When I started watching the TV series ‘Looking’ a couple of years ago, I already knew the movie Weekend by the same director, Andrew Haigh. Weekend is my favorite LGBT+ movie, if not my favorite movie of all times. So, of course, I had to see Looking too. Referring to the series, I often heard people say that it was the ‘gay Sex and the City’ which, let’s be real, sounds like a dream to a gay man. Even in the 21st century, there aren’t that many TV series or movies portraying the gay community accurately. Looking comes very close.
The series follows three gay men living in San Francisco. In contrast to SATC, the guys are ‘normal’ people by which I mean that they don’t live in 200m² apartments drinking Cosmopolitans all day long while chit-chatting about men and never having to go to work. I really don’t know how Carrie was supposed to afford her insane lifestyle by writing one (in numbers: 1) newspaper column. The guys of Looking have real problems, finances being one of them. The other most common: men – of course.
Looking also feels different from its unofficial predecessor Queer as Folk. California in 2015 is more open-minded than Pittsburgh in the early 2000s. Homophobia is portrayed as a thing of the past as guys don’t shy away from hitting on each other openly on the subway. When I try that in real life, I can be certain I’m buttering up a straight guy, but I will keep trying (and update you on my progress). The storytelling in Looking feels very close and intimate. It’s less about sex – although there’s plenty thereof – and more about emotions. Even if these emotions are as simple as a 40-year-old guy feeling awesome after having a Grindr playdate with a 20-year-old.
Looking doesn’t shy away from ‘taboo’ topics like fetish sex, polygamy or AIDS. I believe, every gay dude will find a couple of moments they can relate to. However, there is still much ground left to cover. Looking was unfortunately cancelled after two seasons and a movie which wrapped up the storylines. So, what I am actually looking for is the next TV series or movie telling true and honest stories about the LGBT+ community. There are many more to tell.
Before I forget it! A couple of years ago, I wanted to train my video editing skills and I just so happen to use clips from Looking to make a music video accompanying the song ‘Not in Love’ by Crystal Castles. You can check it out here, but be warned as it does contain some spoilers: