Looking, HBO’s marquee gay series, debuted Sunday. There’s a lot to recommend it and we’re pretty sure it’ll come into its own as we get to know everyone. After all, every new show suffers under the weight of exposition; there’s just a lot of stuff to cram into 30 minutes. It’s like a date, but with, like, all the main characters, which actually sounds hot.
In the premiere episode there were some very attractive men, a few provocative moments, a couple of stereotypes, and a cool, understated style that captured San Francisco beautifully. Here are 15 reasons to keep watching, or yell at the TV:
1. Show opens with cruising in the woods for a hand job. Have to say that’s not a great way to start a relationship. Sorry. (Oh, and his phone rang in the middle of it.)
2. Couple wipes up semen after doing it. Girls started this trend. It’s provocative. It should continue.
3. There’s a hectoring female roommate. What’s she looking for? Her hectored, mustached roommate is the hottest guy on the show.
4. There’s a Benetton-tastic rainbow of races at the video game design firm. This felt a little like a billboard for “We Are Inclusive!”ness, but it’s a pretty accurate portrayal of the City’s demos. It really is a rainbow, and that’s one reason we love it.
5. Looking gets high marks for authenticity. They reached out to locals to populate the show, and shot at some legit locations, like Esta Noche in the Mission and El Rio in La Lengua.
6. There’s a lot of marijuana being passed around here casually, which is great because it’s 2014, but our first drag is that inexperienced-smoker-takes-a-hit-coughs-and-everyone-laughs beat. Guys, don’t write when you’re high. (This deck is fabulous, though. Very Barbary Lane.)
8. There was that awkward moment when a sexually uptight guy who would never use Grindr or Scruff asks his date, “Are you drug and disease free?” It did get a laugh.
9. There was some gratuitous tech-bashing when our hectored roommate-waiter confides to the bartender, “It’s like 1999. I hated them the first time around.”
10. There’s this couple’s encounter with a tattooed artist’s torso.
11. And then the question over a bowl: “Are we that couple?”
12. There’s tons of green transpo in the show. Walking…
13. And an obligatory gay bar urinal scene (that’s El Rio) with Tom Branson from Downton Abbey (it’s not, but it totally is!).
14. And then still at El Rio there’s a cosplay B&D double gay bachelor party, which makes cosplay an official weekend trend because it was also on Saturday Night Live with Drake.
15. And finally there was flirting, enough with that cute guy in the Giants cap from the Metro to keep a second date with Looking.