THE RICH AND THE GUILELESS

‘Queer Eye’ duo be­come the Siegfried and Roy of in­te­ri­ors

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - TELEVISION - JENNIFER GAN­NON

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.

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