Every member of Bravo's stylish quintet gets to shine in The Fab Five Collection
. Fashion expert Carson Kressley ("Style"), interior designer Thom Filicia ("Home"), and kitchen connoisseur Ted Allen ("Food and Wine") all get their own double-disc sets, while grooming guru Kyan Douglas and culture maven Jai Rodriguez share one ("Looking Good"). Each features an hour of highlights (clips arranged by theme). In addition, Carson and Thom's sets include bonus outtake DVDs. The other bonus discs are hour-long CDs: the dance-oriented "Deep Collective" for Kyan and Jai and chilled-out "Lounge Essentials" for Ted, whose DVD also includes recipes.
The highlights are instructive and entertaining, but only two full-length episodes are included. Consequently, this collection is likely to be appreciated more by those already familiar with the Emmy Award-winning series since much of the context is gone, i.e. who the subjects are and why they agreed to appear on the program. The first episode, included with Carsons Style, is "He's a Little Bit Country, She's a Little Bit Overwhelmed," in which the Five "make better" a New Jersey contractor who wants everything to be perfect when he proposes to his girlfriend. (It was actually the fourth episode.) The series debut, "Hair Today, Art Tomorrow: From Mess to Masterpiece," included with Thom's Home, focuses on a New York artist who wants to make a good impression at his first gallery opening. (In both cases, the two hours of material could have easily fit on one disc.)
Overall, The Fab Five Collection is an enjoyable look back at the first season of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Like the show, its packed with witty comments and useful tips. Now Bravo just needs to bring the entire series to disc--with commentary from every Fabulous member of the Five. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Carson's Style (plus bonus DVD outtakes and Season 1 episodes), Kyan & Jai's Looking Good (plus bonus CD); Ted's Food & Wine (plus bonus CD) and Thom's Home (plus bonus DVD of Season 2 outtakes)