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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

HBO's "Looking" Season Two Premier at The Castro Theater

Posted By on Wed, Jan 7, 2015 at 11:30 AM

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I'm not sure Looking was as big a hit as HBO seems to be making it out to be, but then again, this is San Francisco, and we are famous for being too cool for school when it comes to acting like we care about anything. We invented navel gazing, people. 

I have a friend Chad who is young, hot, and gay. He worked at Badlands and his boyfriend did some of the music featured in this season. He even went to the premier with me last year of the first season, all giggles and anticipation. But he confides in me that he never watched the show after that, and actually no one he knows actually watched it either. "So it wasn't the talk of the town?" I asked.

Nope. 

I do have a bone to pick with season one. The creators make a point of stressing that it was supposed to be just a show about some guys, not a show about some gay guys. Unlike other portrayals of gay men, they maintained, this show didn't define them by their gayness. Then you watch the thing and all it is is gay sex and gay parties and gay gay gay. I suppose you could say the same thing about Sex In The City and hetero sex, but jeez that show was called "Sex In The City."

It's tough to judge a show by its first season though, and if the two episodes I saw last night are any indication, Looking is slowly finding its pace, humor, and feel. Main character Patty is less self conscious and more comfortable in his role; all of the actors in fact are more settled and believable. The runaway star of the thing, if hoots and applause at the Castro were to be believed, is costar Lauren Weedman, who plays feisty Doris. She's given the bulk of witty lines in the thing, after all. 

The usual assemblage of San Francisco queer royalty were in in attendance and it was a sort of deja vu from last time: Jan Wahl in her flamboyant hat, Juanita More from Booty Call, one of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and various young and fabulous men in expensive eyeware. Everyone looks you up and down to see if they can recognize you. I got retinally scanned a few times and when their computers came back "Blank" they moved on to the next person. Still, there's something about settling into those velvet chairs with the Wurlitzer playing and a row of bears in front of you shoveling in popcorn and rating the men who walk by from one to ten that makes me glad to be an American.

HBO, I wish you the best of luck this season. 
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Katy St. Clair

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