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15 Reasons “Looking” Was Good, Or Made You Want To Yell At The TV

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 tissue[1]

2. Couple wipes up semen after doing it. Girls started this trend. It’s provocative. It should continue.

3a hectoring[1]

3. There’s a hectoring female roommate. What’s she looking for? Her hectored, mustached roommate is the hottest guy on the show.

 4 asian guy 1[1]

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 esta noche[1]

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.

6a joint 1[1]

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.)

 7 giants 4[1]

7. Gigantes!

 8 disease 4[1]

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 lunch party[1]

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 3 way[1]

10. There’s this couple’s encounter with a tattooed artist’s torso.

 11 pipe smoke 1[1]

11. And then the question over a bowl: “Are we that couple?”

12 walking[1]

12. There’s tons of green transpo in the show. Walking…

 12b trolley street[1]


12c metro[1]


13 urinal 5[1]

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 cos play 2[1]

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 handshake[1]

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.

By:          GREG OWEN
On:           Jan 21, 2014
Tagged: ,
    • mikeandrewsdantescove

      I did like the first episode. It would have been nice to see the Castro in one of the scenes. I don’t think of the Mission as a gay hub. The leading man with blond hair grabbed my immediate attn.
      Sex (Rod Daily) Itunes

      Jan 21, 2014 at 9:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kangol

      Trying real hard, Queerty. It was the same tired crap we always get. Not buying it.

      If the show was about Mr. Giants/Gigantes cap and other gay, bi and trans people we usually don’t see, without stereotypes, I’d watch it in a heartbeat.

      Jan 21, 2014 at 9:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • wilfredo267

      Yes when Mr Giants read the business card and couldn’t say oncologist correctly l cringed. l was disappointed in that scene because it felt like a stereotype.

      Jan 21, 2014 at 10:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daveliam

      #4. He doesn’t work at a “tech firm”. He works at a video game design company. Not the same thing.

      #14. That’s absolutely NOT an example of cosplaying. Look it up, but it’s certainly not a stripper with a bear head.

      And, with that, I will take my crown as the nerdiest commenter in this article.

      Jan 21, 2014 at 10:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • NG22

      I just finished watching episode 1 of “Looking.” I really liked it. Such a reprieve after seeing Lena Dunham looking all kinds of busted in “Girls.” That writer at Esquire found the show boring, but I really disagree. I find it intriguing, and I already feel invested in the character’s journeys. Jonathan Groff is so charming on-screen, and I find the portrayals of gay people to be a refreshing change of pace.

      There’s so much back-and-forth in and about the gay community regarding classification: masculinity and femininity, “straight-acting” vs. “queens.” I’ve always hated those labels. I find them limiting. It’s why I hate a lot of guys on Grindr. Finally, representative vindication for we, the silent majority–those of us in between. I’m totally a Patrick. Except I dress better.

      Jan 22, 2014 at 12:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • petensfo

      El Rio is in “La Lengua”???

      When did that happen?

      I actually liked the episode, even with some of the stereotypes. It’s TV; everything is stereotypes. Why would the gays be any different?

      Jan 22, 2014 at 12:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul

      LOVED IT! Can’t wait to see more.

      Jan 22, 2014 at 7:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AuntieChrist

      Stereotypes, stereotypes, stereotypes, you people sound like jimbryant with his fixation on fetish. Get over it, you are being stereotypical.

      Jan 22, 2014 at 8:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AuntieChrist

      You want to talk stereotypes just look at which articles garner more comments.

      Jan 22, 2014 at 9:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sportyguy1983

      Dull, dull, dull. I also keep thinking the show was going on in the 1970’s.

      Jan 22, 2014 at 9:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sportyguy1983

      keep = kept

      Jan 22, 2014 at 10:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BJ McFrisky

      Er, travel by subway and trolley is not “green” . . . those take electricity to run.

      Jan 22, 2014 at 10:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CCTR

      @sportyguy1983: I’m curious to know what would have made the show less dull to you?

      Jan 22, 2014 at 12:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tardis

      I want to see this, but I’m waiting for the DVD. I ain’t paying for HBO.

      Jan 22, 2014 at 7:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • xzall

      @tardis: HBO has put the first episode on Youtube so you can check it out for free: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2QnA9bfFLA

      Jan 23, 2014 at 3:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • barkomatic

      I was surprised by how much I liked it. I was afraid it was going to try to be a gay version of Sex and the City but it’s not.

      Jan 23, 2014 at 5:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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