Hey TV.com, Should I Watch HBO's Looking?

By Kaitlin Thomas

Jan 17, 2014

To watch, or not to watch? That is the question on all of our minds as we enter mid-season. We know the recent influx of new TV series can be overwhelming, but don't worry because we're once again here to act as your guide through this confusing time. Up next in our Hey TV.com, Should I Watch [Show X] series, is HBO's new half-hour dramedy Looking. Is it worth taking the time to get all pretty for it, or will a slight head nod as it walks by suffice? Read on and we'll tell you!

This show title doesn't really tell me much. What is Looking?

Looking is a new half-hour dramedy following the adventures of three gay men who are all in different stages of their lives as they experience the many different sides of love in San Francisco. From being young and single to being in a committed relationship, all three are struggling in some way to figure out their lives.

Some of the guys in that photo at the top of the page look familiar. Who's in Looking, and who created it?

Looking comes from Michael Lannan and Andrew Haigh and stars Glee's Jonathan Groff as Patrick, a 29-year-old video game designer who's trying to get back into the dating world in the wake of his ex getting engaged. Frankie J. Alvarez (Smash), plays Agustín, who's just agreed to move in with his long-term boyfriend, Frank (O-T Fagbenle), but who's anxious about taking that next step toward domestic monogamy. Murray Bartlett (August) rounds out the principle cast as Dom, who, at age 39, is the oldest member of the group, and who is struggling in both his romantic and professional lives. But the real treat is Lauren Weedman, who plays Dom's friend and roommate Doris. She adds a nice jolt of estrogen to the male-dominated series, and she isn't afraid to speak her mind.

When should I look for Looking?

Looking premieres Sunday, January 19 at 10:30pm following a new episode of Girls.

Who might enjoy Looking?

Those who enjoy following the messy lives of Hannah and the rest of the Girls girls will almost certainly enjoy Looking, as it feels very similar in tone. Looking has been called a gay version of Girls, and although that shouldn't define the series—Looking deserves to stand on its own, and its characters are all slightly older than the women of Girls—that description isn't really incorrect. Looking relies heavily on stories about interpersonal relationships, and it definitely doesn't shy away from sex—the show talks about it and portrays it—so if that's not really your thing, this series probably isn't for you.

What's looking good about Looking?

In addition to Jonathan Groff's face, there's plenty to like about Looking. It's a dramedy starring three attractive men, and it's similar in both tone and subject to Girls. But judging from the first two episodes, the humor of Looking is far funnier and less weird, or at least more on par with what many people would call humor than anything Girls has been putting out lately. Plus, I think Looking has learned from Girls' mistakes. It has a more diverse cast and doesn't claim to be anything it's not (though to be fair, Girls had a lot of that sentiment projected onto it). Looking feels very true in its depiction of life; you can picture the characters' conversations and interactions happening between real friends, so it's very easy to imagine that these men could be someone you know.

What isn't looking so great?

Unfortunately, given its focus on three gay men living in the Bay Area, I fear that Looking won't be everyone, regardless of the high quality of its storytelling and the acting. Ultimately, though, I don't have many complaints. The central premise of looking for love could eventually grow old, but as long as Looking develops its characters and their lives beyond their romantic entanglements, it should be a fun one to watch for awhile.

So, should I take a look at Looking?

Yes! The series is funny, it has a solid cast, and it really lets Groff shine, unlike all those guest appearances on Glee. It's also about damn time a series like this came along. I don't want to compare Looking to Showtime's Queer as Folk, but it's been too long since TV had a show about a predominately gay cast. 

Let's take a look at a trailer!

I see what you did there. Here you go!

Looking premieres Sunday, January 19 at 10:30pm on HBO.

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  • ekim726 Jan 20, 2014


  • ekim726 Feb 23, 2014

    Still a big fat NO! Maybe even a Hell NO!

  • tamaabi Jan 18, 2014

    Will definitely give this a try.

  • mad-pac Jan 18, 2014

    I'll pass, but I might try its spin-off, Listening.

  • spklvr12 Jan 18, 2014

    I've been looking forward to looking for ages now... bad pun is bad!

  • zeofan1 Jan 18, 2014

    "She adds a nice jolt of estrogen to the male-dominated series, and she isn't afraid to speak her mind."

    Why would a series about three gay men in San Franciso be male-dominated, after all?

  • No1Slayerette Jan 18, 2014

    I would like to watch it, but I also said I'd watch True Detective and Helix, too, and I haven't had the time to get around to them yet.

  • soapieaddict23 Jan 18, 2014

    I really hate Girls so I hope Looking is nothing like it, since I'd love to have Jonathan Groff on my tv regularly.

  • MissMunchkin Jan 18, 2014

    The trailer was cheesy as hell. Something that I probably would have watched in a heartbeat if it were a movie, only needing to give an hour or two of my life to it, but as a series? I'm hesitant. But I rather love Tovey, but since you don't mention him in the cast breakdown, I assume he doesn't play a very major role. Hm. I'm very much on the fence about this one.

  • BadCode Jan 17, 2014

    Sounds like they should have called it "Boys."

  • dude19 Jan 17, 2014

    This just looks soooo hipster though...

  • djboy77 Jan 20, 2014

    Agreed. I realize they're trying to avoid the coiffed and polished "homosexual-metrosexual" stereotype, but there's a middle ground between that and pornstache/beard-wax/acid-wash-jean-shorts/deep-v-every-day-singlet "dirty hipster".

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