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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

‘Queer Eye’ picks Philly as next location

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GRAPHIC: Kaitlyn Patterson ’20

For some St. Joe’s students, their favorite celebrities are right in their backyard. The Netflix original, “Queer Eye,” recently finished filming in parts of Philadelphia for its upcoming fifth season.

Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk, Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown and Tan France, collectively known as the Fab Five, began filming on June 24 in the City of Brotherly Love.

“Queer Eye” debuted on Netflix in February 2018 as a reality show where five openly LGBTQIA+ men makeover the personality and life of someone nominated to be on the show.

The seven-time Emmy award winning series captured the hearts of viewers. What some viewers love about the show is its ability to change people’s perspectives.

According to Jimi McCusker ’22, the show’s ability to change attitudes and perspectives towards the LGBT community is eye opening, especially when the show is set in places where being a part of that community isn’t as easily accepted.

“It’s really interesting how they change the perspective of people,” McCusker said. “It’s honestly really heartwarming as well.”

Maggie Nealon ’20, president of SJU Pride, said she feels that the show’s power to change perspectives can be found in the representation the show provides.

“The episodes where the Fab Five assist someone in the LGBTQ+ community resonate especially with me, being a member of LGBTQ+ community myself,” Nealon said. “I’ve really connected with these episodes, particularly the ones that discuss the intersections of sexuality and religion, as I find this to be a topic that should be emphasized more.”

With previous locations for the show being Kansas City, Mo. and Atlanta, Ga., Philadelphia brings a new perspective that some feel is perfect for the show.

Nick Vadala, a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer who has covered “Queer Eye,” said he feels the city was an ideal location.

“I think it’s definitely a good city,” Vadala said. “It’s got a good bit of attitude and looks good for TV. That always seems to be good.”

For some members of the Fab Five, this isn’t their first time in Philadelphia. Karamo Brown, the group lifestyle guru, has previously spent time in Philly filming MTV’s “The Real World: Philadelphia” in 2004.

Having no prior experience with previous settings Atlanta and Kansas City, Brown told the Philadephia Inquirer that Philadelphia was different. He feels that his prior experience in Philly allows him to have a deeper connection with the city.

McCusker also has strong roots in Philadelphia. Having grown up in and around the city, McCusker, much like Brown, said he has a different sense of appreciation for the city.

“There’s so many different types of people,” McCusker said. “Going to a Philly school I’ve realized that everyone is really accepting.”

The Fab Five, a group of different races, backgrounds and gender identities, often make over people who have little to no knowledge of or experiences with LGBT people.

Word about Queer Eye coming to Philly spread quickly in April when the Shazza Shop, a small accessory shop right off of South Street, posted casting flyers announcing casting would take place in Philadelphia for season five.

“The show’s casting directors came into my shop in April,” Sharon Sulecki, Shazza Shop’s owner, said. “They were in Philadelphia for a few days visiting neighbors and businesses to spread the word about the show casting here.”

Since the show’s debut, Netflix has released four seasons of the reality makeover show, usually dropping two seasons across a short amount of time. If the show follows its production patterns, Philly could see itself as the setting of the next two seasons.

For people like Nealon, two more seasons of “Queer Eye” means more than just hours spent watching Netflix, but rather time spent connecting with those closest to her.

“I’ve even gotten my family to watch it, and it’s become one of mom’s favorite shows,” said Nealon. “I think all of the stories from the different people they help have the ability to resonate with everyone in some sense, as they tap into something deeply vulnerable.”

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