"There's something about looking for love and romance in this time period, which is completely new in the history of civilization," actor O-T Fagbenle said of HBO's new drama-comedy Looking during an interview with Alicia Menendez. "Whether it's Grindr or Tinder or online dating, the ideas of open relationships and non-open relationships…we're living in a transformative time."
The show is centered around a young gay man, Patrick (played by Jonathan Groff of Frozen and Glee fame), and his circle of friends in San Francisco.
Emily Nussbaum of The New Yorker called it a "standout" among "several smart series" premiering in January.
"Looking is a whole different ball of wax," Nussbaum wrote in her review. "Sneaky-funny instead of brassy, it is interested not in extremity but in small-bore observation…young men who regard retro gay culture with a sense of bemused incredulity."
Fagbenle plays Frank, a sensitive musician who is dating Patrick's best friend from college. Through their relationship, we see the complexities of negotiating the boundaries of any romantic relationship.
"One of the most wonderful things about this show is that there's a universality of the problems that people are having," he said. "I think straight people, [bi-sexual] people, transgender people–everyone's going to get something from this…If you relate to people and if you're interested in love and romance."
The show may surprise audiences by taking them out of their comfort zones, giving them one intimate perspective of modern gay life in San Francisco while evoking feelings related to their own life experiences.
Looking promises to be appealing to more viewers than just gay men.
Looking premieres on HBO Sunday night, after Girls.