The “Queer Eye” glow up was real: Best of KC 2019
Our annual Best of Kansas City 2019 issue is out now. Go grab a copy. Alternatively, you can browse the results of the readers’ poll here. The issue also includes a list, compiled and written by The Pitch’s editorial staff, shouting out some of our current favorite things about KC. We’ll be publishing these items online throughout the month of October.
We were merely pleased to learn, sometime last year, that the Fab Five from Netflix’s Queer Eye planned to film their third and fourth seasons here in Kansas City. We passively followed the sightings of Antoni, Karamo, Tan, Bobby, and Jonathan on social media as they traveled from hair salons in the River Market to boutiques in Westwood and restaurants all over the metro. Good for them, we thought. How nice.
Then the shows aired, and—wow. We were immediately and completely sucked in. We cried through every episode, plowing through the entirety of each season within days of its release. Foolishly, we had not expected Kansas City to look so wonderful: the lush, aerial views of downtown and the Plaza, the color-saturated street-level views of the 18th and Vine District, the dazzling Queer Eye loft in the Crossroads’ Firestone Building. And with cameos from KC Pet Project, Urban Lumber Company, The Antler Room, Ulah, and Baldwin, it was apparent the show’s producers had really done their homework in identifying so many of the small things that make KC special. The best surprise, though, was falling for the made-over locals. We knew the cast was lovable, but what a joy to watch the transformation of “Shorty” and “Little” of Jones BBQ, single father Rob Elrod, Kenny Yarnevich from St. John’s Catholic Club (whom we’d written about just a few years prior), Wes Hamilton of Disabled But Not Really, and so many more. Each episode was designed to let these “heroes” open up and embrace vulnerability—a difficult thing to do privately, let alone in front of millions and millions of viewers. But there’s empowerment in that, and we loved seeing our locals rise to that occasion. As Jonathan might say: Can you believe?