We're just going to come out and say it, because some of you are thinking it: Don't write off Looking just because you're a heterosexual human being. Yes, the show's about the daily life of three gay friends living at the epicenter of gay culture in the U.S., San Francisco. But the new HBO series, which premieres tonight at 10:30, isn't a preachy teaching tool, nor is it a fireworks display of gay culture. It's as close to real life as it can get without being The Real World—fraught with awkward one-night stands, broken friendships, transgressive conversations with strangers, and maddening career setbacks.
At the series' forefront, there's Patrick (Broadway star Jonathan Groff), a 29-year-old video game developer whose lack of relationship experience feeds into his detrimental lack of confidence. The dude can't even get OkCupid right. Next to him is his best friend, Agustin (Frankie J. Alvarez), a frustrated artist navigating the murky waters of moving in with his partner. Then there's their buddy Dom (Murray Bartlett), a waiter on the cusp of 40 undergoing a mid-life crisis that has him rushing to open his own restaurant. The recurring cast includes Scott Bakula, Russell Tovey, Lauren Weedman, and Raul Castillo.
In the hands of creator Michael Lannan and director/producer Andrew Haigh, the series had no chance of being a campy, overdone dud. Looking is British-born Haigh's critically acclaimed film Weekend with Lannan's American touch. It's raw, powerful, and contemplative television—a proud accomplishment not only for its creators, but its stars.
Complex got the chance to speak to Andrew Haigh and Jonathan Groff about the making of the series, staying true to San Francisco, and the show's potential cultural impact.
As Told to Tara Aquino (@t_akino)