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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Simplistic TV: Looking

DIFFERENT
Looking - Different

HBO has a long history of inclusion with the gay community.  From shows like "Six Feet Under" and "True Blood," to taking on the AIDS crisis with films like "And the Band Played On," and "Angels in America."  Home Box Office has always been one of those networks with their fingers on the pulse of what was happening in the world, not to mention being incredibly tolerant.

With that being said, it's no surprise, and probably long overdue, that they have decided to create a show like "Looking."  Since the fall of DOMA, and more states becoming more accepting of those in the LGBT community, it made sense to create a show like "Looking," which deals with gay issues in a mature way.  It's different but at the same time it's reminiscent of shows like "Girls" and "Sex in the City."  Think of it as "Sex in the City Goes Fabulous."

"Looking" follows three gay 30-somethings in San Francisco post-DOMA.  All three friends are your typical characters; Patrick is looking for love after being dumped, Dom is a bear on the prowl after his breakup, and Agustin is trying to finally get serious with his partner.  It's a lot of the same, but like I said, it's different.  Much like films like "Cruising" and "Interior: Leather Bar," HBO is taking a much more mature approach when it comes to the gay community.

What sets "Looking" apart is the way it depicts gay men in this day and age.  Sorry to say it, especially for you Bible-thumpers out there, but they are a lot like us.  The have jobs, engage in meaningless talk, deal with real issues, and last but not least, they aren't caricatures that we always like to depict in the media.

Back in the early 1990s we had Rickie Vasquez on "My So Called Life" as the poster boy for the gay community, but gay pride and gay rights have come a long way since 1994.  "Looking" depicts a look into the lives of people who, unfortunately, disgust so many.  True, "Looking" will not be for everyone, but it's a show that is necessary for this day and age.  Gay Rights is the new Civil Rights Movement, and seeing people in a normal light is necessary to increase awareness and inclusion.

Overall, "Looking" has potential to be a watershed moment for TV, and with the backing of HBO it should succeed in an environment that is becoming younger and far more tolerant.  The timing could not have been better.

Fun Fact:  DOMA, aka, The Defense of Marriage Act, was written into law in 1996, but Section Three of the law was deemed unconstitutional in 2013 with the case, The United States vs. Windsor.

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