"Looking" Frankie J. Alvarez, Jonathan Groff and Murray Bartlett

Television producers love to set their shows in San Francisco and film them in places like L.A. or Canada. Typically, the only thing local about those productions is the obligatory bridge shot in the title credits. But the new HBO show “Looking” aims to be an exception, both in setting and substance. The series, which is shot in San Francisco and debuts on January 19, follows the lives of three gay men searching for love. We talk with creator Michael Lannan and three of the show’s stars.

HBO’s ‘Looking’ Spotlights Gay Life in SF 14 January,2014forum

Michael Lannan, creator and co-executive producer of HBO's "Looking"
Jonathan Groff, actor who plays Patrick in "Looking"
Frankie J.Alvarez, actor who plays Agustin in "Looking"
Murray Bartlett, actor who plays Don in "Looking"

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    Most gay/lesbians live in regular communities rather than places like the Castro so why does the media get away with allowing this stereotyping?

  • SoulMo

    Here’s hoping a caller brings up the lack of diversity in the cast. Because there isn’t enough representations of White Middle Class CIS Gendered Gay Male life with the token minority thrown in as wallpaper…

    • Marie

      They talked about the diversity of the cast at the beginning of the program. Of the eight main characters on the show, four of the them are non-white (Black, Latino, Asian).

      • SoulMo

        Judging from the trailer it was hard to tell that any of the major characters were people of color, as the amount of screen time given to those individuals that appear to be people of color was limited.

        Time has told me that in ensemble cast shows, that’s a good indicator to how much time is actually spent on the Characters of Color.

        • Marie

          “Judging from the trailer it was hard to tell that any of the major
          characters were people of color, as the amount of screen time given to
          those individuals that appear to be people of color was limited.” This I agree with in terms of the first teaser for the show which was all of 20 seconds (but they are there).

          The subsequent trailers (3 I think) have featured the other characters. One of the leads is Latino (his boyfriend on the show is Black) and Jonathan’s Groff’s character’s love interest is Latino.

      • Frequentshopper

        Did they say there are 8 main characters? If so, I missed it.

        • Marie

          I have been following the show since the beginning so I happen to know the main cast is around eight (nine if you count Bakula). Here’s the race background:

          Main Leads: Groff (White), Alvarez (Latino), Bartlett (White)
          Supporting: Castillo (Latino), Fagbenle (Black), Law (Asian), Weedman (White), Tovey (White)

          All of these actors are listed on HBOs website.

          • Frequentshopper

            Since you have no photo or last name and have never commented through Disquis before this show and you know a lot about all 4 of the trailers and you say you “have been following the show from the beginning” the obvious question is do you secretly do social media work for “Looking”, HBO, or any company that does work for either? I hope you aren’t in one of those illegal unpaid social media internships I see rampant job listings for on Craigslist.

          • Marie

            Nope, although working for HBO would be much more entertaining than the job I have now. What are these jobs you speak of on Craigslist? I have to check this out.

    • Frequentshopper

      It is interesting an executive producer blamed the trailer for not showing the diversity of the cast. Well if not the executive producers then who decided to leave out shots of all these cast minorities in the trailer and why? He did’t say, and Krasny didn’t ask. Such hard hitting questions. That answer would have been more interesting than anything in all the fluff of what they said.

      • Marie

        Each trailer shows the minority actors including the 20 sec teaser.

  • Fay Nissenbaum

    This new show is irritating. I loved the PBS Tales of the City (and I was an extra in it) series 20 yrs ago, but this crap smacks of a Lena Dunham’s Girls show without the good parts.

  • Frequentshopper

    Apparently everyone on this show thinks little of location managers and production designers abilities to create the feel of San Francisco for other shows but feel quite confident in the ability of both straight and gay men from LA or NY to write, direct, and act gay characters in San Francisco for this show. The creator, a young gay man who lived in SF for 3 years working for CNET during the first dot com boom, not bust, would not seem likely to have learned and thus write much of deep consequence about real life in SF, so it will be interesting to see exactly how limited or not the show’s perspective of life as a gay male in SF or anyone in SF turns out. I don’t really understand the emphasis on the fact it is filmmed in SF. Big deal! It’s just a promotional gimmick/handle and if that is its most important character it is not something I will watch. Milk was filmmed here too but in the end all I cared to know was was the gay martyr Harvey Milk really a cold fish to his lover, who commited suicide, as he was portrayed by Sean Penn, a straight man.

  • For a gay themed show set in San Francisco, where are the White/Asian couples?

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