“Looking” for diversity in HBO’s new show about gay men in San Francisco

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The short clip for the new “Looking” TV promo is a mere thirty seconds, but it drives the themes of romance and discovery to the forefront and offers lots of wit along the way. And yet, it lacks any kind of legitimate diversity. 

The promo showcases scenes that seem to be built around clever moments of dialogue that include the line, “If I didn’t want to have a life, I’d move to LA” and another moment in which a character calls his buddy out for “looking for a roommate” on OKCupid (although the screenwriter’s choice of dating site seems silly, considering the lack of gay men who actually go “looking” on OKCupid, as opposed to the more dominating, gay-oriented options). 

The more serious concern about this clip is that despite the compelling cinematography and the attractive cast, “Looking” seems to lack the diverse quality that makes San Francisco gay life seem so…well, diverse.

In fact, some viewers (and critics, of course) wonder whether or not the series will be able to capture the attention of anyone other than the mainstream gay characters it represents, with one Huffington Post writer noting (or ranting, depending on the viewpoint of the reader):

 “SF is a nirvana for gay men of color…” [Debatable.]

He continues, “Now HBO is painting it all white with a rehashed ‘Queer as Folk.’” 

Viewers of the official YouTube clip reveal similar thoughts, with comments ranging from, “Queer as Folk HBO version” to the more blunt, sarcastic, “All I see are white people. So representative [of]the gay community.” 

Whether or not the show will follow through with its execution of the vibrant portrait that is San Francisco gay life, however, is obviously not going to be determined from two short trailers. From the minds of the potential audience, though, that pilot is going to have quite a large shoe to fill if it plans to accurately—and intriguingly—depict what it’s like to live as a gay man in the city of San Francisco. 

And if he is a true San Franciscan gay, those large shoes will probably more likely be leather boots. But then again, that in itself is just one aspect of the “diverse” gay community that the show will be expected to represent if it wants to attract an audience—at least the portion of the audience that actually lives in SF. 

Check out the second official trailer of “Looking”, which debuts in January, below. 

About The Author

As an aspiring novelist in search of an agent for my debut, YA series, "#BeautifulUgly", I hope to be able to help the world recognize the author as an artist, as they would the painter. Currently attending Academy of Art as a photography major with hopes to improve, technically, as a visual creator.

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