“Queer Eye” succeeds by blending various reality show tropes into one well-constructed package. With charismatic, attractive hosts and a focus on home renovations, beauty makeovers, cooking instructions, fashion advice and emotional therapy, the Netflix show has something for everyone.
That said, this innovative combination of genres also makes it hard to recommend similar shows for when you inevitably finish your binge of the recently released third season.
But with the help of a couple of other HuffPost writers, I’ve compiled a few Netflix originals that at least have some similarity to the “Queer Eye” experience. Perhaps nothing can truly compare with getting to spend time with Bobby Berk, Jonathan Van Ness, Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Karamo Brown and new addition Bruley the French bulldog. But hopefully, these shows will help you pass the time until Season 4 debuts.
This is a show for people who wish Berk on “Queer Eye” would go even wilder with his home renovations. “Amazing Interiors” highlights a few homes in each episode; a couple are already finished projects, and then you get to watch one transformation story start to finish.
These spaces can get pretty strange. Imagine if after Berk asked the “Queer Eye” subjects about their interests, he didn’t subtlety mold that into a tasteful renovation and instead went all out into their atypical niche.
A few highlight homes include a fancy carnival theme, an homage to the Chicago Cubs and an indoor aquarium big enough for the owner to scuba dive in. If you want to see off-the-rails homes, this is for you.
‘Tidying Up With Marie Kondo’
Much like the “Queer Eye” team, Japanese organizing expert Marie Kondo travels around the United States to offer life-improving advice to somewhat hapless Americans. While the home makeovers are a passive affair in “Queer Eye” (the renovations are made without much input from the subject of each episode), Kondo tries to teach her subjects how to improve their living spaces themselves.
If you’re a sucker for before-and-after home makeover shots, then you’ll find joy here. This doesn’t have the same tear-jerking, emotional theatrics of the “Queer Eye” makeovers, but the show achieves a calming quality by showcasing clutter disappearing.
Upon its debut this year, “Tidying Up” also reached popularity similar to “Queer Eye,” so you should be able to find friends with whom to discuss the KonMari cleaning method.
‘Grace and Frankie’
Looking for something bingeable, beautiful and LGBTQ-friendly that will make you laugh and cry (probably at the same time)? Then you need to add “Grace and Frankie” to your Netflix queue.
“Grace and Frankie” tells the story of two women in their later years who find themselves reluctantly sharing a beach house after their respective husbands reveal they’ve been having a love affair with each other and plan to get married. The show follows as Grace (an 80-year-old former CEO), Frankie (a quirky, wannabe hippie artist in her 70s), their ex-husbands and their children adjust to new lives.
It may not be as warm and cuddly as “Queer Eye,” but the crass, curt humor between the cast of characters is part of this show’s charm and wisdom. Like “Queer Eye,” “Grace and Frankie” reminds us that it’s never too late to completely change your life and that true transformation doesn’t come from a fancy wardrobe or a home renovation: It comes from loving yourself for who you are and having the right people around you who love you the same.
Another home makeover show. In “Stay Here,” designer Genevieve Gorder and real estate expert Peter Lorimer help homeowners turn their spaces into great short-term rental businesses. (The show doesn’t say this explicitly, but it’s basically about making the perfect Airbnb.)
Much like the interior design work by Berk on “Queer Eye,” the renovation styles on “Stay Here” have an Instagram-able quality that you will either love or feel a bit worn out by.
This show has a jankier, lower-budget vibe than “Queer Eye” but wouldn’t feel that out of place on HGTV. (This show was recommended by Kate Auletta, who never said no to a home reno show in her life.)
I definitely felt weird watching the “Stay Here” team transform the affordable, Brooklyn hostel I used to stay in during college trips into a bougie space atypical for the surrounding neighborhood, but the bedrooms did look more comfortable, and the place could certainly now attract a wealthier clientele than my friends and me. So I guess that’s an improvement?
“Dating Around” has become Netflix’s other bona fide reality show hit and has a similarly well-crafted style. In this romance-based show, an attractive single goes on five first dates but can choose only one person for a second date.
A high level of filming, editing, coloring and lighting talent makes this show special. Each date looks like a movie scene, given the cinematography.
In an interesting choice, the dates are also edited in a way that combines each individual date to look like one, long continuous date. The main single wears the same clothes for each date and asks similar questions, so the different responses unfold smoothly one after the other. (This show was recommended by Brittany Wong, a senior reporter on relationships, so she knows a thing or two about the topic.) Watching the two singles smile back and forth at each other makes it hard to not smile yourself. Of course, you’ll also cringe when the dates go awry. Although I don’t typically enjoy dating shows, I found myself surrendering to the expertly constructed rhythms of the show in the same way I get lost in the best “Queer Eye” episodes.