Channel: Oh No They Didn't!
Viewing all articles
Browse latest Browse all 142285

Q&A with HBO's LOOKING creators

HBO announced earlier this year that it was backing a half-hour drama starring Jonathan Groff about three gay men still trying to find their identities in a rapidly changing San Francisco...


“Looking” premieres Jan. 19 on HBO. I was allowed an early look at the pilot, and was struck not only by the diverse locations, but also how much current San Francisco-specific elements work their way into the script... Below is about 80 percent of my interview with the series creators.

Q: So HBO was always the target for “Looking”?

Lannan: 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.”

Q: “It seemed so unlikely anyone would ever do it.” Is that because of the subject matter?

Lannan: Yeah. I think even today, gay stuff is considered very niche and only for gay audiences, and I would say that scares a lot of executives. I think we both wanted to tell a very honest story, and be very honest about sexuality. We didn’t want to pull our punches about dating and sex. And there are very few places that would treat it so honestly and authentically.

Q: Do you think the timing is right for “Looking”?

Lannan: That’s hard to say. I felt like we could always do this — I just thought nobody would pull the trigger on an executive level. There’s a lot of fear in television and Hollywood in general about what’s acceptable and what will sell and what will be controversial. And Hollywood is strangely archaic. Even thought it’s allegedly quite liberal in some ways, I think it’s very conservative in other ways.

Haigh: I think also because “Queer as Folk” came out in America, and ran for like five seasons, ages ago now. I think a lot of execs probably thought “We’ve done the gay show now. That’s been done. We don’t need to do something else.” Our show is very different from that show. It tells different stories from a different time.

Lannan: The goal was always to do the most contemporary version of the show as possible. What are the most contemporary stories we could tell with gay characters? Gay people can get married. Gay people now face the same pressures from their parents about getting married that non-gay people do. What kind of stories do you tell in that environment? The culture will never be post-gay, but things have changed so much. How do you address that in a show centered around gay characters?

Q: I’m already hearing comparisons: “The gay ‘Sex and the City’” or “The gay ‘Girls.’” Does that bug you? By the way, apologies that I’m doing the same thing, in a more chickens—- way. The Matt Lauer approach. “People other than me are saying you’re the gay ‘Sex and the City’ …”

Haigh: Whenever before a show goes on air, people want to define it. The easiest way to define it is to say it’s a gay “Sex and the City, or a gay “Girls.” But I think the show is different from both of those shows. Different people, different ages. It’s out of our control, and I’m not embarrassed to be compared to those two shows. They’re both great shows. 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.

Lannan: “Girls” before it was “Girls” was “Sex and the City” with twenty-somethings.


where are the interviews with the riveting and hard-hitting questions, tho?

Viewing all articles
Browse latest Browse all 142285

Latest Images

Trending Articles

Latest Images