Looking is an American comedic drama television series that focuses primarily on a group of gay friends living in San Francisco. The show premiered in early January of 2014 as an HBO original series. The series was renewed for a second season in the latter half of 2014. The second season premiered in early January 2015. The story’s focus is around three gay men and their experiences with life. Each of them has their own goals in life that they wish to accomplish, and the story’s strength is telling their tales with their voices.
Overall, Looking received generally positive reviews from critics, including Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. The first season received approval ratings of 89% and 73% respectively. The second season was received with even more approval. Rotten Tomatoes rated the second season 88% while Metacritic gave the season a 77% approval rating. According to the Rotten Tomatoes’ consensus, Looking is “funny without being obnoxious,” and “provides authentic situations that feel universal with its subtle details and top-notch performances.”
Having received positive support for being one of television’s only openly gay show, Looking is aspiring towards greatness. The greatest obstacle of any show that wants to represent a usually underrepresented group in the media is scrutiny. The biggest question, of course, is whether or not the show is sincere in its representation, or is it merely a mockery representing stereotypes as truth. While there is an increasing number of gay characters in modern television, there has yet to be a gay show. Looking is the first gay show on modern, prime time TV for gay men, about gay men.
When it originally debuted, Looking was criticized by critics and the community alike as being nothing more than the “gay version” of Girls or Sex and the City. However, after watching the pilot episode, these statements were retracted, with critics claiming that the “differences between the two series go beyond the surface.”
The biggest complaint of the first season soon became the show’s agonizingly slow pace. This was primarily the result of the show’s creators wanting to take Looking down a vastly different path than any of its predecessors. These weren’t the over-sexualized characters from Queer as Folk, or the sharp-tongued characters from Will and Grace. They were realistic characters with slowly evolving romantic relationships. The show focused its efforts on exploring the small moments between these friends, as opposed to the sensationalized ideals of being gay. Instead of trying to confine what being gay means into just a few men, Looking instead focuses on the universal reality that gay men share, exploring the life of the modern gay man of today.
With the arrival of the second season, the previously directionless show seems to have finally gotten its characters in position and is ready to start trailblazing. Now that each of the characters has had his limitations experimented with, the show is able to boldly move forward, giving each character a new set of goals that he wants to reach. Instead of blindly fumbling about and moving nowhere fast in particular, Looking is able to balance its slow pace and intimate moments between these characters with its new forward momentum, one that will hopefully keep viewers glued to their seats. Just click here to find more television and Internet entertainment options.