Another Looking Article; Small Rant
Yes, another know-it-all critic, Bobby Hankinson, posted an article about HBO’s Looking and he finally gave his grand approval. Get my smelling salts. But his praise is only based on the most recent episode, while slamming previous episodes as if he’s the authority on gay television.
For many viewers, it may just be too little, too late. That’s a shame, because I think tonight’s episode finally struck the right balance between the show’s much-touted realism (some might call it “overly-touted”) and some really nice storytelling.
Comments like that often pass me by because when I talk to friends and I read comments on threads and forums about Looking I see gay men who are thrilled to see a TV show with which they can finally identify, and one that gives a voice to the most silent majority within the gay community: the gay male who breaks most of the traditional gay stereotypes. In other words, he’s not the wedding planner, the florist, the hairdresser, or the interior decorator. There’s nothing wrong with any of those careers or the gay men who perform them. It’s just nice to see another part of gay culture portrayed once in the show Looking.
And here’s a comment from a web site that monitors TV ratings.
HBO is taking chances on niche markets. They are starting to represent characters who are NOT in the 98% majority of heterosexual, white, middle class men aged 18+ because that demographic is NOT the 98% majority of people in the world. Bravo to the network for taking chances on things out of the ordinary. The shows, while not unproblematic, are fresh and foraging new ground for silent, oppressed voices to be heard.
I’m with this guy. Very few in the history of the world have been more oppressed than the gay male who is NOT the stereotype of effeminate Truman Capote. And I’d like to think the days of the amusing swishy gay male, much like the days of black men who tap danced, are coming to an end very soon.
Whether or not Looking will survive another season I don’t know. I hope it does. But I’m also finding that TV in itself is a dying medium and most people I know under the age of fifty are watching shows online and I’m not sure if those ratings count. If you do a simple search for Looking and read some of the reviews and comments from gay men who’ve seen the show online you’ll get something much different than you’ll see from critics.
If you go to this youtube link you’ll be able to read a variety of comments. Some are the standard gay hate comments for all things LGBTI. Others are written by younger gay men who love the show and hope it continues. I think that’s important to grasp being that so many younger people are NOT subscribing to cable or Direct TV anymore and they are getting all their entertainment and information online. We’re thinking of doing that ourselves in the near future.
I think if Looking were to add at least one gay couple who have been together at least ten or twenty years it would gain in ratings. And I’m not talking about a gay couple like the one on Modern Family. I’m talking about a real gay couple.