside and out, and can hold nuanced takes on complex subjects like politics, religion, sexuality, and race. On this show, a burly, hairy man-child can blossom into a caring, sexy husband and father; a shady college student can transform into a major hottie who tells his mom the truth; Miss. Tammye. It's all possible! And Bobby, Karamo, Antoni, Tan, and Jonathan make it so. They laugh, they love, they eat, they cry. It's magical! Queer Eye is a cool, eucalyptus-scented soothing balm on my soul. And so, it's with a deep sense of regret that I report that I have a bone to pick with the show: Where's the spousal love, guys? While you're caring for the dudes who need TLC, who is giving the women who put up with them in their worst state the self-care they so clearly deserve?
Episode 2 of the latest season, called "A Decent Proposal," takes us to Dahlonega, GA, where William Menkin, manager of a local Wal-Mart, has been nominated by his girlfriend of three years, Shannan, to help him break out of his 1970s hiker look. But there's something Shannan doesn't know: William really wants to propose to her, but doesn't know how! The two are beyond adorable and tear up just talking about each other. It's a lot, but this is Queer Eye! We love emotion!
So far, this is all right up the Fab Five's alley. Before any sort of proposal can happen, William needs a total overhaul. Jonathan and Tan upgrade his mountain man style to a more Justin Timberlake-approved version, while Antoni instructs him on how to make green goddess dressing. Bobby, the hardest working man on this show, gives William the help he needs to pick out a ring, and Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boos William and Shannan's house from shabby cabin in the woods to cozy hygge oasis of Netflix and chill. Karamo enlists the whole crew to help William put together a video, which he arranges to play before the feature film they're headed to on their special date.
But before we get to the proposal portion of the episode (and believe me, I have Thoughts on that), Shannan gets to see the new and improved William. And...is it me, or does she look a little frazzled? Listen, I am so happy for these two. They clearly love each other and are going to live happily ever after. I wish them nothing but the best. But speaking as a female person who lives in this world, I do not want to see my boyfriend get a glow-up while I get left behind. They couldn't have gotten her something special for the occasion? She's been living with bearded Mick Jagger all this time, and she doesn't even get a new outfit of her own?
Hear me out: I get that this principle doesn't apply to all. If the Fab Five is helping a single man, then by all means, focus only on him. But if that man is part of a unit, wouldn't you want to give both of them the opportunity to get a little bedazzled for what is clearly a special day? Let me be clear, though. No one needs to get a makeover here. The Fab Five are always clear on that: You only change when you want to change. William is clearly open to reclaiming a part of his life that has been neglected in the past, and that's what makes his transformation so positive. By pointing out that Shannan could have gotten something out of this, I'm not suggesting that she's not perfect the way she is, but rather that it would have been a nice gesture, for her to accept or not. What's more, if Bobby is going to be re-doing that couple's shared space, which they will presumably both enjoy, then shouldn't that same principle apply to the rest of the process?
And it's not like this would have been unprecedented. Last season, when Dega Do-er Corey got to celebrate his new lewk by taking his family to Finding Neverland, everybody in the fam jam got new clothes — it's not a party if only daddy's invited! Later this season, when the gang goes to Clarkston, GA, to help out the hipster mayor, his girlfriend gets a special outfit for their diplomat dinner! Even Miss Tammye, the unquestionable star of the new season, got an unexpected bathroom makeover when it turned out she only wanted help with her community center, rather than her own house. So, what about Shannan? Justice for Shannan!
Because honestly, if you're going to be the star of your own rom-com and sit there with a straight face as the man you love runs around in a white tux yelling "I Shannan you!" (I am aware that others think this is adorable. I...don't. But I promise I wish them nothing but rainbows and puppies!), you deserve to play full-celebrity and have someone else style you.