The so-called 'victims' appearing in QEFTSG appear willingly, and despite being harangued in a playful manner over their cleanliness, fashion sense and the contents of their fridge, they emerge from this show as more confident and more mature people. This is a show with lasting effects, not just for the wardrobe and the home, but for the lifestyle.
The Fab Five are not about tearing a person's confidence to shreds and dressing them like a doll, as we have seen in some of the lesser makeover shows (What Not To Wear, Extreme Makeovers). The subjects are listened to, they are counselled and delivered back to their partners and friends as better versions of themselves. No more bad haircut, no more dangerous living conditions. Think of the difference between wearing makeup and wearing a mask. This is the difference between QE and other makeover shows.
Thom Filicia in particular, handles the design of the subjects home in a way that no other reality show decorator does. His designs, furniture and decor choices reflect the person living in them. He extols the virtues of using your living space as you want to use it. Don't eat at the the table? Then don't have a dining room. Use the computer a lot? Put it in the lounge. And always, put your personality and your own stamp on the rooms. Watch Thom work a room, and you will forever see Changing Rooms and other interior makeovers as severely lacking.
QE never has one of those awkward 'reveal' moments where you can tell that someone hates what the makeover team have done. They are roundly thanked, sometimes tearfully, by the straight men they transform from ugly ducklings to 21st century swans. I have yet to see one person show any distaste at the changes made to their life. The response is always, as it should be. A heartfelt 'thankyou'
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