The Queer Eye guys take to the dugouts
Loves: The Yankees
Likes: Queer Eye
Hates: The Sawks
To start the second season, the minds behind the show went gimmicky, but in a good way. Recruiting five stars from the World Champion Boston Red Sox during Florida spring training, the episode combined baseball and homosexuality in a way that entertains more than the Houston Astros old uniforms every could. There's a hint of homophobia in the way guys like Kevin Millar react to some of the boys, but for the most part, they are pretty open to the experience.
But the show isn't just about the Sox. While in Florida, the guys pitch in, with the help of some generous corporate sponsors, to fix up a hurricane-ravaged little league field, and set up a chance for these kids to play with their heroes. These moments seem a bit artificially "meaningful" and out of step with the rest of the episode, but they do give the show more of a heart.
Of course, the redesign of the Sox victims is the core of the episode, and a total spa treatment and fashion fix-up awaits the ballplayers, and their wives, who help cajole the "Idiots" into paraffin wax and pumpkin face masks.
There are two parts of the show that rub the wrong way, and hopefully, neither is a sign of the show's future. The show has always whored itself to pay for the expensive make-over tools it uses through simple product placement, but this episode, with extensive mentions of the show's sponsors, including Dunkin' Donuts, Mizuno and BJ's, is a bit heavy-handed. One questions it especially when Ted Allen praises the ready-made goodies provided by the warehouse club store. While the whoring is for a good cause here, it should be toned down in the future.
The other negative note is the episode's lack of common-man hints that normally populate every episode. There's not one Hip Tip, often some of the show's best material, and the chatter about how to make minor changes to improve one's life is similarly missing. Also, Thom, Ted and Jai are somewhat relegated to the background, as the make-better effort is most focuses on the Sox' clothes, hair and skin. Though they do have their moments, they don't let their skills shine. The interplay between the five guys is a strength of the show, and that muscle is not flexed enough in this special.
On the plus side, a viewer's enjoyment of this episode doesn't rely on proximity to Beantown. As a dyed-in-the-wool Yankees fan, one would expect me to view this one in a negative light, but watching the Sox interact with the Fab Five truly humanizes them, and makes them downright likeable, even that long-haired caveman, Johnny Damon. Instead of being purely muscle-headed jocks, like one might expect (and the persona that peaks through at times), these "Idiots" seem more like good guys. And yes, it did hurt to write that.
The Bottom Line