Here’s Major Casting News For HBO’s Gay Dramedy “Looking”

unnamed-1They may have been snubbed in the Emmy department, but HBO’s queertastic Looking is revving up for production on its second season.

Opinions are numbered and varied as to what people want to see more and less of as the show progresses (here’s Queerty’s take).

But for those who bemoaned the lack of diversity in season 1, you may be pleasantly surprised by the fresh faces joining the fold.

TV Line reports:

Season 2 of the HBO drama will add three recurring characters: Malik, an African-American staffer in the mayor’s office; Sammie, a female-to-male transgender who lives at the shelter where Agustín gets a job; and Brady, Richie’s new redheaded, slightly punk beau.

Looks like we’ll have to add a few more entires to our breakdown of gay archetypes portrayed on the show.

And because we can’t help but chime in (are you listening casting directors?), here’s who we’d love to see nab the roles.

Malik, the “African-American staffer in the mayor’s office”: Corbin Bleu

Corbin got his break on the Disney Chanel, appearing in High School Musical 3 looking a lot like this:


But now he looks like this, and we’d love to see him rise up the TV hierarchy to HBO:

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 11.48.27 AM

Sammie, the “female-to-male transgender who lives at the shelter where Agustín gets a job”: Casey Legler

Casey is a woman who happens to work as a male model. She steers around phrases like “gender identity” and “gender expression” in favor of focusing on personal freedom.


Brady, “Richie’s new redheaded, slightly punk beau”: Cameron Monaghan

Cameron is no stranger to playing gay, having delighted audiences as teen rebel “Ian” for four seasons on Showtime’s Shameless. But Cameron is growing up fast, so why not graduate to dating Richie? We certainly wouldn’t mind the sex scenes.



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  • Ron Jackson

    hmmm, let’s just hope they hire some better writers.

  • vive

    @Ron Jackson, agree 100%.

  • Lvng1tor

    It would be nice if they hired actual out actors and a Trans man to play these roles. @Ron Jackson: and yes…better writers

  • Cam

    Ok, here is a thought. How about they get rid of the character of Augstin and keep his boyfriend who was African American?

  • Dxley

    Queerty, aren’t you gonna report on Tom Daley’s sudden weight loss? The boy needs a cheeseburger. Damn! Well, I guess he’s a diver and has to remain slim and trim, but he doesn’t look hot anymore. His head looks bigger, although his abs are as defined as ever. LOL! Don’t mind me. I’m a little obsessed :)

  • frshmn

    It already didn’t make sense that the original 3 were friends, this is going to make it even less realistic. Ambitious people hang out with other ambitious people. Slackers hang with slackers. And jerks like Agustin have no friends.

  • DerekR

    @Dxley: Good to see you still not gay and just here to “kill time” Mr. Gay Gayerson from Fagsville, Oh

  • Dxley

    @DerekR: I was starting to wonder when you were going to show up.

  • Paco

    Is it a good show? I don’t have HBO so I have to wait for it on iTunes.

  • vive

    @Paco, it’s slow and the characters are all very unsympathetic, selfish and bordering on sociopathic. You stop caring whether jerk A finds love with jerk B very soon.

  • millhouse

    I agree with others in that the cast connection wasn’t believable to begin with and the writing needs help.

    In addition to making the cast more relatable to an audience, maybe also show some back story to connect them all. For example having Agustin as a struggling artist living in the Mission, and techie (he’s a gamer, but being a techie would have been better) Patrick responding to a roommate ad Agustin posts and moves in. Later on Patrick goes to a house party where he meets Dom, who tries to pick him up, but it’s raining and they can’t catch a cab (pre-Uber days) along with various other misadventures (think “Trick”) leading that to not happen, but they end up as friends.

    Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go get a life after realizing I just wrote fan fiction for “Looking”…

  • robertn800

    Geez, now I guess every show will have to have a Redhead, Blond, Black, Brunette, Pink, and Blue haired character to satisfy the politically correct.
    “Sex and the City” was a great show and didn’t feel the need to have one of the Four leads Transexual, another Male, another Native American and another African American. What the show needs is more interesting and witty writing and not look like it was filmed on a cloudy day.

  • robertn800

    @Ron Jackson: Exactly-they should get some of the writers from “The New Normal” on to add some humor, and not make it so depressing.

  • jimontp

    One of three suggestions for casting is good. I’ve watched Cameron develop on Shameless into a fine actor and great looking man.
    If you want a FTM character, cast one. Not a woman, with fine feminine features. In SF, I see FTMs on the streets and at the gym. With hormones,, they have more masculine facial features and muscular development, and in SF, often with tattoos and facial hair. I think it’s weird to suggest a woman play the role. And if you want an African-American man who looks and sounds like he could work in the Mayor’s office, there’s a local NPR guy, who’s got a great voice and is out.
    Who knows if he can act.

  • MarionPaige

    The upshot is that with the addition of new characters, there has to be less Jonathan Groff. Jonathan Groff may be the nicest guy on the planet but he desperately needs to re-think his marketing strategy. It’s like the Looking production shot this whole season of a show without ever once previewing any of it to an audience for feedback.

  • enlightenone

    @Ron Jackson: That would help!

  • enlightenone

    @Cam: Best idea yet! Now if we can change the lead actor/character (someone less adolescent), I’ll watch the 2nd Season without having to hold my breath so much.

  • Time Tripper

    The cast already had diversity. That last thing it needs is more characters unless they are going to extend it to a full hours. They didn’t have enough time to focus on the three main characters in a half hour as it is. Also, what about Scott Bakula? Will he be on more than one or two episodes? He has his own show now. NCSI New Orleans.

  • barkomatic

    @robertn800: I couldn’t agree more. This is getting ridiculous. Next, they’ll be comparing the screen time for each character.

  • james_in_cambridge

    @robertn800: Spoken like a true son of privilege. Believe it or not, it’s possible to make a show both diverse and well written. Really! It’s been done before and on HBO too. Watch “The Wire” sometime (the best written and acted show maybe ever!) Then maybe you can wake up to the fact that diversity can make a show more realistic as well as way more interesting.

  • stranded

    I like the show, but i would never say they got snubbed by the Emmys. You have to have work good enough to earn an emmy to get snubbed by them

  • redcarpet

    Looking’s “diversity problem” was WAY overblown. And the adding of a trans person seems pandering at this point. Hopefully the writers can do the person justice.

    I just hope the writers are listening too much to the complaints. Trying to make everyone happy can ruin a show worse than anything.

  • gesslar

    I gave this show 3 episodes. That’s my limit for bad TV. If it can’t improve in 3 episodes, I’m done.

    That said: “Dramedy”?

  • lykeitiz

    @millhouse: Don’t worry, your “fan fiction” was WAY more interesting than the actual show!

    Your ideas are exactly what the show needs. I don’t agree with the critics who say that these guys would never be friends, because I know many people (gay and straight) who have a diverse set of friends.

    What’s missing is what you pointed out: How they became friends. You know, something resembling story or character development?

    Horribly written show that’s beneath HBO’s usual standards. Hopefully they’ll overcome it quickly.

  • lykeitiz

    @Lvng1tor: Yes! Hiring a woman to play a Trans man on a gay HBO show is exactly the type of thing Queerty might write a negative story about. I was surprised at that suggestion too.

  • Naja

    “Snubbed in the Emmy department”? Yes, in the Best Paint Drying category. There was no way anything about this show was getting nominated for a single award as a drama or comedy since it intentionally lacked either. The minimalist, slow-burn, mumblecore nonsense might have tricked people into watching the first season but this show needs to get its crap together.

  • vive

    The writers should be tied up and required to watch a Sex and the City marathon. Once they get over their feelings of hipster artistic superiority, they might actually learn something.

  • Tony Johnston

    Let me take a wild guess: Malik’s friends will all be lily white, and his love interest will be even whiter. Might as well just go ahead and make him white too if it’s going to be yet another role like that. The trans add on seems the most interesting but – as already mentioned – it seems like casting an actual trans man would be even better. Lisa Ling did a followup on her transgender special awhile ago and there was a guy named Ty (used to be Tanya). I’ve seen him on other trans shows and specials too. He’d be perfect for the part. As many have already pointed out, the writing could use some work too.

  • Cee

    I’d like to see actual gay/bi actors. I dunno if Corbin or Ian from Shameless is actually gay/bi. Probably not, but who knows. And that girl who’s a male model or whatever. Why should she play an FTM Trans? I’m sure they can find a real FTM trans in SF to play the role.

    Other than that, I thought the season finale was horrible. I don’t know where this show is going, but it’s already taken a nose dive for me.

    I don’t see why they had Patrick sleep with his boss, yet he put his own boyfriend through the ringer when he wanted some ass. It didn’t make sense at all.

    Why would you have a problem letting your boyfriend bang you, but no problem letting your boss who has a boyfriend bang you? I liked Patrick, but not anymore.

  • NG22

    If you dislike a show so much that it makes you angry, perhaps it’s best to simply not watch.

  • Iclabon

    I completely agree with you.

    Patrick’s despicable, to be sure. So the news Richie’s getting a new boyfriend is all that’s enticed me to tune in for the 2nd season. It most certainly wasn’t the writing for the 1st season that’s done that.
    I just hope Brady’s an actual human being, although I’d ship Richie with just about anyone else at this point.

    And ditto about them hiring gay/bi actors. Is Darryl Stephens available for the Malik role? And there have to be plenty of trans actors out there for them to cast, and I don’t think they necessarily need to stick to some arbitrary description of Brady and restrict the casting to that. They should just cast whoever’s best regardless of hair color.

  • Black Pegasus

    Meh…..I still won’t be watching.

  • hex0

    Why do they have to shove “transgender” into everything gay these days, no doubt they’ll try and promote one of the gay characters being into the transsexual (even though they won’t appear remotely male). They did it on orphan black recently as well ugh.

  • hex0

    Where are all the shows promoting straight women attracted to FTMs and straight men into MTF? It’s always gays who have to be “inclusive” of transsexuals, if you’re a gay men who wants a natural born male or lesbian who wants a natural women we’re bigots these days.

  • vive

    I thought they had gay actors. Jonathan Groff is, Murray Bartlett (Dom) is, the boyfriend of the artist sure as heck is, and so is Russell Tovey.

    Or are we now to require that ALL the actors be gay?

  • samwise343

    This show doesn’t need better writers or actors. It needs better viewers.

  • Fem Repellent

    @hex0: Good point. Especially since most trans consider themselves hetero. From what I’ve seen, chasers usually identify as hetero too. On a sleazier note, I’ve also wondered why trans porn gets thrown in the gay channel and not in hetero. I don’t know any gay men that are even remotely turned on by trans porn. None. The very fact that they’re even grouped in with LGB seems a bit transphobic.

  • vive

    @hex0, well, there is a respectable precedence for including trans characters with gay ones in stories set in San Francisco. Need I mention the original, Armistead Maupin’s ‘Tales of the City’?

  • vive

    Not that Looking is remotely good enough to compare with it, but the point stands.

  • andy0529

    @Cam: BRAVO!

  • andy0529

    …..This is tired pandering for a tired show that I found to be typical SF, I had a better time in the straight bars. Why not acquire “Hunting Season” ditch that gawd awful “Girls” ripoff. I can’t see this show lasting another season……as for Emmy’s are you F**KING CRAZY!

  • Tackle

    We need to be careful with this insistence that actual gay or bi actors MUST play gay characters. After the craft is acting. This mentality of it must be a gay or bi actor can come back and bite us in the ass. So this can be turned around, that for ANY straight role, the actor/actress must be straight?
    And this has been used on us. One of the reasons that many LGBTQ actors/actresses have been discouraged from coming out, is because it was thought they would no longer be belivable as a hetrosexual romantic interest on screen.
    And Corbin Bleu is hot…

  • justSomeGuyFromNJ

    The show is only a half-hour long and the first season only had 8 episodes, so I’m not exactly sure how people were supposed to get hooked onto this show. With that said, I’m not too thrilled with the lead character and some of the characters are just plain snobs and dicks.

    It’s a little too cruise-y, a little too self-absorbed and lacks any real substance.

  • Danny

    @samwise343 I think the writing needs a little work, but I think you just hit the nail square on its flat little head! Yes, yes, yes! Now, how exactly do we fix the viewer issue?

  • samwise343

    @Danny: Well, for one thing, if a viewer writes a comment here, he should give concrete examples to support his position… instead of just writing, “hmmm, let’s just hope they hire some better writers.”

  • vive

    @andy0529, well, Hunting Season was a little more upbeat, I’ll give you that, but hardly much better. I know I said the Looking writers could learn from Sex and the City, but Hunting Season was on the other hand too derivative of Sex and the City, without the real chemistry that made that show great.

  • hellogorgeous

    @vive, I think you’re absolutely right; the quality of the friendships in SATC was probably the show’s best quality. Also it was a true dramedy in the sense that is was able to balance equal parts witty humour and serious drama, making it much more realistic and well-rounded. On the other hand, I don’t think I’ve ever smiled once, while watching Looking, and I’ve certainly never felt sympathy toward any of the characters (maybe only Richie) because they’re genrally cold and unlikable (for Augistin, that’s putting it lightly). I think the new season of looking could use about 85% Sex and the City (for chemistry between characters and pacing), 10% Queer as Folk (for overall atmosphere), and 5% The New Normal (for silly/unpretentious humour).

  • Cam

    My major issue with Looking last season was two fold.

    1. The Johnathan Groff character was played too naive for somebody who had been out in San Francisco for a decade. They had him behaving like a 19 year old going out on his first date.

    2. They provided no context or backstory as to how or why any of these people were friends, they simply told us “Oh, these people that have nothing in common and don’t seem to like each other are all the best of friends.”

    My three favorite characters were all on the periphery. Richey, the Scott Backula Character, and Augstin’s boyfriend that dumped him.

  • JennyFromdabloc

    I agree that the show does not have a diversity problem. Neither did Sex & The City. Neither did Noah’s Arc.

  • mz.sam

    I don’t think the creator and producers want to extend the show to a full-hour just to meet the demands of the community’s political correctness and diversity when the important thing is to build on a solid core audience with good storylines and characters from Season One. Filling the show with a cavalcade of characters is a ridiculous, if not dangerous venture so early in the series.

  • enlightenone

    @Cam: And he can date/boyfriend for Richie; redhead Cameron REPLACE Johnathan (the star!) and yes, better writing or writers!!! Would have a problem with Cameron being Richie’s boyfriend/love interest – again the writing.

  • enlightenone

    @enlightenone: …That would be “wouldn’t have a problem…)

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