There's no point trying to run from it: The reboot phenomena has swallowed our entire culture into its greedy gullet and will continue to spit out new iterations of every mildly successful television series and film for as long as we all shall live.

Blame the internet, blame our rotten attention spans, blame fragmented audiences pining for the good old days of Roseanne or some crap.

The bad news about this era is that we'll all have to suffer through 400 more Spiderman films that nobody asked for. The good news is that tired franchises are given a chance to progress into the modern age for the better. Case in point: Netflix's all-new, very excellent Queer Eye.

The new Fab Five have transformed Queer Eye from a simple makeover show into something more profound.
The new Fab Five have transformed Queer Eye from a simple makeover show into something more profound.

A reboot of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, the wildly successful makeover show from the mid-2000s, Queer Eye takes the format and attempts to make a change in people's lives that goes beyond a face mask and a mani-pedi.


Airing from 2003-2007, the original show featured five gay men (The Fab Five) who would storm into the damp lairs of straight men across America and attempt to revamp their lives from grooming to home decor to becoming more cultured.

Each of the Fab Five had a specialist area they would tackle, the breakout star being blonde fashion hurricane Carson Kressley, who went on to be an E! star and a mainstay on the RuPaul's Drag Race judging panel.

So what's new? Well, as they say in the opening episode of Queer Eye, the old show was merely about seeking tolerance and the reboot is about seeking acceptance.

Times have changed, and the all-new Fab Five are attempting to go further than just trimming beards and rolling up sleeves, inviting deeper conversations between groups of people who would otherwise never be given the opportunity to have them.

All of this is happening in a climate where America could do with a bucketload more empathy.

In episode one, redneck retiree Tom asks style expert Tan, "who is the lady?" in his marriage. Instead of letting it slide, the men gently steer him towards the idea that marriages don't necessarily have to fit traditional gender roles at all. He listens.

Perhaps the most memorably challenging conversation comes in episode three, when the culture expert Karamo Brown (also the only black man in the Fab Five) finds himself stuck in traffic with a white, Trump-voting cop in Georgia.

They bond over their similar upbringings and penchant for Wu Tang, before the conversation turns to the Black Lives Matter movement in the States, particularly in the South.

Each of them tenses up as they try to get their point of view across, the threat of violence hanging in the air, before they reach some level of understanding with each other.

Nothing is really solved, there's no massive eureka moment, but it's a struggle to imagine another show where these sorts of thorny political topics could be tackled in such a casual way.

As a straight woman, I can't speak for how well the gay community feels represented in Queer Eye, but I can say that this reboot is aiming for much loftier change than a lick of paint and a jaunty Kmart print on the wall.

Queer Eye uses what might sound like a shallow opportunity to reach out to men, both gay and straight, to start conversations about their lives and do some work to heal the nightmare-ish political context that's attempting to keep everyone more separate than ever.

Every makeover subtly represents a different journey of acceptance that wider society can learn from, and frankly, you're a monster if you don't ugly cry at least twice per episode.

It might sound crazy, but Queer Eye is a reminder that reality television, even within something as vapid as the makeover subgenre, is capable of changing a little corner of the world.