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Your ultimate guide to ‘Queer Eye’ Season 2

Season 2 Episode 1 of “Queer Eye” (Courtesy of Netflix)
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Fans of male vulnerability and the life-changing power of a new haircut can rejoice because eight new episodes of “Queer Eye” hit Netflix on Friday. That gives you plenty of time to binge the entirety of Season 2 by the time Monday rolls around.

“Queer Eye” filmed this batch of episodes immediately after filming the previous season, so don’t expect references to or updates from the folks you’ve already seen made over.

We’ve already watched all of Season 2, and here’s our breakdown of how it goes down:

What’s different

The first season hit viewers over the head with the notion that this makeover show was about getting America not only to tolerate gay men, but to accept them as well, something the Fab Five proclaimed at the top of the episodes. This season, that’s more of a given as they dig more deeply into issues like religion and the trans experience.

Season 1 featured a man with Trump signs. Season 2 features a man with old Hillary Clinton campaign signs squirreled away.  And unlike Season 1, some of the making over in Season 2 takes place in the Fab Five’s Atlanta-based loft.

The most notable difference this season is, for the first time, the “Queer Eye” franchise makes over a woman (Episode 1) and someone who is transgender (Episode 5). And they both result in the season’s most emotional episodes.

Which takes us to…

Most emotional episodes

In the first episode, “God Bless the Gay,” the Fab Five travel to a small Georgia town named Gay to meet likely the nicest person ever to be portrayed on television, Tammye. Each new detail about this woman, revealed in just the first three minutes, will have you gasping and aww-ing.

Yes, she will get some new clothes and a new haircut. And instead of remodeling her home, they remodel her church’s community center (sort of like the fire hall shown in Season 1). But all of that becomes secondary to the real focus of this episode: Tammye’s relationship with her son, and his relationship with his former church community. Basically, if you broke down last season when design expert Bobby Berk discussed his struggles with the church, this season’s first episode will leave you in a puddle of tears.

Then there is the fifth episode, featuring Skyler, a transgender man who just weeks prior had a life-changing top surgery. In fact, this episode opens with the Fab Five watching footage of the procedure, including Skyler’s emotional reaction when he sees his post-op torso for the first time.

While the Fab Five do what they do — remake the apartment and the clothes — the makeover is really about Skyler entering this new phase, and we get to hear him explain what his life has been like in very personal terms. Fashion expert Tan France has a heart-to-heart with him, confessing that he has never known a trans person, and he asks Skyler questions he has had for some time.

Potential fan favorites

If you don’t want Tammye to be your auntie, please get yourself checked out by a doctor because you may have a heart of stone. Skyler’s vulnerability and story will have plenty of folks rooting for him. And then there’s Leo, the husband, father of two, bartender and Mexican immigrant showcased in Episode 3. Every time the man talks about his kids, he starts crying because he loves them so much. My goodness.

Requisite man-child

Every season features a guy (or two) who just needs to grow up a bit. This season, it’s Arian (Episode 6), a 20-something guy who can’t hold down a job and discovers after participating in his college graduation that he didn’t actually pass the requisite classes.

Most impressive recipe

Food expert Antoni Porowski got a lot of heat on the Internet after the first season for his avocado evangelism. There’s only a brief avocado moment in Season 2, and he mixes it up a bit. I may be biased given my culinary inclinations, but I am happy to co-sign on his easy-to-make approach to Persian tahdig in Episode 6.

The episode that made me believe in love again

Someone please greenlight the rom-com based on the Shannan-and-William love story featured in the second episode. Their romance even managed to melt this skeptically icy heart.

Best new Jonathan phrase

Grooming expert Jonathan Van Ness referring to gray hair as “sparkle” should become a part of our common lexicon.

Read more:

Men are crying on TV as never before

Chat with designer Bobby Berk of Netflix’s ‘Queer Eye’