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‘Looking’ fans reflect on the HBO show’s queer legacy, 10 years later

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Jonathan Groff, newly minted Tony winner, recently looked back at the scrutiny and backlash that Looking faced, and now it’s gay Reddit users’ turn.Debuting in 2014, the HBO series focused on three queer men in San Francisco, with Groff costarring with Frankie J.

Alvarez and Murray Bartlett. The supporting cast featured Russell Tovey, Raul Castillo, and Lauren Weedman.Looking only lasted two seasons before HBO canceled it, though the network did at least produce a TV movie to wrap up the storyline.Subscribe to our newsletter for your front-row seat to all things entertainment with a sprinkle of everything else queer.The HBO gay dramedy is having a viral renaissance.Starting a recent thread in Reddit’s r/askgaybros community, user hallwardgray said Looking represented “a pretty significant moment for gay storytelling” that never really took off like other premium TV comedy-dramas did, even with the pedigree of executive producer Andrew Haigh (Weekend, All of Us Strangers).“I remember some criticism of it not reflecting enough diversity, both on the LGBTQ+ spectrum and racially, but that doesn’t explain the lack of buzz or audience to me when you have Girls becoming a cultural touchpoint at the same time and being even less diverse on every front,” hallwardgray added.

A post shared by Looking (@lookinghbo)“I get the sense that it was a few years—maybe 6 or 7 years, even—ahead of its time, and that the audience might have materialized had it been running between [2018 and 2021] instead. … What gives?

Do you think there are other factors at play? I used to joke with friends that it was the first gay show that dared to be boring, but I really loved it and wish it had gotten more flowers.”In the comments, user armedgorillas said that Looking appealed to urban gays who understand the point of view the show provided. “Take the episode where Patrick and Richie take off work and walk around the city,” armedgorillas added.

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