When faced with a show about historically underrepresented minorities, we generally expect two things: 1. That it will complicate our understanding of those people by showing them to be unpredictable and diverse (“Look, not all X’s are the same!”); and 2. That it will address — and aggressively challenge — the prevailing negative stereotypes about them.
Looking, a new HBO series about gay men in San Francisco that premiered on Sunday, sometimes meets these expectations, but it just as often flouts them. In its daring — but problematic — depiction of gay men, Looking raises as many important questions about contemporary gay life as Girls has raised about contemporary young womanhood.
A lesser show would have centered on monogamous, desexualized gay couples who couldn’t tell Grindr from Words With Friends.
Looking is directed and produced by Andrew Haigh, who previously helmed the highly acclaimed 2011 romantic