While the Fab Five of “Queer Eye for the Straight
Guy” are basking in their newfound television glory, network
programmers have been scrambling to develop a series with even half
its popularity. For example, NBC expressed interest in picking up
the show because many of its classic comedy gems are nearing its
finales this season and its experimental endeavors seem to fall
into the flop category. Although Comedy Central is certainly not
hurting in the ratings war, it too has jumped on the Fab Five
bandwagon in its usual offbeat fashion with its newest attempt at
comedy, “Straight Plan for the Gay Man.”

“Queer Eye” has received its share of criticisms for
its stereotyped portrayals of gay men as overly effeminate,
interior designers with impeccable style, but Comedy Central should
be ashamed to produce something as bland and trite as
“Straight Plan.” They exploit their favorite overused,
trademark characters with these four straight gurus. Rather than
rushing to an SUV, these men pile into a a monstrous, souped-up
black truck, which is equally impractical for a downtown New York
driver.

In the pilot, the quartet takes a gay fashion designer and
trains him to work in the manly field of meatpacking. They guzzle
beers, shop at the Salvation Army and transform the man’s
chic apartment by draping everything stationary in their particular
shade of plaid. “Straight Plan” seems more like an idea
for a two-minute sketch on “The Man Show” or
“Saturday Night Live” than a legitimate concept for an
entire series, even on Comedy Central.

Coming from the channel that brought this generation modern
comedic greats such as “South Park” and “The
Daily Show,” “Straight Plan for the Gay Man” is
nothing short of pitiful. Whereas the three major networks have
already lost most of the viewers’ confidence with their
repeated new series failures, Comedy Central was one of the last
basic cable beacons of hope. With any luck, “Straight
Plan” will prove to be merely a temporary lapse in creative
judgment.

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars.

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