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'Looking' Star Danny Franzese Talks Body Positivity, Bears And More With James St. James: VIDEO

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Mean Girls and Looking actor Danny Franzese sat down with James St. James this week to talk body positivity in the gay community, HIV awareness, PrEP and his plans for the future.

Franzese also discusses his journey to self-acceptance, and how going shirtless in Bully helped him overcome his fixation on his weight.

Check out the frank, funny discussion, AFTER THE JUMP

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HBO's 'Looking' Finale To Begin Filming This Fall

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Regardless of how we felt about it we’re all still sitting shiva for HBO’s Looking, may it rest in peace. Earlier this week one of the show’s stars--Frankie Alvarez--shared a little bit of information about the series’s ultimate cinematic finale that begins filming this fall and will air sometime next year. Looking’s last “episode” as Alvarez describes it will be less like the show’s weekly installments and more akin to Andrew Haigh’s critically acclaimed Weekend. 

"It's a feature-length film that doesn’t adhere to an episodic structure," Alvarez explained to Vulture. "So I think a lot of fans who wanted a longer episode are going to get one long, two-hour episode. I think that will be [a] blessing in a lot of ways: We’ll get to close it out the way everyone wants to close it out, and then, hopefully, we’ll continue to be friends ... supporting each other in future projects."

Looking wouldn’t be the first series to wrap things up with a made for TV movie, but the shift in storytelling format could be a boon to the show’s finale. For all of the criticism that was leveled at Looking, Weekend was widely praised, despite the two following similar narrative styles. As J. Bryan Lowder wrote for Slate earlier this year, Haigh’s slice-of-life storytelling seems to be at its strongest when its longer in form and bookmarked with a clear beginning and an end. Perhaps Looking’s finale will finally bring the show’s aim into a sharper focus and win over its naysayers.

(h/t Vulture)


A Smarter Take On Sex Could Have Saved 'Looking'

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It’s been about 10 years since the (American) Queer as Folk, The L Word, and Noah’s Arc all went off the air. Looking, for many people, promised to be a return to that world of prestige gay drama(dy) where queer characters weren’t just tertiary window dressing, they were people

Then Looking aired, and it was exactly HBO had said it would be: A show about a group of fairly regular (if upper middle-class) people living their lives in San Francisco beneath the blue haze of some fabulous color correction. The sets were gorgeous, the men were moustachioed, and everything was lit wonderfully. Looking at Looking proved to be an easy enough task. Watching Looking, on the other hand, quickly bored the hell out of a lot of people.

The thing about Looking that we tend to pick up when we describe it as “listless” or “boring” is that it’s primarily a show about being an “authentic” gay person. Though we tend laud things described as “authentic” we often forget that actual authenticity runs the risk of coming with a sizable chunk of banality. Being gay, much like being straight, or bi, or cis, or queer, is an inherently mundane experience. 

Occasionally we may have affairs with our bosses or spend a weekend at Russian River, but generally speaking being gay is a rather uneventful. Looking captured that essence perfectly, but it didn’t make for very compelling television.

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When people talk about what made Queer As Folk a hit series, they almost immediately bring up sex, and rightfully so. Where Looking was a languid daydream about chicken windows and WASPS, Queer As Folk was a manic circuit party fueled by camp, coke, and dizzying crash-zooms. 

Beneath the show’s debaucherous veneer, though, was a genuine effort to normalize depictions of authentic gay sex. The club Babylon served as a social focal point around which queer sex in all of its forms could be explored and unpacked for what they were: good, bad, pleasurable, scary, and sometimes dangerous. As perilous a storytelling device as “authenticity” can be, sex scenes like Queer as Folk’s were something new and provocative for American television. They proved that authenticity, when handled appropriately, could be both familiar and provocative enough to capture an audience.

Looking was not without its fair share of scenes, but it never quite figured out how to use queer sex as the powerful storytelling tool that it can be. As is often the case with shows about gay men, Looking decided to stick with milquetoast sex scenes that acknowledged the fact that gay men lust for one another, but did little to explore the concept. 

Sure, Patrick went cruising and had sex in the woods, but to what end?  How had he heard about it? Had he been before or was it just a fluke? Stigmatized though they may be, cruising areas and the culture that’s evolved around them are a fascinating and integral part of where today’s gay community comes from. Looking explored none of that. 

There are few things that nearly every gay man has in common with his brethren other than sex. While we rightfully bristle at being reduced down to our sexual desires, it would be odd to ignore that sexual physicality--in whatever form it may take--is something that nearly all of us have experience with an can relate to. For a show that wanted to be a glimpse into the life of we, the Gays, Looking didn’t thoroughly engage with the current state of sex within the gay male population.

Continued AFTER THE JUMP...

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Letting Go of 'Looking'

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Dom, Doris and Patrick aren't the only ones feeling funereal

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

The first Sunday night without HBO's "Looking" is upon us.  Of course there would have been no "Looking" tonight, even had the show been renewed, since the second much improved season has just wrapped. One of the funniest things I heard after the cancellation was this:

Well, yes. They're almost at an end, too. The autopsy reports have to run their course and so does the mourning process. And if HBO makes good on its promise of a wrap-up movie (believe it when you see it), the cycle starts all over again in miniature even if the end point is still goodbye. Given all this finality, it's strangely apt that the second season's finest episode "Looking for a Plot" took places at a funeral (Doris's father) and sent Dom, Doris and Patrick spinning emotionally, even if they didn't quite realize it at first.

But the mourning is real. At least for those of us who loved the show for what it actually was.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP...

Eddie-agustin

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HBO Reportedly Canceling 'Looking'; May Wrap Up Series in Film

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UPDATED BELOW

Rumors began hitting social media last night that HBO's Looking won't be returning for a third season.

And while there is still no official confirmation from HBO, author and celeb interviewer Kevin Sessums had this to say on his Facebook page:

I had an email from my friend Jonathan Groff when I got home from my reading tonight at Books Inc. telling me that HBO announced today that it was canceling Looking but that it would film a movie of the series to air in order to wrap things up instead of leaving things hanging. This makes me sad but life - and television series - are about moving on at some point.

We'll keep our fingers crossed that this is all just hearsay.

UPDATE from HBO:

"After two years of following Patrick and his tight-knit group of friends as they explored San Francisco in search of love and lasting relationships, HBO will present the final chapter of their journey as a special.  We look forward to sharing this adventure with the shows loyal fans."


'Looking' Back RECAP: Episode 18, 'Looking For Home' - FINALE SPOILERS

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Low ratings (and cranky commenters) be damned. I sure hope this show comes back for a third season. It’s no secret that Looking isn’t the most tightly paced drama on television, but, two seasons deep, that should no longer be a surprise. What it’s got going for it though is its cinematic feel, layered performances, and stories of some (not all) gay men that we don’t often see on television.

Having seen the entire second season and how it so brilliantly mirrored last season’s narrative arc, I think a third round of episodes — even a shortened order — could provide some necessary closure. Last season we got to glimpse Patrick’s attempt at a relationship with Richie. This season he played house with Kevin. We need one more to put the triangle to rest.

Even if you’re over Patrick’s romantic troubles, I’m just not ready to say goodbye to Doris (Lauren Weedman) and Eddie (Daniel Franzese). Please, Emmy voters, pay attention to these two star-making performances. Their characters added so much to the series, and buoyed the sort of navel-gazing narcissism that can, at times, plague the central trio.

Let’s dig into tonight’s finale, AFTER THE JUMP

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