1. jimbryant says

    This just looks like a very stereotypical drama designed in a board-room. The thing that probably concerns me the most is the marketing. Referring to a drama as a “gay drama” is intensely stereotypical and immediately suggests that it’s not a good show.

    Surely there are better ways of marketing dramas that depict our lives. We are much more than “gay”.

  2. jjose712 says

    Wow, people complaining about the quality of a show that won’t be aired till january.
    Why am i not surprised?

  3. EchtKultig says

    Set in San Francisco and featuring an attractive, financially secure white queen as protagonist. How innovative! NB it is not so much political correctedness as simply the question of whether this show is merely telling a certain cultural consumer* exactly what he/she wants to hear that motivates my sarcasm. I think it’s time for a gay drama set somewhere at least slightly unconventional and profiling at least a somewhat unconventional gay life.

    * gay or straight, btw

  4. Gigi says

    @JJOSE712 — Why are you not surprised? I guess it’d be because you’ve been to trollroad once or twice. The bitches here are NEVER happy. It’s no wonder they never get invited to parties.

  5. EchtKultig says

    “Wow, people complaining about the quality of a show that won’t be aired till january.
    Why am i not surprised?”

    I have no problem with believing that the critical instinct is one of the core aspects of the gay persona – isn’t that the point of many of the “token” gays on television? Moreover the nature of web comments is that a lot of the people with something substantive to say *are* taking a critical position. If every comment at Towlerad were “that’s great”, they wouldn’t be very interesting to read.

  6. says

    There is no way to say “that’s great” yet. Consequently “that sucks” is of no value either.

    “the critical instinct is one of the core aspects of the gay persona”

    Bitching and moaning is one of the core aspects of self-loathing closet queens in cybespace, especially now when so many real people are out and proud.

  7. EchtKultig says

    I don’t know David Ehrenstein. When I tell straight people I’m gay, you’d be surprised how often I still get “OMG, Queer Eye of the Straight Guy was like, my favorite show”. “Bitching and moaning” seemed to be Carson Kresley’s shtick, and he was certainly out and proud. I just had a straight republican who knows me contact me asking if I knew any gay interface designers for a software product his company is designing. The word is out, cat’s out of da bag…we’re critical.

  8. jjose712 says

    EchtKultig: Sorry, but being critic before actually watch the show is too catholic to my taste.
    In fact i find it bichting for the sake of it

  9. EchtKultig says

    Consequently “that sucks” is of no value either.

    Well, for what’s its worth, I know “New Normal” sucked after watching the first episode, and apparently the market agreed with me. And that’s not because I’m self hating or closeted or whatever crap you want to project on me. It’s because it WASN’T A GOOD SHOW. Yes, I don’t know that this won’t be a good show. At least HBO has a better track record of late than NBC. I’m just pointing out a warning sign.

  10. gina says

    I’m just happy there is a guy who is 40 on the show. I would be dismissive if it was all about guys in their early twenties.

    I’m excited and hopeful for it! Sure it looks like Urban Outfitters ejaculated all of them but that’s as close to real life depictions get.

    Why can’t we all be hipsters? Haha!

  11. EchtKultig says

    “I’m just happy there is a guy who is 40 on the show.”
    And clearly that’s what were’s supposed to think. But that’s a pretty low bar for an “new, different” gay drama.

  12. jjose712 says

    EchtKultig: Yes, but one thing is saying it sucks after an episode (generally a first messy episode means the show is dammed with a very few exceptions), and other very different doing the same after a very short trailer who barely tells anything

  13. Dastius Krazitauc says

    I’m surprised to see the mustache. Is that a thing now? I guess because I came of age in the 70s, I am hotwired for that look. Yum.

  14. Greg says

    So much negativity in the comments.

    Blah blah racism blah.

    Blah blah hate against those who don’t confirm to their conceptions of masculinity blah.

    Blah blah political correctness run amok blah.

    Here’s some facts – San Francisco has the highest percentage of folk who identify as LGBT in any major city. About 15%. This makes it about the fourth highest absolute population – after NYC, LA, and Chicago. Not bad given that SF’s population is number 14 in the US.

    It makes more sense to have a show set in a place like SF than it does in some place like Pittsburgh. Or some other smaller place that no one cares about.

  15. Lars says

    The takeaway, really, is that we have strong and wildly divergent opinions about how ‘our’ stor(y/ies) should be told. But at least the general public is now acknowledging that these stories even exist. That is some, small progress.

    And no, it is not wrong to form a first impression from a trailer. That is the whole point of trailers. And my first impression, frankly, was ‘pass.’ I say that with distinct disappointment, as I am someone who thought Jonathan Groff was fantastic in ‘C.O.G.’ and who loved Andrew Haigh’s refreshingly original ‘Weekend.’

  16. Tee Jay says

    I’ll only watch one episode… If there are no Black or Latin characters in it, then I won’t appeal to me.. And to many others as well. I’m tired of seeing White Men being shown as representatives of gay. GAY is not just White Queens, I’m sorry. There are different culture aspects that need to be represented, and only one type won’t cut it.

  17. Bean says

    I only like to watch hisyorical pieces and fantasy which is why I like Downton Abbey, Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire and The Walking Dead..(and these days The Munsters on netflix before I go to bed , so funny).

    I don’t have the kind of time in a week to watch anymore shows.

    Nothing is more dreadful to me than a conversation consisted solely on the reflection of tv entertainment – which happens way too much these days.

    I’ll be LOOKING away thank you.

  18. crispy says

    “If there are no Black or Latin characters in it…”

    Uhhhhhh, one of the lead actors is named Frankie Alvarez.

  19. Jon says

    Hey guys, don’t you get it?

    All these trolls want their television dramas, just like they want their men – perfect, with no room for compromise.

    They’d rather have nothing. They are sort of a gay version of the Tea Party.

    That’s why they’re lonely, mean, bitter trolls.

    Perfection is an elusive beast.

  20. Mike Ryan says

    It looks awfully good to me. Love to see Golden Gate Park as a backdrop. The actors look great. Can’t wait to see it.

  21. Chaz says

    Oh look, they got a gay actor to play a gay man. Looks like Hollywood have decided what he’s good for for the rest of his career.

    It’s the jug-eared, oddly cute Brit, BTW, Russell Tovey.

    And you’d better give up waiting for Hollywood to produce something like ‘Weekend': it’s never going to happen. ‘Weekend’ was about a real person: a lonely, atomised young man with a meh job and decent looks, recovering from a rotten childhood and not very well-off, living in a block of flats in a grim London suburb, who meets another, not ideally attractive man who seems a little creepy at first but we’re wrong about that and the sex is frantic and vivid and a bit desperate and they don’t really notice that they are falling in love until it’s too late and nobody knows what will happen and that is what life is actually like for most people. Not this ridiculous charade. The problem isn’t the depiction of gay people by US television: the problem is the depiction of ANY people by US television.

  22. Perry says

    Why does this site keep referring to it as Jonathan Groff’s show when he is just 1 of 3 stars. Is he a producer, creator, or even director as well?

  23. Cecilfirefox says

    Hey, let’s hope they cut all the conflicted ‘I’m gay but don’t want to be!’ BS we had to endure in the 90’s gay dramas.

  24. Henry Holland says

    “It’s the jug-eared, oddly cute Brit, BTW, Russell Tovey”

    Huh? He doesn’t really care what “Hollywood” thinks, he’s got a solid career in the UK, he’s well aware of the long history of British actors going “Hollywood” and being stereotyped as butlers and whatnot. If he gets work here, fine, if not, that’s fine too.

    As for “Looking”, I’ll give it a try, but there’s so many good shows on TV now, so many movies I haven’t seen on various movie channels that I won’t stick around if it don’t like it.

  25. Sargon Bighorn says

    Part of the challenge with “dramas” like this on HBO (for example) is most of us are not like the characters we are watching. We often don’t look like them AND have the same type of job AND live in a nice city AND have a great apartment AND have a handsome BF AND don’t ever get the flu. They are works of fiction, keep that in mind.

    We might be handsome, but might have a bad job, or might live in a nice city, but struggle to find a BF; you see my point. As a result there is a first blush “critical” view. We KNOW they are not REAL, but they are often looked at as the standard we should want to achieve.

  26. says

    “a lonely, atomised young man with a meh job and decent looks, recovering from a rotten childhood and not very well-off, living in a block of flats in a grim London suburb, who meets another, not ideally attractive man ”

    You have such High Standards, Chaz.

  27. Bryan L says

    Yep, “Weekend” was great and probably more realistic and accurate, but I’ll watch “Looking” because I love San Francisco — part of the first episode was filmed in my neighborhood — and I have no problems whatsoever looking at beautiful men.

    Btw, yes, moustaches are making a comeback.

    Also, what is the meaning of “troll,” at least as defined by the commenters who keep using that term on this site?

  28. DB says

    I am an extra in two scenes in this show (one on Castro Street and one in a gay nightclub in the Castro), so I will definitely watch. I don’t have cable so I’ll have to watch with friends or wait for it to be available on DVD or online. I think it is great to see a show filmed here in San Francisco instead of in LA or New York. The characters also seem realistic, not a ridiculous stereotype like those in ‘Will and Grace’ or the American version of ‘Queer as Folk’.

  29. DB says

    Unlike the movie ‘Milk’, in which I was also an extra in two scenes, ‘Looking’ actually paid its extras (although only a token amount).

  30. Zlick says

    I don’t quite get the need or even desire for TV characters to be “like you.” The shows I am watching now feature Witches in New Orleans, Gangsters in 1920’s Atlantic City, CIA Agents in the thick of International Intrigue, and oh, lawyers struggling to open a new firm … ok, that last one has characters sort of kind of like me.

    But yeah, I admit to being curious about this show because its characters are gay. An HBO pedigree gives me high hopes. Sure, I checked out The New Normal and and that other gay character show out around the same time – they both sucked and were both promptly canceled.

    But take a look at the first season of practically any show you’ve come to love and you’ll see how bizarre and not-quite-there-yet it was. So judging a show by its first season is iffy; judging a show by its trailer is absurd.

    So I’ll check it out because it’s an HBO show about gay men in San Francisco, but I’ll only stick around if it’s really good. And I tend to most like shows that have characters I am NOTHING LIKE … so it’s got that going against it, if anything.

  31. G says


    I love SF because it’s the one place in the world where I feel completely comfortable being gay, being Asian-American, being Gaysian-American.

    Yet the producers decide to make the main cast 2/3 white and 1/3 Latino? 1/3 people in SF are of Asian descent…

  32. Joseph says

    Why San Francisco? It’s been done before; how about Omaha or Tampa or Milwaukee? Where’s the diversity? Why the Extra Nauseating Super Shaky Cam™?

  33. MickyFlip says

    I’m actually really looking forward to this. Plus, I’m becoming a fan of Andrew Haigh since his debut film Weekend. I’m already liking the look and feel of this show. Can’t wait..

  34. David says

    I love how this is supposed to be a show set in San Francisco and yet all of the characters look as though they’re either WeHo or Chelsea boys.

  35. Rowan says

    LMAO you guys are something else! I have to say I tend to skip the posts and just check out the crazy grumpy comments! Awesome, never change guys. There are barely or NO shows at the moment about gay life/people but no doubt about 2/3 have complained about it existing.

    It has 2 out gay men as main roles. And is directed by an out gay director. All are credible and have a history of attaching themselves to quality stuff but NOOOOOOOOOOOO… this will be utter rubbish.

    And to all the people complaining-yawn-about diversity, did you say the same thing about Noah’s Ark?

  36. Brandon H says

    All you bitching about this being about financially stable white gay men: Where the hell were you when Girls premiered? Or Sex an and The City? Or Mad Men? Or the myriad rich-white protagonists on network TV?

    Your beef is with the entire TV industry. You can’t pile all the responsibility onto one show on one network made by one show maker.

  37. Chaz says

    “three friends in San Francisco who explore the fun and sometimes overwhelming options available to a new generation of gay men.”

    God I think I want to puke. No wonder people think being gay is a ‘lifestyle’.

  38. Jim says

    Some of the commenters here would only be happy if this show were set on an Indian reservation with Punjabi, Iranian, and Asian Pacific Rim characters. Then they would complain about the lack of blacks, latinos and whites.
    1) It’s a gay show on HBO.
    2) It’s HBO so it’s bound to have more quality than a lot of things of its kind.
    3) It has cute leads who are actually talented, many of whom are gay actors.
    4) The creators behind it are top talent.
    5) The way gay men support other gay men, it’s amazing we’re not still back in the 1950s. Lighten up, please.

  39. Zlick says

    Why San Francisco and not Milwaukee? Well, perhaps because 1) something like 83% of gay men from anywhere in America gravitate, if they are able, to either New York, L.A. or San Francisco; 2) San Francisco is perhaps the most picturesque city in America; and 3) San Francisco is one of the less-than-handful of famously gay cities in the nation (see No. 1).

    Do the actors look like WeHo or Chelsea Boys? Well perhaps that’s because they are actors – meaning there’s a 94% chance they’re from either Los Angeles or New York.

    I seriously hope the gay characters are not so accurate as to be constantly bitchy and negative, or it won’t be a fun show to watch. Sheesh.

  40. crispy says

    Sigh. Am I the only person on this site who knows how to use Google?

    Asian characters – An actor named Justin Chao has a 3-episode arc. An actress named Kimberly Lim appears in an unknown number of episodes.

    Regarding the San Francisco setting, the premise of the show is to contrast today’s out gay men and the opportunities they have with gays of the past. Where would that make the most sense? Obviously a city that has a rich gay history to make a strong contrast.

  41. ReHashed Crap says

    Yes but as you may well know Hispanics have assimilated into Caucasian American Culture and some forget their Latin roots in search of the perfect white man. This show is like all the others, devoid of REAL DIVERSITY. Gays scream loudest, but readily discriminate as well!

  42. Ian says

    Well I will say that this trailer looks to give an accurate depiction of gay life in San Francisco, I can say that as I once lived there over a decade ago.

    However the hyper-sexualized atmosphere of gay male life there was a serious turn-off for me, and the primary reason why I left. And before the labels start, I am most definitely not a prude and have my own sex life thanks ever so much.

    Back on point, would anyone have wanted to watch Sex and the City if it was set in a smaller more Midwestern burg? The same rule applies for this show, yes it is NOT an accurate depiction of gay life in the greater U.S., but this show IS looking to be an accurate depiction of gay life in San Francisco, warts and all (both literal and figurative).

    Sure, I’d prefer to see a show like this in say Minneapolis, which per capita is the fourth largest gay population in the US, but that isn’t the ‘glamour’ that the Hollywood market ever wants to depict. They don’t want to show a program in Minneapolis where there is both a greater bear population as well as higher rates of monogamous couples, they want to depict a city of salaciousness that regularly deals with polyamorous relationships, and where there are literally night classes on master/slave dynamics.

    And this is because this is more eye catching than a “boring” drama about monogamous family minded gays in a different city. Now, I’d LOVE to watch this type of show a LOT more than the one that seems to be coming out of SF soon, but that’s not what the majority of the US market wants to see for their tv.

    Only after they get exposed to the more salacious aspects of gay relationships will the American audience get bored with this and want to see gay relationships that are deeper with more meaning to them someday down the road. And in the meantime we the gay audience that simply want something MORE in our gay romantic entertainment are still going to be stuck with indie movies for at least another decade most probably.

  43. Jim says

    Greg.. sorry. the L in makes Seattle the highest concentration of LGBT folks.. We surpassed SFO last month.. I guess the space needle will be the turn on background eh? LOL

  44. says

    I really enjoyed Tales of the City and the 2008 movie Milk. Setting it in San Francisco 2013 is a great idea though I think HBO could create a gay show set in 70s San Francisco and it may turn out more interesting. Some diversity would be great but would prefer the characters not be cliches or stereotypes. That’s all I ask