Looking, HBO’s upcoming dramedy about a group of young gay men chasing love and life in San Francisco, won’t screen on the network until January 19. But there’s already furious debate about what the show will be.
Co-creators Michael Lannan and Andrew Haigh are clear, though, that the show won’t be a queer rehash of Sex and the City or Girls. “I think the show is different from both of those shows. Different people, different ages,’ Lannan tells SF Gate. “They’re both great shows,” Lannan says. “But I think ours is distinct in its tone and feeling. Our characters are in their 30s, coming up on 40. It’s a different age group.”
And certainly it’s a different experience for gay men coming up on 40 than straight women like Carrie and company. “Things changed so quickly in the last 10 years, that’s what part of the show is about,” says Lannan. “You grow up with one set of expectations, and then suddenly everything changes. What do you do with all those options that you have now? It’s quite confusing.”
He had HBO in mind from the start:
I didn’t really shop it around because it seemed so unlikely that anyone would ever do it. I had always thought of it as an indie film, because it’s more likely that someone like me could get an indie film made than a pilot. HBO was the (logical place), but I never thought it was possible.
HBO television has been super influential for me. I remember I lived on Capp Street here, and I was home sick from my job the first time I ever saw “The Sopranos.” It hit me really hard. I thought, “Wow, it’s amazing what you can do on television.”
Of course it’s not TV, it’s HBO.