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TV Review: HBO’s ‘Looking’

HBO premieres Looking on Sunday Jan. 19, 10:30 p.m. ET. The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

“Tonally compatible with Girls, but a lot less whiny, Looking has a strong indie-film sensibility, including a serialized narrative that’s less episodic than being simply an ongoing story split into half-hour installments.”
—Brian Lowry, Variety

“Shot on location in a manner that's nontraditional—in that it's not a postcard Valentine to one of the most beautiful cities in the world (and thus represented solely by the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf and the "painted lady" Victorians)—Looking is nonetheless representationally beautiful as it becomes one of the rare shows to focus on real neighborhoods with real views—and has a local's appreciation of detail.”
—Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter

“From the point of view of cultural history, the show is important because sex plays a prominent role in the lives of the three men. If that seems like a so-what observation, consider this: Gay men are featured in all kinds of shows in the post-Will & Grace era, but more often than not, it’s in a kind of sex-neutral way.”
—David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle

“But Looking, and maybe HBO more largely, appear to have learned some important lessons from Girls, the most obvious of which is:diversityLooking tells a diverse story, and not in some cheap just-hire-a-Hispanic-person-to-play-the-friend way.”
—Willa Paskin, Slate

"Looking was created by Michael Lannan, and most of the early episodes were directed by Andrew Haigh. They do an impressive job of capturing a sense of place and community, both in this small circle of friends and the different parts of the city they frequent. The show looks beautiful and moves confidently through its world.”
—Alan Sepinwall, HitFix