PHILADELPHIA, PA—Netflix announced this week that a sixth member would be joining the fab five. While the existing cast cover expertise in food and wine, fashion, grooming, interior design, and culture, new addition Rex Hellerstein will be focusing on legislative reform.
“I know I may not have Jonathan’s flash or Tan’s killer style, but I’m excited to bring my dogged commitment to the slow-turning wheels of justice,” said Hellerstein. “Nothing is more fabulous than working to incrementally change the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals for the better.”
One standout episode of the new season brings makeover-subject and single dad, Ian Thomplin, on a trip to the nation’s capital. In Washington DC, the Fab 6 connect Thomplin with his estranged half-brother and attend a Senate hearing on proposed legislation to protect Trans Rights at the federal level. “The hearing was kind of boring, but I did get a great haircut after!” said Thomplin. “It’s short on the sides.”
In a break from the usual Queer Eye format, episode three of the season is an extended audio commentary from Hellerstein on the Netflix documentary 13th, explaining the intersections between Black and queer community activism. At the end of the episode, the cast also teaches a bearded man to make three-ingredient guacamole.
Not all members of the Queer Eye team are happy about the change, however. A member of the original five, who wished to go unnamed, said “I mean, like, okay. I get it, this stuff is important, but it’s also a huge bummer, and it makes me, Antoni, the dumb one!”
Avid viewer Nate Vidockler noted, “I watch Queer Eye because it makes me cry in a fun way. The legal parts make me cry in a not-fun way.” Said another viewer, “It’s one thing to be nice to gay people, but I draw the line at being asked to take actionable steps towards defending their rights.”
However, Netflix executives are standing by the decision. “We expect this season to be bigger and better than ever,” said Netflix VP of Programming Vilma Gurien. “The show has always been fun and fab, but we began to wonder if our commitment to being gently apolitical, even to the point of denying the reality of our cast members’ lives in Trump/Pence America, may have, you know, cast a shadow of moral cowardice across our entire program.”
Update 6/11: Netflix announced that Rex Hellerstein would not be returning for a second season.