I’ve lived in San Francisco forty plus years and was delighted when I heard HBO was doing a series about men like me in my city. I’m a fan of the British Queer as Folk and wanted Looking to be as compelling. Sadly, something feels missing
The actors are fine and the dope smoking and kissing are right, but it the script doesn’t convey us being fiercely protective of our city and feeling the need to test its limits at the same time. Hiring a sex worker under the guise of making a movie is like the old adage that all the Yale students in New Haven’s gay bars are there because “of a paper I’m doing.” Sex workers are men I invite to dinner and fuck. (I admit I hired one to excite a new boyfriend and to see if he was as good at sex as I am.) Women here straight and lesbian aren’t foils but compatriots who came here for the same reason I did.
In short, Looking feels like it was written by men who visit San Francisco but have never lived here long.