For Queer Eye’s fifth season, the Fab Five traveled to Philadelphia to work their heartwarming magic on the City of Brotherly Love.
To promote the new season, which debuted on Netflix earlier this month, the makeover show’s stars lent their talents to one of Philadelphia’s best-loved residents: Gritty, the unpretentious fluffy orange mascot of the city’s NHL team, the Philadelphia Flyers.
According to the Philadelphia Flyers, Netflix reached out last summer when Queer Eye was filming in the city. Right away, both parties “knew this crossover would be a humorous and feel-good addition” to the season, said Flyers senior communications director Sarah Schwab. “We also jointly agreed that in the end, Gritty wouldn’t need much ‘making better’ and should embrace his quirks and look with confidence.”
In an eight-minute-long video released today, the Fab Five meet Gritty on the ice rink. He was nominated for the show by fellow sports mascot Phillie Phanatic. “I don’t think Gritty needs to change a ton,” the Phanatic writes. “Maybe you guys could convince him that he doesn’t need to eat a cheesesteak for every meal.”
After Gritty and the Fab Five get acquainted, the short film plays out like a sped-up version of an episode of Queer Eye. First, Jonathan Van Ness tends to Gritty’s beauty regimen. But he’s so impressed by the skill with which Gritty grooms his iconic brows, that Van Ness decides they should opt for a Supermodel Documentary Hour to boost confidence rather than mess with perfection.
Next, it’s fashion designer Tan France’s turn. While he tries to convince Gritty to dabble in colors other than orange, he eventually settles on Gritty’s original jersey, simply adding a classic french tuck to the outfit before declaring it “just gorgeous.”
Interior designer Bobby Berk has arguably the biggest impact on Gritty, decking out his space in the locker room with orange faux fur, a lighted “G,” Flyers paraphernalia and a face mirror.
Chef Antoni Porowski attempts to open Gritty up to foods other than Philly cheesesteaks. That, however, ends with a shell-shocked Porowski after he falls into some sort of cheesesteak trance and wildly demolishes the sample he’d set out for Gritty.
Then Gritty heads for a sit-down with Karamo Brown. They discuss the emotional labor of being the hype guy, and the Phanatic makes a surprise appearance when Brown urges Gritty to confide in an accountability buddy.
The mini-episode is being promoted across the NHL’s social and digital channels, including Twitter, NHL.com, Instagram and Facebook.