Meet "the Lady": introducing a woman into the Queer Eye for the Straight Girl team may be more about sisterhood than lesbian inclusion.
Numbering one short of the original Queer Eye's Fab 5, the Gal Pals' categories of expertise are broader and more ambiguous. Cutie-pie actor Robbie (last seen on AMC's Gay Hollywood) takes over for Carson and Kyan as "the Look" expert; interior designer Damon, who could be Thom's fraternal twin, rethinks "the Locale"; bald, bossy Brit Danny fuses Jai's and Ted's realms into "the Life." Honey's moniker, however, refers not to her talents but to her persona, "the Lady." The message is clear: She's here to relate to the show's sad-sack subjects woman-to-woman.
In the premiere episode, which aired January 11, the Los Angeles-based Gal Pals take on Rebecca, who's shown on her 30th birthday hiding her model-beautiful looks under dumpy clothes and living in a dorm room-like dump. It's Honey's job to sit her down and talk about what's tarnishing her self-image. With future episodes promising engagements and weddings, it's easy to imagine savvy, big-sister Honey giving a frank, fascinating facts-of-life talk. (After all, she was once married to a man herself, with whom she's still co-parenting a 15-year-old daughter.)
Like Jai, Honey--whose background is Filipino, Chinese, Ukrainian, and Polish--is the dollop of ethnic diversity atop the otherwise Wonder Bread crew. Unlike Jai, she exudes authority, in part because at 39 she's five years older than the next-oldest Gal Pal, Robbie. She can yuck it up with 20-somethings Damon and Danny--the show's bitchy romp through the subject's inevitably horrific home remains its most entertaining segment--but you also get the feeling she could silence any of them with a piercing glance.
What's any of this got to do with Honey's being a lesbian? So far, not much. As the only partnered Gal Pal--her other half is photographer Joon Pascocello--she will certainly be the best source for relationship advice. But mostly her role appears to be exactly as labeled: She's a Lady. As Tom Jones puts it, "She's got style / She's got grace / She's a winner." Works for us.