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
May 22, 2015
Crashed cars with airbags deployed are shown to visitors as part of the display of Toyota Motor Corp.'s safety performance standards at the automaker's exhibition hall in Toyota, central Japan. (Shuji Kajiyama/AP)

ISIS rolls on. A TPP vote. Biggest recall ever – airbags. And Letterman’s last bow. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

May 22, 2015
The Barden Bellas, the all-female a cappella group at the center of Pitch Perfect 2. (Richard Cartwright/Universal Pictures via AP)

Pitch Perfect 2 is the number one movie in the country, and it’s over the top on a capella.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 22, 2015
The Barden Bellas, the all-female a cappella group at the center of Pitch Perfect 2. (Richard Cartwright/Universal Pictures via AP)

Pitch Perfect 2 is the number one movie in the country, and it’s over the top on a capella.

 
May 22, 2015
Crashed cars with airbags deployed are shown to visitors as part of the display of Toyota Motor Corp.'s safety performance standards at the automaker's exhibition hall in Toyota, central Japan. (Shuji Kajiyama/AP)

ISIS rolls on. A TPP vote. Biggest recall ever – airbags. And Letterman’s last bow. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
A Former Bike Gang Member Explains "The Life"
Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Larry called in from Lawrenceburg, KY and told us he was once a member of the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club, a mid-Atlantic biker gang. He didn’t sugar coat the facts as he explained the draw of the brotherhood and what makes the outlaw motorcycle corner the underworld go round.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: May 15, 2015
Friday, May 15, 2015

We cancel a few hours and suddenly all of you get convinced of a global radio conspiracy! Plus, dragon zoos.

More »
1 Comment
 
Caller: ‘It Doesn’t Always Turn Out Okay’
Wednesday, May 13, 2015

One caller shares her own story of an extremely premature birth. Her daughter, born at 22 1/2 weeks in 2012, was taken off life support after seven days.

More »
Comment