Queer eye for the Israeli guy?

Why Israel needs it own version of the reboot.

March 20, 2018 21:33
3 minute read.
The cast of the original "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy"

The cast of the original "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy". (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Queer Eye Season 1 has taken “Netflixers” by storm, with many claiming it is one of the best shows on TV right now.

If you’re not familiar with the Emmy-winning original show, here’s the story: five gay men (the Fab 5) with varying expertise take a drab, downcast male on a remarkable transformation journey.

The hilarious, quick-witted, kind and flamboyant Fab 5 take you from tears of laughter to sentimental sobbing within 45 minutes.

Not just any makeover show, the series carries serious culture capital. This season’s Queer Eye is based in Georgia, America’s Deep South, forcing members of disparate communities to tackle real negative attitudes and prejudice through dialogue.

In one scene, the Fab 5 are rummaging through Trump- Pence ’16 posters in one of the contestant’s garages. In another, a devout Christian contestant shares his thanks to the Fab 5, knowing that his children now see gay men as friends, not an abomination.

The series also serves as a small attempt at healing the wounds of an election that polarized America.

Like our American allies, Israelis are also increasingly divided along religious, political and socioeconomic lines.

Israel needs its very own Fab 5, and here’s five fabulous reasons why.

1. Israel’s diverse (and divided) communities

Queer Eye is packed full of colliding cultures. For example, Black Fab 5 member Karamo breaks down police violence with contestant and cop Cory, an important on-screen moment uniting a divided America.

There are cracks forming between many of Israel’s communities.

Animosity between Jewish Israelis and Arab Israelis is on the rise, with more Jews admitting they don’t want Arab neighbors and fewer Israeli Arabs acknowledging Israel’s right to exist.

The rift between ultra-Orthodox and secular Israeli Jews is also intensifying. Mounting pressure from Israel’s religious community resulted in the closure of stores in some Israeli cities on Shabbat, angering secular shoppers and vendors.

In Israel, building bridges between diverse groups has never been more important.

Seeing positive interactions between a mix of religious or secular Jews and Arabs, all with different sexual orientations, would be a landmark moment on Israeli TV.

2. Israel’s vibrant gay community

Tel Aviv is the gay capital of the Middle East, hosting one of the most popular annual gay pride parades in the world. The gay community is disproportionately active in Israeli public life. Homosexuals serve in parliament, host TV shows, act in movies and sing some of Israel’s most adored songs.

3. Israelis love reality TV

Dramatic, outspoken and animated, Israeli personalities are perfect for reality TV. And it shows; remakes of popular reality TV shows including The Voice, Master Chef, Married at First Sight and Amazing Race dominate Israeli prime time.

The only genre missing from this long (and incomplete) list is a makeover show, a gap that Queer Eye would fill with flair.

4. Israelis need a feel-good reality TV show

Surrounded by enemies near and far, and with the highest cost of living in the OECD, Israelis are always on edge. Israeli Queer Eye would take your “average Avi” and turn his entire life around, from replacing his socks and sandals with dress shoes to reminding him he’s doing his best for his loved ones. This reality show isn’t a competition – it’s about compassion, and living the best life you can.

5. Another trophy for Israel’s Netflix successes

Israeli TV has enjoyed unprecedented success on Netflix, with the streaming giant snapping up hits like Fauda, Prisoners of War and Zero Motivation. As the Queer Eye reboot is broadcast on Netflix, Israeli Queer Eye seems the perfect candidate for Netflix’s latest acquirement.

Watch Queer Eye Season 1 on Netflix.

The author is a senior producer at i24NEWS, an international channel broadcasting Israeli and Middle East news from Tel Aviv. After working in radio at Australia's ABC, she made Aliyah nearly 2 years ago. Gabrielle is an avid reader, diehard foodie, beach bum, news junkie and Aussie slang expert.

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