Queer fantasies, queer echoes: The post-closet world of looking

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HBO's Original Voices: Race, Gender, Sexuality and Power, 2018, pp. 45 - 55
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© 2018 selection and editorial matter, Victoria McCollum and Giuliana Monteverde; individual chapters, the contributors. If indeed we are living in the golden age of television, a golden age promulgated by the US cable network HBO, then the gay dramedy Looking (2014) seemed, to use United Statesean parlance, a no-brainer. Girls (2012), which had premiered two years earlier, was a huge success and the liberal media quickly adopted it into the canon of “zeitgeist” TV shows that reflect something important that is happening out there. If Girls could inspire so much media discourse about what it means to be a “girl” today, packed into a quirky dramedy, then surely a similar show on the modern gay male experience would tap into the market that Girls had opened up. Looking, on paper, ticked all the right boxes. Written by Michael Lannan and with many episodes directed by Andrew Haigh of Weekend (2011) fame, Looking sought to create a realistic portrayal of modern gay men in San Francisco. The show failed, however, to attract a decent-sized audience and was cancelled after just two short seasons (a total of 18 episodes). Looking: The Movie completed the various storylines and premiered in July 2016.
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