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Will Looking Grow in Season 2?

Will Looking Grow in Season 2?


The show seems to address Season 1 criticism by amping up the size of its cast and the amount of sex on screen.

Unlike film, television has the opportunity to address criticism. In the most obvious sense, this is a purely positive advantage: a series is able to better itself, to adapt with the social-political landscape. But now that a digital voice is accessible to the majority of viewers, a big question is raised: When the Twittersphere is chirping so many different melodies, what do creators listen to?

Looking has had to face this dilemma head-on. With Season 2 set to premiere on January 11, the HBO series must up its stakes without losing its identity.

"We don't get a lot of opportunities to tell gay stories," Looking leading man Jonathan Groff told Vulture, "so it's important to listen to what people are saying or liking, or what people are not liking, and try to take that constructive criticism and apply it."

Season 1 of Looking was frequently called out for being boring. Publications such as Slate, the Daily Beast, and Gawker questioned the show's pace, dramatic value, and sexual tameness. But as writer Kyle Buchanan points out: "There seemed to be some foggy notion floating around about what kind of entertainment the weekly half-hour was supposed to offer." Looking is all blues: slow, creeping, subtly colored in a calm Instagram filter. It doesn't have the flashy lights or campy one-liners like Queer As Folk because that's not the show's agenda.

That said, Looking Creator Michael Lannan will up the pace. "We made the choice to use sex as a storytelling tool," he says. "It's not just: have sex for sex's sake. The moments before sex and after sex can be as interesting as what actually happens."

In addition to taking advantage of HBO's graphic allowances, Season 2 will also strive to represent more of the LGBT community with additional characters. "We don't want to try and represent an entire community, because that's just silly and impossible," says Lannan. But we will see a bearish love interest (Daniel Franzese) catch Augstin's eye, and we're pretty stoked about it.

Looking has to navigate across a thin line: it must satisfy our craving for a faster paced drama without numbing all of the good it has accomplished thus far. It's something like growing up.

Watch the Season 2 premiere of Looking on HBO January 11 at 10 p.m.

Advocate Channel - HuluOut / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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