Black Eye for the White Guy?
Phil Kloer, Atlanta Journal-Consititution, Feb. 20
Take Richard Pryor teaching Gene Wilder how to walk the walk in the movie “Silver Streak,” graft it onto “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” and you have “Make Me Cool,” a reality TV series in the making about a team of blacks trying to show a white person how to be cool.
“The joke version of the title is ‘Black Eye for the White Guy,’” says executive producer Jay Blumenfield. “It’s a catchy title, but it’s not the show we want to do.
“There’s something in the culture right now that there are parts of black culture that everyone wants to aspire to,” he continues. “We want to explore that. We want to face racial stereotypes head on and say, ‘What is this? Why is this?’”
The series idea has been bought by cable channel Showtime, but no air date has been set, and the show is still in the casting stage. Even the title is tentative. The format will be something like the hit “Queer Eye.” A team of three or four African-Americans (including one female) will do a full hipness makeover on a desperately dweeby target.
“The first people will be uncool, and the easiest way to express that is they’ll be white,” says Blumenfield. “Once the concept is established, anyone can be made cooler.” Individuals won’t be the only targets, he says; eventually they’ll go after couples, families, even a fraternity.
“This is a lot more than changing the color of your shirt and getting a haircut,” he says. “This is about immersing them in a new kind of culture.”