Sometimes when people spot someone who is weird and socially awkward in an unusual and inexplicable way they will derisively refer to that person as “homeschooled.” Like there is nothing wrong with this person other than he or she wasn’t entirely socialized correctly. This episode the Fab Five take on homeschooled 18-year-old Sean and, well, I would like to tell you that he totally dispels the myth of what a homeschooled kid is like. However, I can’t tell you that at all.
Sean was nominated for the show and was raised by his “godmother” Lulu. He says that she “raised me when my birth parents couldn’t,” but no one ever really explains exactly how she ended up as his adoptive mother and just where his parents went. There is definitely an interesting story there and I wonder why we’re not hearing any of it during this episode.
Maybe that’s what made Sean such a peculiar kid. He’s definitely talented and can sing and play the piano quite well. He’s sort of like an old man’s Ben Folds. Yes, he may be 18 but he has the spirit of a ’70s singer songwriter. He’s like Christopher Cross stuck in a young man’s body. Or maybe he’s just caught between the moon and New York City. I don’t know. I can tell you that everyone in his backup band looks like they’ve been receiving AARP Magazine at least since Sean was born.
The problem seems to be that Sean just hangs out with Lulu and her friends because he didn’t go to a “brick-and-mortar” high school. He dresses like an old man, sings like an old man, talks about how he used to walk to school uphill both ways like an old man. He’s basically like Reba McEntire dressed up as Colonel Sanders except all of his jackets say “Sean” across the back and his haircut isn’t as good.
The Fab Five really have their work cut out for them. Not only do they have to get Sean to dress like a teenager, figure out how to make friends his own age, design the space where he’s going to live when he goes to college in two weeks, and get him to take care of his patchy facial hair, they also have to figure out how to rescue a Harley-Davidson bicycle that is hanging from Sean’s ceiling. Seriously, dude? Who put that there?
Karamo had the biggest job this week trying to figure out how to get Sean to make friends, but considering that his only two interests are music and laser beams, he has no idea what to do. He takes the kid to play paintball, which is a great idea. There are a handful of teens milling about and Karamo forces him to go interact. It is one of the saddest things I have ever seen and I saw the second Sex and the City movie in the theater opening weekend. Please tell me these kids were plants and knew what was going on. Please tell me that Sean did not just walk up to some random black kid with a flattop and say, “I really like your haircut.” Please tell me that didn’t happen. Please.
He did much better at a cooking class with Antoni where he showed a bunch of kids — yes, I’m including Jonathan and Tan in that mix — how to make an omelet. We can’t shade Antoni for teaching them something basic this episode because they are teenagers and they need to know the basics. I’m just shocked he didn’t show them how to cut an avocado and place it next to the omelet. Still, Sean did a great job interacting with his partner in a way that seemed natural and unforced, unlike when he had to engage the kids who were about to shoot him to kingdom come in a game of paintball.
Bobby also had a bit of a difficult job this week because he not only had to remake a 100-year-old barn in the back of a scary house into a bachelor pad, he also had to make sure that Lulu didn’t lose her damn mind now that Sean is moving 30 minutes away from her when he goes to college. Wait, why is this kid moving into this weird house anyway? He’s been homeschooled for four years and most of his close college friends will be made in his freshman-year dorm. Just let this kid live in a cinder-block cell like the rest of us did. It will not only build character, it will also build up his social network.
Bobby does a great job turning this weird blank space into a chill college bachelor pad. I like the blue chest near the front door even if it has some weird pillows on it. I like the Navajo print on the bedding. It looks way too nice for any of the 18-year-olds I know. I guess that’s kind of the point. Lulu comes to see the space before Sean and she loses her freaking mind when she opens the door. It’s like she’s hyperventilating so much I was expecting the yellow mask you see on airplanes to fall from the ceiling to help her out. I mean, damn, lady! It’s just a room.
Jonathan gave Sean a nice haircut, as always, and made him shave off the nectarine fuzz he was trying to pass for a beard. Both haircut and shave not only made him look his age but also made him look thinner and his face more defined rather than looking like a dust bunny wrapped around a sad lonely penny underneath your bed.
The funny thing about that: When Tan dressed him in a leather jacket, a bold patterned shirt (duh), and a pair of jeans it made Sean look, once again, like a kid way too young for his clothes. Maybe Sean’s problem isn’t the clothes he’s wearing but how he carries himself. He always has posture that’s so perfect it’s like he has a rod up his back. It doesn’t make him look regal but like he’s had bad surgery for a back injury he got in the war.
Finally it’s time for Sean’s big gig and the members of his first band, The Death of the Peanut King, show up to cheer him on. It was uncanny to me how much these four look just like the cast of Stranger Things after they graduated from high school. They’re all grown up but still weird and misfitty. It was like looking into a crystal ball for the future of the Upside Down. But at least Sean seems to have found some kids that he likes. He’ll be sure to find even more of them at college and he’ll drink his first beer and probably try smoking pot and he’ll have a rager in the Queer Eye house and totally wreck it. What I’m saying is just give Sean a little bit of time and he’ll get over being homeschooled right quick.