Colton Underwood, former Bachelor star, came out as gay this week. Actually, he had two big announcements: He’s gay, and he’s coming to Netflix!
Yes, in the year of our Lord 2021, being a handsome white male reality star who comes out automatically earns you a deal with a streaming platform. But what is a gay lead without his sidekick? Joining Underwood as his gay guide is Gus Kensworthy, who has been publicly out for six years.
There’s a germ of a great idea in this premise—kind of a Queer Eye for newly outed men and women who are looking to find their place in the LGBTQ+ community, by extension helping viewers struggling with their own sexuality find theirs. And yet watching two famous, rich white guys perform the same feat is the epitome of out of touch.
Will Kensworthy help Underwood navigate the greenroom of Watch What Happens Live? Will the two visit glamorous gay destinations while viewers bite their nails to see if their local gay bars will even return once restrictions are lifted? And just how frank will these guys get about sexual preferences, kinks, and other aspects of gay sexuality that get discussed smartly and honestly in public spaces too infrequently?
But both guys are walking thirst traps for the gays and for gay editorial sites (Queerty squeezed five stories out of the announcement in 36 hours) so the series will almost certainly be a streaming hit. And as evidenced by the renewal of Emily in Paris and the massive deal for Ryan Murphy, Netflix cares only about eyeballs. Not quality.
When we demanded more queer reality series, this wasn’t exactly what we had in mind…