HBO's "Looking" - Diversity Worries? Just Watch the Series.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2014 5:25 PM GMT
    My trip report:

    There was a lot of angst expressed recently on RJ about whether or not Looking would have a racially enough diverse cast. Just saw the first two episodes at the Castro Theatre (great to see a new TV series on a cinemascope-sized screen), and there is indeed some diversity among the cast. Of the 3 principal roles, one is Hispanic (Frankie Alvarez - but that might not count, since those most hot and bothered about diversity think that Hispanics are white). But his BF Frank, played by O.T. Fagbenle, looks to be light-skinned black (British, but grew up in Nigeria - possibly mixed race? Is that diverse enough?) Also, Patrick (played by Jonathon Groff) is chasing after a young guy he thinks is true-born Mexican, and a co-worker friend of Patrick's is Asian.

    The show centers around the 3 principal characters, and is pretty realistic about gay personal lives found in San Francisco. Not as sexy as the British Queer as Folk (no scene of a 15 year old getting rimmed in the first 5 minutes), but there is periodic portrayal of sexual scenes, although rather modestly. No FFN (full frontal nudity) so far, but that is expected (at least of extras) when they get to the Folsom Street Fair scenes.

    It is a story about the lives of 3 different types of gay men. Patrick is the 29 year old who wants a relationship with someone, but (at least in the first 2 episodes) does not seem to be ready for one. Unlike the young guys on RJ, who are afraid that age 30 equals gay death, he is going to continue to have a good time. His best friend and roommate, Augustin, an "aspiring" artist, has a BF, Frank, but wants more. Their friend Dom, still a waiter at 39, seems the most level-headed. He has his quirks, but can still attract and have fun with some very hot much younger men. Dom has a good woman friend, who tries to keep him on level ground. It is rumored that there will be a lesbian in future episode(s).

    Eight episodes are in the can. HBO is probably waiting for audience reaction before committing to more. I will definitely watch the rest of the season.
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    Jan 19, 2014 1:36 AM GMT
    Thanks for the update, very interesting. But do you honestly think that people's opinions can be changed by facts???
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    Jan 19, 2014 2:12 AM GMT
    Probably not - as to what some guys think ought to be shown in TV shows and films.
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    Jan 19, 2014 2:34 AM GMT
    Thanks for the report.. I also said people should wait to watch it
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    Jan 22, 2014 7:23 PM GMT
    HBO posted the first epi to YouTube, so you can make up your minds
    http://m.youtube.com/results?q=looking&sm=1
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    Jan 23, 2014 1:47 AM GMT
    Yes, one epi is 30 min and season one is just 8 episodes. Don't know whether HBO will post the remaining episodes as well.

    I didn't like it very much. Felt too close-to-reality for me and gay life is just not that interesting. It also looked depressing with all the night scenes and blues and greens during the day. Of course I will keep watching...icon_rolleyes.gif
  • killercliche

    Posts: 948

    Jan 23, 2014 11:11 AM GMT
    As I watched this, the most cogent thought I had was, "I don't want to be gay, this is boring as fuck."


    ....I'll still prolly watch the season since it's gonna be a small time investment.
  • goodmagic

    Posts: 191

    Feb 03, 2014 3:42 PM GMT
    killercliche saidAs I watched this, the most cogent thought I had was, "I don't want to be gay, this is boring as fuck."


    ....I'll still prolly watch the season since it's gonna be a small time investment.


    I'm not gonna waste my time with this show.
  • ChicagoSteve

    Posts: 1282

    Mar 19, 2015 2:02 AM GMT
    Wow, I'm surprised how many didn't like it. I am enjoying it! I just watched Season One, Episode 5(When Patrick called in sick at work to spend the day with Richie)and thought it was fantastic. Very well done, there was almost a documentary feel to it.
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    Mar 19, 2015 2:49 AM GMT
    I love the show. But apparently it's not that great in terms the rating/number of viewers. The number is not really bad either. This show is not for every one.

    Everyone who has seen Weekend (2011) will feel the similarity of that movie with the show since they have the same director.

    I have to say, my major interest in the show is the romantic relationships that Patrick has. The last Sunday's episode, "Looking For Sanctuary", is possibly the strongest episode that I have seen from the show. This Sunday will be the last episode of season 2, "Looking For Home". And so far, HBO has not announced for the 3rd season yet. So it might be the last episode of the show.
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    Mar 19, 2015 4:06 AM GMT
    Dunno... I've tried to watch a couple of episodes. Can't stay awake until the end. So far, just a bunch of pissy bitchy arguments. Don't really need to watch TV for that.
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    Mar 19, 2015 12:13 PM GMT
    I have enjoyed the show, specially season 2.
    Showing realistic and humane things on screen is boring for people. I hope it gets at least one more season.
    I suppose, most of the people are disappointed with lack of enough sex or skin show.

    My favourite relationship was between Lynn and Dom. I found it to be very mature and handled well. Patrick should be given Emmy for his character. He is a really good actor who plays his character so well.
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    Mar 19, 2015 2:06 PM GMT
    less diversity in the early 2000's which is the time frame HBO 'Looking' seems to be based on.
    The 1st season of Looking didnt work out, was surprised to see it running again for a 2nd season whatever.

    have not seen the 2nd season or Empire. Hear good things about the later tho
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    Mar 19, 2015 5:28 PM GMT
    The much bigger problem is that it just doesn't have much to say. It's one of those shows where you find yourself getting up to do other things a lot. I left my tv on after Girls and saw the strong sexual content/nudity warning at the beginning of Looking and decided I was interested in seeing how far HBO would go in showing gay sex. Turns out not very far at all. Not that I was expecting gay porn or anything, but Allison Williams is getting rimmed on Girls, and the raciest thing I've seen on Looking is a guy that caught a load in his eye (which we didn't even see) and went into an HIV panic (not sexy). It's just pathetic that the mostly female show is beating the gay show at being provocative.

    Then one of my friends pointed out that Jonathan Groff is pretty much always smiling in every frame of every scene, which starts to seem kind of warped once you notice it.
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    Mar 19, 2015 5:41 PM GMT
    CODY4U said

    Then one of my friends pointed out that Jonathan Groff is pretty much always smiling in every frame of every scene, which starts to seem kind of warped once you notice it.

    He did frown in the latest episode.

    No one said this was Shakespeare or Shaw - it's just mild entertainment with a gay theme.
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    Mar 19, 2015 6:12 PM GMT
    Girls isn't exactly Shakespeare or Shaw either, but it still manages to push the envelope and keep things entertaining. Lena Dunham isn't afraid to be racy, awkward and repulsive and that makes for great tv. Togetherness was better too. A bunch of married with children 40-somethings should never be edgier than gay men! It's embarrassing. With the exception of the poz fatty, the guys on Looking are all such cookie cutter gays. I think HBO can do a good gay show with the provocative quirk their dramedies are known for, but they should just start over and sell Looking to Disney where it belongs.
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    Mar 23, 2015 12:09 PM GMT
    Great season finale!!
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    Mar 24, 2015 5:23 AM GMT
    CODY4U saidGirls isn't exactly Shakespeare or Shaw either, but it still manages to push the envelope and keep things entertaining. Lena Dunham isn't afraid to be racy, awkward and repulsive and that makes for great tv. Togetherness was better too. A bunch of married with children 40-somethings should never be edgier than gay men! It's embarrassing. With the exception of the poz fatty, the guys on Looking are all such cookie cutter gays. I think HBO can do a good gay show with the provocative quirk their dramedies are known for, but they should just start over and sell Looking to Disney where it belongs.


    I disagree. While there is a lack of diversity, I feel that is more on the network. For what the show is, or rather what it became in season 2 has put Girls to shame. That season, and hopefully not series finale, was everything.