'Looking' ... for an Audience: HBO's Gay Dramedy Flops in Debut

HBO earned plenty of critical huzzahs for its new gay-themed drama Looking. The reviews didn't convince viewers to check out the pay channel's latest offering, though.

The dramedy drew 338,000 viewers during its 10:30 p.m. EST debut slot despite all the positive press.

The LA Times called it "an authentic glimpse inside lives of gay men," one dubbed, "charming and deceptively significant."

Time served up this rave:

This low-key, stealthily charming half-hour is not any of its predecessors, whether about gay or straight characters; it’s less overtly comic than even Girls, there’s no ha-ha flamboyance, no melodramatic coming-out story, no self-aware feeling of transgressiveness. But in its story of three friends in San Francisco, Looking builds on the themes of its forebears–the observational comedy, the romantic foibles, the sense of how a big city can dangle dazzling treasures just out of your reach–while adapting them to a style of TV that’s less like a sitcom than an indie film.

Variety summed up its review by declaring, "'Looking' deserves to be found."

For comparison's sake, the second week of the new HBO drama True Detective, starring Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, fared far better. It drew 1.7 million viewers.



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