Queer Eye x Cruel Optimism

What makes the Fab Five so fab? In this episode, Hannah leads Marcelle through a discussion of contemporary masculinities and their commodification via pop culture! They talk neo-liberalism, self-care discourse and the interplay of Trump's rise to power and "reaching across the aisle" through entertainment. Hannah pulls on theory from the late Lauren Berlant for a lesson on intimate publics and 'cruel optimism.'

This episode is for you if you:

  • watched the original Queer Eye for the Straight Guy
  • enjoy the reboot of Queer Eye
  • hate the reboot
  • think Antoni is a hunk
  • don't think Antoni is a hunk
  • care about the commodification of progressive ideals

If you like this episode, please share it with family and friends! Word-of-mouth is the primary way we reach new listeners who are interested in feminist materialist critique, pop culture and laughing at and from within *the discourse.* Share the show today!


Material Girls is a new show that aims to make sense of the zeitgeist through materialist critique* and critical theory! Each episode looks at a unique object of study (something popular now or from back in the day) and over the course of three distinct segments, Hannah and Marcelle apply their academic expertise to the topic at hand.

We'll be back in two weeks for another episode, but until then, be sure to check out all the bonus content we have on our Patreon at Patreon.com/ohwitchplease. You can learn more about the show at ohwitchplease.ca and on our instagram at instagram.com/ohwitchplease! Want more from us? Check out our website ohwitchplease.ca.

*Materialist Critique is, at its simplest possible level, a form of cultural critique – that is, scholarly engagement with a cultural text of some kind – that is interested in modes of production, moments of reception, and the historical and ideological contexts for both. Materialist critique is really interested in the question of why a particular cultural work or practice emerged at a particular moment.

Music Credits:

“Shopping Mall”: by Jay Arner and Jessica Delisle ©2020

Used by permission. All rights reserved. As recorded by Auto Syndicate on the album “Bongo Dance”.

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