THE RICH AND THE GUILELESS
‘Queer Eye’ duo become the Siegfried and Roy of interiors
Netflix may have changed lives with their reboot of lifestyle show Queer Eye, blessing viewers with the swivel-hipped fabulosity of glam guru Jonathan Van Ness and the endless patience of interior decorator Bobby Berk, but whither the original Queer Eye crew? Are they gathering dust in a bargain basement somewhere alongside a collection of early noughties chenille throws and diamondstudded low-rise jeans?
Younger audiences may recognise Carson Kressley from his appearances as a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race but the rest of the OG
Queer Eye guys have faded out of the spotlight until now, with interior designer Thom Filicia and Kressley reuniting for home makeover show – Get A Room With Carson & Thom.
Their first job is to renovate two “spaces” for couple Dave and Sherrie whose wealth oozes out of them in form of expensive-looking teeth and giant, luxurious hair, like a shaved Bee-Gee or a doctor in a 1970s sitcom. Sherrie has a vested interest in the design of the house having fired three previous decorators, leaving their “livingroom” a cavernous space the size of a barn without even a single chair for the past four years such is her indecisive nature. Outside is the “Man Grotto” where Dave and his merry men can pretend they’re the Kennedys in the Playboy mansion swigging whisky and burning meat. The budget (or “boujet” as Carson calls it with a French flourish) for these two rooms is an eye-watering $130,000.
As Thom takes charge of all that opulence, roping in Sherrie and her daughter to help with some of the soft furnishing so the decision-making (aka the blame) will be spread somewhat evenly, he leaves Carson and his crew to take care of the slightly less salubrious home of psychic Zenobia. Her townhouse also happens to be inhabited by the spirit of her dead mother-in-law, who wants to make contact from beyond the grave to have a say in how her old livingroom is decorated. Why does this never happen on Room to Improve?
When Sherrie and Dave finally get to see what $130,000 can buy them, Sherrie begins to cry. Was there a hole in her soul waiting to be filled by a huge gold ornamental tortoise that cost $1,500? How did Dave live without settling his posterior on $4,000 worth of chairs? Why have a normal ping-pong table when you can replace it with an all black one for $5,000? The couple appear delighted with their two rooms that now have the feel of a Las Vegas hotel lobby and a restaurant smoking terrace.
Driving away from the mansion, Thom and Carson reflect on their success and joke about how they avoided being fired. The Siegfried and Roy of interiors have only just begun to practise their particular brand of magic on the homes of the rich and guileless.