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Valerie

Queer Eye: We're In Japan!

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Discussion for the new miniseries (4 episodes) that were released November 1 2019.

Yoko is precious and made me cry. I love her.

Their temporary Japan guide is a little bit over the top but she has good chemistry with them and obviously they need someone fluent with them to make things easier. I really like the editing of the series overall, where they cut out the translation of English to Japanese before having the Japanese response. It really tricks your mind into thinking that they're having a conversation in real-time, and keeps the pace entertaining.

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Oh, that episode was a delight from start to finish.
The Vespa ride, the poster with their superimposed heads, the delicious-looking apple tart; the EVERYTHING.

What a success!

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Loved first one! Loved how they worked out the translation.  My daughter is in a global school that taught there for 6wks, she loved it.

Yoko was beautiful, loved the hair!The place makeover was gorgeous. Wonderful show.

I hope she reconnects with her nephews.

https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2019/11/8668912/where-is-yoko-now-queer-eye-japan

Edited by debraran
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Finsihed these episodes and god I wish there were more. The manga artist in Ep 3 was so precious, and hearing her and her mother break down those walls was painful and a bit difficult to watch. There really is a cultural difference in that the Japanese are so much more reserved with their feelings, and they don't say "I love you" like we do. There are like five different ways to express various levels of love but it's definitely not the same as it is here. So her mother saying "Aishiteru" which is the most absolute way of saying it was lovely.  I loved that her mother and sister were actually pretty advanced with their English and had fun with the guys as well.

Makoto was absolutely adorable, and his wife was so cute too. I was absolutely terrified that when Karamo had them sit down after yoga, that she was going to say she didn't love him and it was going to go to shit. 

I know we only get to see a very condensed version of the time the Fab 5 spend with the heroes, and it's always been my only quibble throughout all four seasons plus these -- I want more! 

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Just watched the first episode with Yoko, and it was wonderful - what a kind and amazing lady, to be running her own hospice. The makeover of both Yoko and her community gathering house was incredible. Bobby as usual did an amazing job creating a welcoming space.

They've done an amazing job making the translation seem seamless, and I love the beautiful traditional Japanese house they are using for their headquarters.

Looking forward to the next three episodes, but I need time to work up to them because I cried so much watching this one!

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I'm 2 minutes into episode 1 and it's a lot. Is the whole season going to be like this or is it just the intro? The editing is so chaotic, the texting was cringe, and even in this restaurant scene the background music is way too much. Did they change up the production team or are these creative choices? I hate it. It's like what I feared the reboot would be, a flashy nonsense show without the confidence to just let the Fab 5 be... well, fabulous. 

Yoko was so sweet though. I stuck through it because I immediately fell in love with her. This is the first episode in a while that made me cry.

I don't think Kiko helped much but Tan did a great job with the fashion. At least from what made the cut for the show, she wasn't like a Victoria Beckham but her understanding of the body issues of older, not sample sized women was kind of shallow. It's like asking Coco Rocha or Karlie Kloss for body positivity talk. There's only so much they're going to contribute.

Is it just me or did anyone else feel like they were plying her with sweets more than usual? There was wagashi with Tan, tarte tatin with Antoni, gelato with Karamo, Bobby setting up candy in the house... I do think that for those who are self-conscious about their weight or bodies, it would be nice for Antoni and Karamo to team up on a food/lifestyle-exercise-diet plan. I get that they don't want to force that on people but it feels more useful than just assuming everyone is going to want to entertain.

I feel like Bobby did the best he could. Again, I have no idea what their deals are with the companies that provide the furniture/furnishings. It was all very American. But I appreciate that he thought about having low tables and seating and a more muted color palette. Still, I'd be curious if he could have done something more traditional. Like, was he held back by what was available or is this just his design sensibility that he can't break out of? Because it felt very Long Island beach house/summer house rather than a Japanese space. I'm not saying it couldn't have Western influences but I'd expect something more upscale and French than something this distinctly American.

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I skipped ahead to episode 3 because I thought it might be lighter. Yeah, no. I ended up crying again.

The chihuahua is SO cute.

The openness with which she talked about her low self confidence was crushing. In some ways, a lot of people outside of America are more practical and straightforward talking about their bodies and the things they don't like about themselves. It can feel blunt or rude to Americans. But it was clearly more than that with Kae. She had very low self-esteem.

Naomi's Vogue makeup video is so cute. She was a great guest. 

I think Kae would have been cute with a non-natural hair color but I assume JVN decided she needed some healing given those roots. So even though it was color, it would give time for her hair to grow out and be healthy again.

I'm glad that they've realized that Antoni can take some of these parent/child bonding talks and it doesn't always have to be Karamo. Or maybe it can be Bobby. I like when the show breaks out of their roles a little and pushes those breakthroughs when it feels natural.

When I heard Wes Anderson I prayed Bobby would get to break out of the furniture he usually uses. There have been a couple instances in the regular show where they get to do something a little more interesting or specific. I liked the colors of the walls and the light fixtures. I think he did his best. It was a little more Miami hotel than Grand Budapest Hotel. The organization was great though.

It was interesting for Tan to deal with different body standards. I mean yes, you want to make people feel good about their bodies but it's hard to avoid just dropping Western beauty standards onto someone. It's different for a girl in a Western country to want to be model-thin vs. a girl from an Eastern culture that might have certain ideas about what is "too sexy." That was a moment where the language barrier could have made it easy to override her concerns. I love how gentle Tan was with her when shopping. He let her explore and try and didn't push. The first look with the yellow sweater and the pleated bronze skirt was so cute. The second look was... nope. For the final looks, I loved the white blouse and the fitted brown pants. I feel like Tan really took the time to appreciate Japanese style and silhouettes without going overboard with street style or anything like that. 

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I went back to episode 2. I'm glad things calmed down more though the editing could still be better. Why is everything like 1 second shots of skyline and scenery? I miss the dancing. It's not so much the content. It's really this choppy editing that I dislike.

I feel like Kan was a little more uncomfortable than Yoko and Kae. I'm not sure if that was his personality or the added component of this being a pretty public coming out given the whole Netflix thing. I do thing he had more walls up. He reminded me of some of the people on the American show who were more resistant to the process. I think he was trying but it took some time for him to open up and trust. 

I wanted to learn more from the yakitori chef.

I don't think guests need to be a part of the main show because the balance between the Fab 5 is sometimes off as it is but I think it works going to other countries because sometimes it helps to hear things from someone who can relate to you a little better. 

Tan dressed him so effortlessly. I loved every look.

I feel like JVN gave him such a boring haircut. The blowout helped a little but still. It was so conservative and basic.

Bobby went very American with the decor. I don't know that it had much of Kan's personality at all. 

Antoni's final outfit this episode. 😳

Obviously I know that things are set up for the cameras and people will behave a little differently but I hope things work out for Kan. 

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3 hours ago, aradia22 said:

I went back to episode 2. I'm glad things calmed down more though the editing could still be better. Why is everything like 1 second shots of skyline and scenery? I miss the dancing. It's not so much the content. It's really this choppy editing that I dislike.

I feel like Kan was a little more uncomfortable than Yoko and Kae. I'm not sure if that was his personality or the added component of this being a pretty public coming out given the whole Netflix thing. I do thing he had more walls up. He reminded me of some of the people on the American show who were more resistant to the process. I think he was trying but it took some time for him to open up and trust. 

I wanted to learn more from the yakitori chef.

I don't think guests need to be a part of the main show because the balance between the Fab 5 is sometimes off as it is but I think it works going to other countries because sometimes it helps to hear things from someone who can relate to you a little better. 

Tan dressed him so effortlessly. I loved every look.

I feel like JVN gave him such a boring haircut. The blowout helped a little but still. It was so conservative and basic.

Bobby went very American with the decor. I don't know that it had much of Kan's personality at all. 

Antoni's final outfit this episode. 😳

Obviously I know that things are set up for the cameras and people will behave a little differently but I hope things work out for Kan. 

There was an update he was still in the long distance relationship. I thought the more conservative look was because of his job and not to cause him more of a spot light on him. I think when they emphasized being himself even more at home, his safer space, was something he'd explore even more.

My daughter was in Japan for 9 wks teaching with a global school and she enjoyed it but yes, they are more conservative and no one yells (which she liked) they obey the rules and shame is something to be avoided. Sure the younger kids push, but not like here.

I think the furniture would have to be approved to some degree, It seemed they tried to get ideas and Kan did like the couch. So much is edited out, it's hard to know all the discussions.

I liked with the last set, to read more about what went on behind the scenes, maybe they will here too

https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2019/11/8661810/are-kan-tom-together-now-queer-eye-japan

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11 hours ago, debraran said:

There was an update he was still in the long distance relationship. I thought the more conservative look was because of his job and not to cause him more of a spot light on him. I think when they emphasized being himself even more at home, his safer space, was something he'd explore even more.

My daughter was in Japan for 9 wks teaching with a global school and she enjoyed it but yes, they are more conservative and no one yells (which she liked) they obey the rules and shame is something to be avoided. Sure the younger kids push, but not like here.

I think the furniture would have to be approved to some degree, It seemed they tried to get ideas and Kan did like the couch. So much is edited out, it's hard to know all the discussions.

I liked with the last set, to read more about what went on behind the scenes, maybe they will here too

https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2019/11/8661810/are-kan-tom-together-now-queer-eye-japan

Good for Kan!  Maybe it's just Japanese culture, but I had the feeling that he felt really uncomfortable (actually, both of them) at the dinner.  In fact, it was kind of...cold.  

16 hours ago, aradia22 said:

The openness with which she talked about her low self confidence was crushing. In some ways, a lot of people outside of America are more practical and straightforward talking about their bodies and the things they don't like about themselves. It can feel blunt or rude to Americans. But it was clearly more than that with Kae. She had very low self-esteem.

It was interesting for Tan to deal with different body standards. I mean yes, you want to make people feel good about their bodies but it's hard to avoid just dropping Western beauty standards onto someone. It's different for a girl in a Western country to want to be model-thin vs. a girl from an Eastern culture that might have certain ideas about what is "too sexy." That was a moment where the language barrier could have made it easy to override her concerns. I love how gentle Tan was with her when shopping. He let her explore and try and didn't push. The first look with the yellow sweater and the pleated bronze skirt was so cute. The second look was... nope. For the final looks, I loved the white blouse and the fitted brown pants. I feel like Tan really took the time to appreciate Japanese style and silhouettes without going overboard with street style or anything like that. 

Both points are quite true.  Making negative comments about one's size is often a way to sound like they're being modest about their looks.  In many eastern cultures, you're just not supposed too positive about yourself.  Like, if someone says, "my goodness, Aradiazz, you make the most delicious pies (not sure if you cook/bake, but let's say...).  You don't thank them.  You might say "oh, no, yours is better!"   This goes for people complimenting your kids, too (you might say "Oh, but your little one is better!")  Regarding the second comment, I feel it myself (and I'm western-born/raised). I'm quite conservative when it comes to clothes and make-up and have a really difficult time doing the "sexy" thing.  I tried on a really short skirt back in my 20s (I'm 40 now) and everyone kept on saying that I should wear things like that more often because I have "amazing legs."  I fully acknowledge that I had (and still DO) have great legs, but it doesn't mean I want to wear a mid-thigh length skirt.  For some reason, people think it's "wrong" and that I should "show off my assets."  Tan should be at least somewhat familiar with this as Pakistani/South Asian culture can have these elements as well.

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Good for Kan!  Maybe it's just Japanese culture, but I had the feeling that he felt really uncomfortable (actually, both of them) at the dinner.  In fact, it was kind of...cold.  

I try not to read too much into things because you forget that people who aren't fame seekers (like people who go on The Real World or The Bachelorette) can be very uncomfortable having cameras and a film crew in their faces all the time. 

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 thought the more conservative look was because of his job and not to cause him more of a spot light on him. 

I might have felt that way if Tan hadn't given him a fairly stylish but not too out there wardrobe and if JVN hadn't given Kae and Yoko pretty boring haircuts as well. 

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Regarding the second comment, I feel it myself (and I'm western-born/raised). I'm quite conservative when it comes to clothes and make-up and have a really difficult time doing the "sexy" thing. 

I don't mind dressing a little sexier on occasion. But I appreciate how Tan was respectful of the culture and also what Kae wanted. On an American show or with different stylists I can easily see someone saying they didn't like their figure and being forced into a body con dress or at least a pencil skirt. Tan beautifully showed how you can dress in a way that's more accepting of the body you have while still dressing modestly. It's great if you want to show off your body and I applaud women who try to increase the visibility of plus-size bodies. But you can still learn to love yourself without displaying cleavage if that's what you prefer. Anyway, it's interesting to me how as the seasons go on, my favorite members of the Fab 5 keep changing. 

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Episode 4: 

JVN: "He has not looked in a mirror other than to make sure he's not bleeding." LOL, this got me.

I'm getting Antoni's cookbook from the library. But since Netflix loves cooking shows and I don't think Antoni has a side business like Bobby, I would love to see him host little cooking segments if not a full show the way Tan has Dressing Funny. 

I'm so curious about the cultural aspect of dressing more conservatively. I feel like they hinted at a widespread societal shift from being more expressive but because of the nature of the show, even in 4 episodes, I'm just putting little pieces together. 

I love that Tan sensed something and then they went to talk about it. I know segments have to be produced and they need to get permission to film and everything but it feels so much more natural when the breakthroughs aren't forced.

Oh, God. The drama. I was fully prepared for these two to break up. But to realize that they loved each other but were both afraid that they were not loved. AHH!!! My heart!

Again, I get that JVN is going to cut everyone's hair. Styling is not enough. But this felt like another boring cut. The product he put in it weighed it down and the natural wave and the way it flopped pre-cut looked much better. I thought JVN would discuss skincare more but maybe that just didn't make the final edit.

Obviously, Bobby's design choices were an improvement. But it still felt very American. And in such a small space, I'm not sure all the dark colors were a good choice. It reminded me of a cross between a hotel and a fancy greenroom. I will say it looked expensive. 

I really want to go to one of those experience museums/exhibits in Japan. They seem so much more interesting than the silly Instagram pop-ups in America. 

Well, that was fun. Though I like the original show, I'd totally be open to them visiting other countries. I do think it's most interesting for Tan and Antoni though. Bobby seems pretty restrained by whatever design constraints they give him because it's the same furniture even though he seems to have the cultural awareness to design differently we don't see it in the show.

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Are North Americans just obsessed with having perfect teeth?  Because I’ve noticed that none of the Japanese makeoverees has orthodontic work done while pretty much everyone I know here has straight teeth (mostly thanks to braces).  Getting braces is pretty much a rite of passage here (I was lucky not to need them). 

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7 hours ago, PRgal said:

Are North Americans just obsessed with having perfect teeth?  Because I’ve noticed that none of the Japanese makeoverees has orthodontic work done while pretty much everyone I know here has straight teeth (mostly thanks to braces).  Getting braces is pretty much a rite of passage here (I was lucky not to need them). 

One of my kids probably should have gotten them but can as an adult. I feel it's more now than in the 70's when I was a kid. You had to have really buck teeth or something serious. Now, kids with what seem like normal teeth, are getting braces and kids parents have thousands and thousands of dollars on dental credit cards. I also am distracted by the really white teeth on many people, it doesn't look natural. Natural white is fine but "bright white" looks odd.  My daughter who has traveled a lot around Europe and China for work, says it is mostly here.

I laugh when a movie or show doesn't fix a stars teeth who is playing a homeless person or addict. Dirty, disheveled but really white teeth. ; )

Edited by debraran
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Some Japanese do get their teeth straightened, but it's not as common as it is in the States. Still, the teeth of Japanese people look a lot better now than when I was in the country decades ago, a time when decayed front teeth were capped in gold or silver-colored metal or just ignored. Dentistry and nutrition have both improved a lot over the years. 

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On 11/2/2019 at 5:03 AM, Valerie said:

Makoto was absolutely adorable, and his wife was so cute too. I was absolutely terrified that when Karamo had them sit down after yoga, that she was going to say she didn't love him and it was going to go to shit. 

I was 100% convinced she was mostly out of the door on the marriage and read the lack of a wedding ring as a sign of that, not how Bobby saw it. I mean, the woman said straight out she wanted to get married, and she wouldn't say that she wanted a replacement ring when asked? In fact, I still wasn't buying it after yoga, thinking she didn't want to hurt and humiliate the guy before cameras but at least Makoto seemed better off to deal with the fall out. 

I felt like both Yoko and Kan were dealing with some serious depression issues (Yoko's statement about wanting to die instead of her sister was just heartbreaking) and hope that Karamo slipped them a therapist's number. I know they said it wasn't a thing in Japan, but it really felt like both could benefit from it.

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Loved it, as always. Like others, I thought the editing did a good job of making the pace feel uninterrupted and "natural," although I'm glad that they gave a shout-out to the interpreter. (Side note: I'm an ASL interpreter, and it occurred to me that, while it must be bonkers to try and interpret some of the wild stuff Jonathan says, it must be so much fun too.)

Episode 1 - Okay, round 1 of the Japanese heroes breaking my heart. Yoko!! What a wonderful lady with so much love to give the world. Interesting how many female heroes fall within the same "so busy taking care of everyone else but never takes care of herself" theme. Her crushing on Antoni was so sweet. But seriously - Tan is great, but I was screaming at him putting her in heels. She's walking with a cane or holding someone's arm. Come on, Tan, can't you champion some kind of stylish footwear that's comfortable/functional to walk in?

Episode 2 - Oh, sweet Kan. You could tell he was majorly nervous, but I liked seeing how he opened up to the different experiences - he really came alive when Tan was dressing him. My heart broke for him when he talked about facing anti-Asian attitudes in the U.K. gay community and anti-gay attitudes in Japan. And I really enjoyed the conversation Jonathan had with him about visibility/being himself.

Episode 3 - I really liked Kae too. Her insecurities were just all over the episode, and I'm glad she started to face them a little. The drawing she finally made of herself was super cute. I agree with others who've said that a lot of Bobby's designs seemed a little too American during this special, but he did do a good job throughout of maximizing small spaces, and that was really on display here. Loved the staircase drawers!

Episode 4 - OMG, Makoto's date with Yasuko at the end was so cute! Right from the beginning, you could tell how crazy he was about her (he said something early on about she was "his existence," my god,) but he was too shy/repressed to show it and talk to her about their issues and his fears. During their post-yoga heart-to-heart, I loved that Karamo saw Makoto getting emotional and took him around the corner so he could just sob in Karamo's arms. My heart!!

Also, I smiled at the Fab Five (minus Tan) constantly banging into overhead lamps and ducking their heads going through doorways. They seemed gigantic!

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5 minutes ago, angora said:

But seriously - Tan is great, but I was screaming at him putting her in heels. She's walking with a cane or holding someone's arm. Come on, Tan, can't you champion some kind of stylish footwear that's comfortable/functional to walk in?

Plus, it came off as odd since I don’t have a lasting impression of Tan putting all the women candidates in heels. And then there was his comment about her getting used to it. Tan, honey? No.

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It's so funny whenever I see a preview for a new season like this one I never feel a connection to any of the participants and feel like I'm not going to enjoy it. Then I get into the episodes and my opinion is totally changed. They chose four very compelling "heroes" for this little mini-season and I totally enjoyed every one of them. And my heart went out to all of them, too.

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[Yoko] crushing on Antoni was so sweet. 

Seriously cute. But I found myself laughing and wondering "she knows he's gay, right?" I guess she just couldn't help herself. God she was adorable. And you just have to have mad respect for someone who devotes their life to taking care of dying people. I mean . . . that seems like it would be SO depressing!

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 My heart broke for [Kan] when he talked about facing anti-Asian attitudes in the U.K. gay community and anti-gay attitudes in Japan.

Each episode had some gut-wrenching moment where the participant broke down and cried. I'm tempted to say it's very manipulative, except that the whole point of the series is to help these people. The very nature of the process is to sit them down and sort of get into their heads. Otherwise it's just a bunch of new clothes, furniture and and a haircut.

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 I really liked Kae too. Her insecurities were just all over the episode,

I thought her mother was a lot of the problem, frankly. It's more than just not ever saying "I love you." I know there's a cultural difference but people are people. The mother just seemed like one of those types who are constantly, overly critical. Whether she meant to or not I really think she spent a lifetime beating down her daughter.

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During their post-yoga heart-to-heart, I loved that Karamo saw Makoto getting emotional and took him around the corner so he could just sob in Karamo's arms. My heart!!

Ouch, I know. Given the much-discussed "cultural differences" you'd think he'd be mortified by having something like that on TV. It seemed like such an enormous release of emotions that had been pent up for years. 

I think my one criticism was that as clever as the editing was, I was constantly aware of it because the exchanges between the Japanese speakers and the Fab 5 seemed too effortless. I realize how awkward it would have been to leave the interpreter in and how it would have affected the pacing but still, it wasn't something I ever really got used to.

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Just saw Kan and Kae's episodes and loved them both. Kan was adorable, and his boyfriend seemed sweet - his family seemed genuinely happy for them both which was nice to see (and as some of the five pointed out, Kan's brother was super-handsome too).

I felt so bad for Kae - it looked like she was grappling with some serious depression due to isolation and bullying from peers, as well as having an overly critical Mom. I really liked Antoni's heart to heart with them while they were cooking. Kae looked fabulous at her exhibition - loved the top and the gold necklace she wore. I also loved Bobby's transformation of her room - the colours and the lighting fixtures were beautiful!

One more episode to go. I keep telling myself I'm not going to cry, but every time I do!

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I was actually very surprised they were able to find four people willing to do this.  Most East Asian cultures aren't open about things like that.  Heck, even people HERE - East Asians BORN AND RAISED in the west - have more issues with being open about their mental health than Anglo-Canadians (I'm not sure how the Francophone community views mental health awareness as I'm from Toronto).  

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5 hours ago, PRgal said:

I was actually very surprised they were able to find four people willing to do this.  Most East Asian cultures aren't open about things like that.  Heck, even people HERE - East Asians BORN AND RAISED in the west - have more issues with being open about their mental health than Anglo-Canadians (I'm not sure how the Francophone community views mental health awareness as I'm from Toronto).  

I agree, this touched on it a little.

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/xwe3da/netflix-queer-eye-were-in-japan-is-a-surprisingly-thoughtful-approach-to-traveling

They did get a new makeover to their home (the most impressive use of a small space I've seen since tiny house shows) Some had instagram accounts and updated a bit. I'm sure it was hard to find some that didn't care about the publicity but they seemed to be fans also.

I hope they do that again some day, where I'm not sure, but it's a fun diversion from the US.

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I watched the final episode featuring the estranged couple. Interestingly I didn't cry this time, but I thought it was very sad, and tough to watch. Kudos to Makato for being so vulnerable on camera - that had to have been extremely hard in his culture. He clearly had so much pent up inside. I loved the talks that both Tan and Karamo had with him. I also liked the scenes with Anthony in the kitchen - he seemed to be more relaxed and having fun.

I honestly thought their marriage was done, but both seemed willing to renew their efforts. Their outing at the end of the episode looked beautiful and romantic.

Once again, Bobby worked wonders in a teeny tiny space.

One thing that strikes me about Japan is how barren and drab the interiors of people's homes always look to me. Not just on this show, but on many others I've seen. I think traditional Japanese homes are beautiful and serene, but the modern architecture and surroundings have me scratching my head. I understand space is at a premium and people inhabit minuscule dwellings, but everything always looks bleak on camera. The exteriors of buildings always look haphazardly jammed together, and the interiors always look just...sad and strictly utilitarian - no colour, no artwork or decorative items etc. It's a bit puzzling coming from a culture that values orderliness and beauty so much. Do people get visual enjoyment from visiting parks and gardens perhaps?

Maybe my impression would be different if I visited in person, but I'm not sure I'd be able to handle staying in a big city like Tokyo for a long stretch.

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On 11/8/2019 at 1:32 AM, Cheezwiz said:

I watched the final episode featuring the estranged couple. Interestingly I didn't cry this time, but I thought it was very sad, and tough to watch. Kudos to Makato for being so vulnerable on camera - that had to have been extremely hard in his culture. He clearly had so much pent up inside. I loved the talks that both Tan and Karamo had with him. I also liked the scenes with Anthony in the kitchen - he seemed to be more relaxed and having fun.

I honestly thought their marriage was done, but both seemed willing to renew their efforts. Their outing at the end of the episode looked beautiful and romantic.

Once again, Bobby worked wonders in a teeny tiny space.

One thing that strikes me about Japan is how barren and drab the interiors of people's homes always look to me. Not just on this show, but on many others I've seen. I think traditional Japanese homes are beautiful and serene, but the modern architecture and surroundings have me scratching my head. I understand space is at a premium and people inhabit minuscule dwellings, but everything always looks bleak on camera. The exteriors of buildings always look haphazardly jammed together, and the interiors always look just...sad and strictly utilitarian - no colour, no artwork or decorative items etc. It's a bit puzzling coming from a culture that values orderliness and beauty so much. Do people get visual enjoyment from visiting parks and gardens perhaps?

Maybe my impression would be different if I visited in person, but I'm not sure I'd be able to handle staying in a big city like Tokyo for a long stretch.

You have give Japan credit. First to become westernized ever since the US visit back in the mid-1800s. Lead provider of arcade games and video games: Street Fighter, Samurai Showdown, Final Fantasy, Tekken, Virtua Fighter, Resident Evil, Mario Bros., and the list goes on. One thing the Japanese always gets right is how much effort they put in video games. They could be simple or downright difficult, but the Japanese know to work everything just like that. It is so amazing how something so complicated to Americans works well for Japan. Trust me, as a true gamer, I always amazed as to how the Japanese could make their games so good. 

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5 hours ago, Robert Lynch said:

You have give Japan credit. First to become westernized ever since the US visit back in the mid-1800s. Lead provider of arcade games and video games: Street Fighter, Samurai Showdown, Final Fantasy, Tekken, Virtua Fighter, Resident Evil, Mario Bros., and the list goes on. One thing the Japanese always gets right is how much effort they put in video games.

I don't really know anything about gaming, but I think as a nation, Japan is truly innovative, and they are able to create new products, and pull together to work on things collectively with stunning efficiency. I love their aesthetic sense as well - so much care and attention put toward visual presentation - from their cultivation of plants and gardens, the way food is plated, to simple every day things like the way gift boxes of cookies are wrapped. Total simplicity and elegance permeates everything they do.

But I do find their culture a impenetrable and confusing. I took an Asian studies course in university and we spent a lot of time on Japanese literature and their contemporary cultural norms. I found the deeper I delved into Japan, the more baffled I became!

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There are sometimes those Japanese that are more Americanized than us and their own race. And you could spot as to how perfect their English is. When they had that pretty model guide lady and she spoke with no accent, I knew she had to be Americanized.  When I was in Ireland, I met a Tokyo man who had a bit of a small accent, but spoke terrific English as well. His grammar was great and he always ventures outside the city, which he always did whenever he has time off. Tokyo is great, but it is best to venture out in the countryside to experience Japan and the neighboring towns there, at least according to him.

Edited by Robert Lynch
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On 11/8/2019 at 1:32 AM, Cheezwiz said:

Once again, Bobby worked wonders in a teeny tiny space.

One thing that strikes me about Japan is how barren and drab the interiors of people's homes always look to me. Not just on this show, but on many others I've seen. I think traditional Japanese homes are beautiful and serene, but the modern architecture and surroundings have me scratching my head. I understand space is at a premium and people inhabit minuscule dwellings, but everything always looks bleak on camera. The exteriors of buildings always look haphazardly jammed together, and the interiors always look just...sad and strictly utilitarian - no colour, no artwork or decorative items etc. It's a bit puzzling coming from a culture that values orderliness and beauty so much. Do people get visual enjoyment from visiting parks and gardens perhaps?

Maybe my impression would be different if I visited in person, but I'm not sure I'd be able to handle staying in a big city like Tokyo for a long stretch.

I'm not an expert, but I've spent significant time in Tokyo in the 70's and less recently. Newer Tokyo homes and apartments are small, sparse, and finished in various shades of pale beige. Walls are thin, and overhead lighting is harsh. People have money to consume, but rarely space to store much. As in any crowded city, people build where they can, and the street organization isn't a grid anyway. Traditional homes are beautiful but didn't come with heat, hot water, or insulation, so were not particularly comfortable. Housing is now utilitarian but does the job. 

That said, Japan offers so many sights and things to do, in a lifetime, it would be impossible to experience it all. In the crowded cities, there are parks, temples, cozy coffee shops and small restaurants for an escape. It's also easy to hop on a train and spend a day outside the city by the sea or in the countryside. 

I'm loving this series. The episodes have captured intimate aspects of Japanese  life that are usually hidden. The participants are brave to show their emotions on camera, but that they do so is just another part of the fascinating complexity of modern Japan. 

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8 hours ago, Robert Lynch said:

There are sometimes those Japanese that are more Americanized than us and their own race. And you could spot as to how perfect their English is. When they had that pretty model guide lady and she spoke with no accent, I knew she had to be Americanized.  When I was in Ireland, I met a Tokyo man who had a bit of a small accent, but spoke terrific English as well. His grammar was great and he always ventures outside the city, which he always did whenever he has time off. Tokyo is great, but it is best to venture out in the countryside to experience Japan and the neighboring towns there, at least according to him.

Isn't one of her parents from the US?  I believe she was born in the States but moved to Japan as a child.  She probably attended an international school as well.  I've met some people who are Hong Konger and grew up there, but sound as if they were CBC (Canadian born Chinese) or came here as young children. Their body language seemed Canadian as well.  Why?  Because they attended a Canadian school in Hong Kong, likely from K-12 (rather than spending time at a boarding school here).  Heck, I have cousins who sound perfectly American.  And they didn't go to school in the US until they were undergrads.   

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This was great and of course I weeped at many of the moments like everyone else. 

Overall the show was very respectful of the culture and only made a few mistakes. Antoni, bless him, unfortunately had one of the bigger ones where the show insisted on him talking far too much in the Yakitori training segment instead of their local expert.  Also, aside from that, apparently the Japanese DO have their own existing versions of Apple Pie.  Why not do one of those?  That one worked out in the end, I suppose, because the actual serving of the tart was flashy and made for good TV, but even still... 

I also think that Bobby seemed kind of stubborn about sticking to Western beds. I dunno.  It could have just been a coincidence that all of these heroes were okay with, or actually wanted them. 

I get why the show used Kiko.  They were able to use her to insert narrative about cultural differences at key points without it seeming like insensitive pontification from westerners, if they had the F5 act like they just got it from research. Plus, let's face it, Kiko was eye candy.  That doesn't apply less just because the show has both gay and straight viewers. One thing I think they dodged, and it's unfortunate, is that they glossed over any body issues she herself may have had with glib stuff about nameless people theoretically reacting to fashion choices like the pigtails she was wearing. I mean come on.  As drop dead gorgeous as she is, she has disproportionately large ears for her society. She rocks it, but don't tell me that never caused her any difficulties or criticism at some point. It might have been nice to have her in 20% less segment-dividing dance scenes and in trade had something on that. In fact, with the celeb they DID have where they explored body issues in Japan, Naomi, I think they did a great job in using her to display an example on how to counter those issues, but even there I think they missed some opportunities on hearing some frank talk.  They needed more airtime with Naomi, or less of it with nonsense comedy filler, like the mock martial arts. 

It's hard to say if they were misguided with Kan and the coming out storyline. I've read a criticism or two out there that they were, to an extent. That vague statements about still dressing Conservative at work, glossed over a lot of complexity in how to navigate gay life in Japan. Coming out means very different things in different parts of the world, so it's a potential mine field. Once again, the local expert, the monk in this case, was their best asset though. Actually, to be fair, both the monk AND Kiko both had key roles in that. They didn't really go into Kiko's own sexuality, but at the very least it's clear she was well plugged into the local gay culture as an icon and sympathetic champion at the very least. 

But overall? Great.  They found four very compelling stories, all very relevant and revealing about current Japanese societal problems, and for the most part hit them head on. 

Edited by Kromm
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6 hours ago, Kromm said:

This was great and of course I weeped at many of the moments like everyone else. 

Overall the show was very respectful of the culture and only made a few mistakes. Antoni, bless him, unfortunately had one of the bigger ones where the show insisted on him talking far too much in the Yakitori training segment instead of their local expert.  Also, aside from that, apparently the Japanese DO have their own existing versions of Apple Pie.  Why not do one of those?  That one worked out in the end, I suppose, because the actual serving of the tart was flashy and made for good TV, but even still... 

I also think that Bobby seemed kind of stubborn about sticking to Western beds. I dunno.  It could have just been a coincidence that all of these heroes were okay with, or actually wanted them. 

I get why the show used Kiko.  They were able to use her to insert narrative about cultural differences at key points without it seeming like insensitive pontification from westerners, if they had the F5 act like they just got it from research. Plus, let's face it, Kiko was eye candy.  That doesn't apply less just because the show has both gay and straight viewers. One thing I think they dodged, and it's unfortunate, is that they glossed over any body issues she herself may have had with glib stuff about nameless people theoretically reacting to fashion choices like the pigtails she was wearing. I mean come on.  As drop dead gorgeous as she is, she has disproportionately large ears for her society. She rocks it, but don't tell me that never caused her any difficulties or criticism at some point. It might have been nice to have her in 20% less segment-dividing dance scenes and in trade had something on that. In fact, with the celeb they DID have where they explored body issues in Japan, Naomi, I think they did a great job in using her to display an example on how to counter those issues, but even there I think they missed some opportunities on hearing some frank talk.  They needed more airtime with Naomi, or less of it with nonsense comedy filler, like the mock martial arts. 

It's hard to say if they were misguided with Kan and the coming out storyline. I've read a criticism or two out there that they were, to an extent. That vague statements about still dressing Conservative at work, glossed over a lot of complexity in how to navigate gay life in Japan. Coming out means very different things in different parts of the world, so it's a potential mine field. Once again, the local expert, the monk in this case, was their best asset though. Actually, to be fair, both the monk AND Kiko both had key roles in that. They didn't really go into Kiko's own sexuality, but at the very least it's clear she was well plugged into the local gay culture as an icon and sympathetic champion at the very least. 

But overall? Great.  They found four very compelling stories, all very relevant and revealing about current Japanese societal problems, and for the most part hit them head on. 

Regarding coming out:  Kan's mom and brother either already knew or were prepped before filming (they HAD to be, right??  I mean, Queer Eye isn't THAT kind of reality show).  

Regarding Kiko:  To this 40 year old straight gal, Kiko reminds me of those REALLY annoying girls I see at "hip" brunch places on a weekly basis times 99 million.  Ones who dress a bit OTT and criticize the pegan avo toast.  #sorrynotsorry

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Kiko is popular in Japan and all the heroes were aware of her. Kan was actually a bit nervous since it does seem she is involved or visible in the Japanese LGBTQ+ community. Her fashion sense and styling is actually mild compared to that of other Japanese celebrities or talentos. 

I liked that the special was also made with Japanese audiences in mind with the editing and by including Kiko and Naomi. Netflix Japan is more proactive compared to other international Netflix divisions. It has a huge library and they are trying to create more original content. I actually hope Queer Eye goes back to Japan. 

I loved the Yoko episode. I think I'll rewatch it because she had amazing chemistry with all the guys especially Antoni and Karamo. It was really moving as well because of the work she does with her patients and community. 

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19 hours ago, PRgal said:

Regarding coming out:  Kan's mom and brother either already knew or were prepped before filming (they HAD to be, right??  I mean, Queer Eye isn't THAT kind of reality show).  

Regarding Kiko:  To this 40 year old straight gal, Kiko reminds me of those REALLY annoying girls I see at "hip" brunch places on a weekly basis times 99 million.  Ones who dress a bit OTT and criticize the pegan avo toast.  #sorrynotsorry

I think they do a lot of takes but it might be somewhat spontaneous. They have to cut or edit a lot out many times. The show in the states with the man in the wheel chair who was shot, that was done cold and they had to cut some of the time spent not saying anything when he met the guy who shot him. I assume they tell them to not clean up etc when they come to visit so they'll have something to comment on. I mean if you knew they were coming, would you leave bad broccoli in the fridge? lol

The part that is always "fake" in a sense is when they see them later. Obviously someone is there with a camera as they get ready or they have a camera stationed all over the apartment so you'd be careful what you say. Some do seem to forget though. ; )

Edited by debraran

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On 11/7/2019 at 1:16 AM, Cheezwiz said:

One more episode to go. I keep telling myself I'm not going to cry, but every time I do!

Me too.

I'm generally one moment away from getting misty-eyed over anything that engages my heart.  My Dad called it "Irish Sentimentality", but I see it as an annoying form of some inherited emotional disregulation.  Any time that I need to refresh my dry eyes or release any emotion,  I can count on this show to open the floodgates!

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This season more than ever I feel there is so much staged stuff. I don't necessarily believe all these self revelations and emotional moments are completely authentic. Color me  skeptical and crotchety. The constant banging of the "Fab 5 is here to awaken you to all your self image problems" drum bugs me. And it seems very after school special preachy when a member of the 5 addresses the camera about accepting and loving yourself for the 100th time. 

In the last episode I felt like the couple had put themselves into the "practically roommates or siblings" box because, although they were friends, they had no real sexual drive toward each other. Perhaps they need to dig deeper into who (or what sex) each is attracted to. Or not. Who knows. 

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