HBO’s latest series, Looking, has sprung forth its initial promotional materials onto the Internet, and well: get ready for a bunch of comparisons to Sex and the City and Girls because most of the Internet is wildly unoriginal. The sexually focused new comedy about three gay friends finding love in a modern-day San Francisco is another instance of the network (since we all know it’s not TV, it’s better) heralding the cause for breaking new ground in frank and sometimes outrageous depictions of life and love for the modern single young(ish) person.
And while the initial teaser reveals very little — its stylized jumps between varied scenes crawl across the screen within the letters of the title — much can be said about its cast and the talented hoisting this project into the limelight. Fronted by Glee star Jonathan Groff, it also features the work of Being Human’s Russell Tovey (who was once considered for the role of the Eleventh Doctor in Doctor Who that ultimately went to Matt Smith), Frankie J. Alvarez (Smash), and Murray Bartlett (Guiding Light). Don’t just take our word for it, though: check out the teaser, above.
From unknowns to cult-status stars, it seems Looking is more focused on talent and storytelling than attention grabbing stunt casting. Always a good thing when you’re trying to anticipate and then disprove the Twitter-aged naysayers’ perceptions masked as commentary. Which is exactly what a series like this needs: solid, talented footing. (It’s the only way to knock the quick-to-compare-and-judgmentals out there.)
Because let’s face it: a lot of television criticism and commentary comes from an opinion-based place. Which means there is likely to be many a thirty-year-old ready to rake it over the Sex and the City coals, while unoriginal twenty-year-olds will gab about how it is totally the Gay Girls. But luckily for us, there’s enough creative and originality behind this work that we’re fairly certain those labels won’t stick.
For starters, the director of the highly acclaimed filmed Weekend, Andrew Haigh, is at the helm. Second, its creator Michael Lannan was a producer on such films as James Franco’s 2013 short Interior. Leather Bar., as well as associate producer on 2010’s (spoiler alert?) surprise-9/11 film Remember Me.
But from anecdotes from the set — including that of SF-based Accidental Bear blogger Mike Enders, who is reportedly featured in an episode this season, ensuring the local vibe is authentic. “I was giving explicit direction to be tight-lipped about details,” explained Enders. “But what I can say is that the San Francisco LGBT community will be proud.”
Looking will premiere on HBO on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 10:30PM, immediately following the third season premiere of — yup, you guessed it — Girls.