HBO's Looking has been renewed for a second season, news that comes as a huge relief to this fan. But not everyone gets the show, with critics and the audience divided over this tale of sex, love and friendship in San Francisco. It's been branded slow and boring, but if, say, Noah's Arc is your yardstick for gay TV drama, then Looking's slow-burning, nuanced, and unforgiving take on gay men's lives will inevitably disappoint.
On the other hand, Looking is a genuine attempt to shine a light on the lives of a group of gay men in San Francisco. It is slower than, say, Scandal, and if that's a problem for you, maybe Glee might fit you better? Looking is to gay T.V. drama what The Wire is to cop shows: profound, literary and cinematic (yes, it also looks visually stunning).
Looking, like HBO sibling The Wire, feels more like a novel, or arthouse cinema, than the conventional network T.V. we're used to. It forgoes intrusive background music and the tedious plot conventions viewers are usually force-fed. It goes deeper, and some people just don't get that. Looking isn't just the best gay T.V. series I've seen in a long time, it's one of the best T.V. shows in recent years. Look no further.