90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
‘Looking’ At Gay Life Now

We take a look at the new HBO series “Looking,” and its take on gay life now.

In HBO's new series, 'Looking,' Paddy (Jonathan Groff) is looking for a steady boyfriend in modern San Francisco. He meets Richie (Raúl Castillo) on a BART train. (John P. Johnson / HBO)

In HBO’s new series, ‘Looking,’ Paddy (Jonathan Groff) is looking for a steady boyfriend in modern San Francisco. He meets Richie (Raúl Castillo) on a BART train. (John P. Johnson / HBO)

Gay America stepped sidewise into popular television culture with shows like “Will & Grace,” “Three’s Company,” even “Modern Family.”  Jokey, campy.  Send-ups, really.  Fun, but just going for laughs.  The light side.  Meanwhile, actual gay life has gained a widening place in mainstream culture.  Awareness.  Expanding acceptance.  Marriage.  A new series from HBO looks to drop the jokey routine and tell it more like it is.  Everyday gay life.  It’s called “Looking.”  This hour On Point:  “Looking” creator Michael Lannan and star Jonathan Groff on “Looking,” and gay life in the culture now.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Michael Lannan, creator and co-executive producer of the HBO series “Looking.” (@MichaelLannan)

Richard Lawson, Hollywood columnist, Vanity Fair. (@rilaws)

Jonathan Groff, actor. Plays the lead character of Patrick in HBO’s “Looking.”

From Tom’s Reading List

Vanity Fair: ‘Looking’ Is As Gay As It Needs To Be — “The more we’ve ached and clamored for representation, the more impossible expectations we’ve put on any instance of it, to the point that when we arrive at a show like ‘Looking,’ a hazy and kinda soapy glimpse of three guys bumbling around the Bay Area, people like Lowder immediately begin the tried-and-true practice of tearing it down for not being representative enough, or not correctly representative in some crucial way.”

The New Yorker: Boys’ Town – “‘Looking’ is a whole different ball of wax. Sneaky-funny instead of brassy, it is interested not in extremity but in small-bore observation. In this way, it shares a sensibility with the charming ‘Please Like Me,’ an Australian series, now airing on Pivot, which people also initially called ‘the gay ‘Girls.’  Both shows feature diffident heroes, young men who regard retro gay culture with a sense of bemused incredulity, like Christopher Isherwood with a Webcam. ‘Looking’ establishes this generational theme in its first scene, in which Paddy goes cruising, very briefly. He gets a truncated hand job—’Cold hands!’ he complains—but it’s less a sex act than a prank.”

Gawker: ‘Looking?’ Mmmmm, Maybe Another Time — “It’s not easy being a TV show about gay men in 2014. Thanks in part to the power of the internet as a platform for activism and outrage, the responsibilities of representation have never seemed more urgent, or more complicated. To appeal to your gay audience—built-in and notoriously loyal—you need to be realistic. To appeal to everyone else—whose patronage will ultimately make or break—you can’t be too gay. The ideal is something satisfying without the ick factor, something like, and about as likely as, a spontaneous orgasm.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 22, 2014
Health workers carry the body of a woman suspected of contracting the Ebola virus in Bomi county situated on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. (AP)

We’ll go to Liberia, and hear from a pastor and a physician at the epicenter of the Ebola crisis.

Oct 22, 2014
Authors Nicholas Kristof and wife Sheryl WuDunn attend the premiere of "Meena" at the AMC Loews Theater on Thursday, June 26, 2014 in New York.

Author and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof says regular folks like us can change the world. He explains how. Plus: we remember the late, great Washington Post editor, Ben Bradlee.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 21, 2014
This undated image provided by Google, shows an early version of Google's prototype self-driving car. For the first time, California's Department of Motor Vehicles knows how many self-driving cars are traveling on the state's public roads. The agency is issuing permits, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014 that let three companies test 29 vehicles on highways and in neighborhoods. (AP)

The future of the car: from the fuels they’ll run on, to the materials they’ll be made of, to the computers that may drive them.

 
Oct 21, 2014
David Perdue, Michelle Nunn

Two weeks to go till Midterm Election Day. We’ll look at how the biggest issues are playing out around the country.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Introducing The Explicast: A New Podcast From On Point Radio
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Confused about the news? Don’t worry: so are we sometimes! Introducing a new On Point Radio podcast: The Explicast. You can find Episode One right here.

More »
1 Comment
 
Two LIVE Tracks From Jazz Violinist Regina Carter
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Regina Carter shares two live tracks — one arrangement, and one original composition — with Tom Ashbrook in the On Point studio.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 17, 2014
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

We talk Facebook mishaps, whether Katy Perry was actually right and the glory of architectural giants and their iconic windows.

More »
Comment