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Monday, January 20, 2014

HBO's Looking, Episode 1: Oakland Isn't Looking Too Hot

Posted By on Mon, Jan 20, 2014 at 10:30 AM

click to enlarge HBO
  • HBO

I am not a good judge of this show and here's why: I am not male and gay enough to be able to see how groundbreaking it is. My gay friends tell me that they've never seen anything like it before. I shall take them at their word.

So, what am I left with, then? Hopefully a good show with a narrative that pulls me through, with elements of romance, humor, and pathos. After watching the pilot three times, I can say that I think I will be looking forward to the show each week, but I still cannot be sure. Which character or characters will I care enough about to want to follow? Probably Patty, the one the producers want us to relate to -- he's unlucky at love, awkward, and vulnerable. I can relate.

click to enlarge Patty O'Gay: Jonathan Groff - HBO
  • HBO
  • Patty O'Gay: Jonathan Groff

Looking focuses on three dudes in the Bay Area and their "lives and loves," to quote some phantom press material about it that actually doesn't exist. The City is the fourth character and so far it's been fun to spot all the places they have filmed: Zuni, Muni, The El Rio, Esta Noche, and Muni again.

The character of Agustin is set to move in with his BF in Oakland, so get ready for lots of bleak shots of the industrial wasteland that people seem to think is across the Bay. Nevermind that Oakland keeps coming up in "What's Hot" lists all over the place; to the rest of the world they are still a ghetto suburb of air pollution and wandering bands of starving pitbulls. When confronted with this at the premiere at the Castro Theater, series creator Michael Lannan seemed a bit taken aback. He assured Oakland residents that their city would come across well. We shall see. In the next episode we see where Agustin is moving, and it looks like its next to the swap meet lot at the Coliseum. Sexy.

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Katy St. Clair

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