“One-Size-Fits-All” Doesn’t

collageImagine a disco, rave, or dance club, where or whenever, and now picture every–and I mean every–type of gay man out on that floor, married men with kids, bears/cubs, twinks, doms/subs, geeks, etc.  Kind of an overweening mishmosh, right?

Now that the death knell has tolled on perhaps the last major content provider’s attempt to corral most gay male eye balls to one show comes this web upstart in its second season, and the oracles do not bode well.  After watching most of the first season, while it’s highly professional and even bold, I found it lacking in its presumptuousness.  I give its premium cable predecessor chops for having stretched things literally and figuratively in their last season, but that underscores the problem.

By widening their pool they only seemed to muddy it.  Our conflicts can seem unique when in fact heteros have been there long before:  secret shame of scandalous sex and identity, feeling like broken puzzle pieces that simply don’t fit together no matter what, emptiness of pursuing pleasure at expense of duty, family as a higher calling.   So the pack/gaggle approach, staked somewhere between women’s and LGBT fiction and drama, has extreme limitations, purporting to include everyone, express a variety of points of view, and serves up a cafeteria/theme park variety of plot lines, and ultimately renigs on all counts.

Despite richly drawn and deeply played characters, we end up somewhere designed to accommodate the maximium number of people for the most time, absenting specific circumstances and characters with unique qualities and challenges.  It’s laudable to think big, broad, and inclusive.  But if the intention is supposed to be intimate, emotionally risky and evocative, then it’s only through specificity that universality can occur.

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One thought on ““One-Size-Fits-All” Doesn’t

  1. I liked a lot of elements of Looking.
    Since I don’t have cable TV I’ve only watched Season 1 on Netflix. I found it endearing how Patrick was portrayed stumbling through the days of his life and how we came to learn how his family of origin (mother issues) impacted him. I found the scene where he confronted his mother somewhat tender.
    I loved the pure, grounded-ness of Ritchie.
    I’m sorry it’s canceled. I look forward to watching Looking S2.

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