Looking Brings Something Real… And So Much More
Not that I am known for doing things prematurely (insert as many jokes as you want to here. That’s why I wrote that), my first article basically loathing HBO’s “Looking” is something that I do regret in many different ways. It was based off of a combination of the endless press the show was getting even before the show premiered, the seemingly lack of men of color on the show and the way people were treating it that really led to that write up. Add a not so great premiere (sorry, not taking that back) and I was quite apprehensive about the show.
Well now that the first season has ended, and it already has been given the green light for season two, my opinion on the show has drastically changed since that first episode. The characters have developed quite well over the past eight episodes, even though each of them are only half an hour long. Whereas I do believe if they made each episode an hour long they could develop even further, I am happy to see where the show has landed and am looking forward to what happens next season.
Strongest factors of the show-
Murray Bartlett (Dom)- I remember Murray as Oliver Spencer, the gay man who stole Carrie away from Aiden for a short period of time on “Sex And The City”. In the first episode of this series, he came across to me as the a-typical Chelsea/Hell’s Kitchen guy, musc/masc and nicely dressed and refusing to accept that he is getting older and turning 40. He consistently went after younger men and got insecure if a simple cater waiter denied him. His character over the 8 episodes did a complete 180 in my opinion, by going through somewhat of a growth in terms of opening up his own restaurant, listening to his friends advice and in the end falling for someone even older than him, Lynn (an uber-hot Scott Bakula). I am really looking forward to seeing how his character plays out in season 2, especially with him and Lynn.
The Supporting Characters (Boyfriends, best friends, coworkers)- Great shows are designed best when the main characters intrigue you but the supporting cast members add that particular something to make the show gel. This works with so many people like Patrick (Jonathan Groff’s) boss and now lover of sorts Kevin (my future husband Russel Tovey), Dom’s roommate and funny lady Doris (Laurel Weedman) who pretty much champions him to open the restaurant and point him in the right direction, and my favorite is Richie (my side boyfriend Raul Castillo) who challenges Patrick in his insecurities and ability to have a grown up relationship, even if Patrick doesn’t know if that what he particularly wants. Although I am bummed with how Richie leaves him in the end, I am hoping that he comes back for Season 2 in some sorts because the show really seemed to pick up steam in the episode that was just about the two of them.
The Dialogue- I love how this is how REAL friends talk to each other, and address their concerns on such a better level than just being like “GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL” every other sentence. All three (Augustin will be mentioned later) really care about each other and keep it real when they have to. No sugar coating necessary. I think the writing for this show is one of its strongest points indeed because it is relatable no matter if you are gay or straight. A lot of these things are what everyday people go through in friendships, relationships and life issues and “Looking” does it really well.
Factors that could be improved-
Patrick- Love Jonathan Groff and I like that he is being utilized for something outside of his singing voice (Frozen, Glee) and really his acting chops, which he does tremendously. Here is my issue- his character doesn’t make much sense to me. If you watch the show, a lot of the stuff he seems to get into (dealing with an “uncut” guy, awkward dating, flighty attitude towards a lot of things) would be cute if he was a fresh faced 22 year old in San Francisco, but he’s not. He’s 29 and from the episodes have lived there for a while, so I don’t get why they wrote him like that. At the same time, he has had some great moments this year with his growth in his relationship with Richie and his somewhat standing up to the back and forth he has going on with Kevin. I personally hope he ends up with Richie on some level next season, but I hope his maturity continues to improve and he becomes a lot more aware of his behavior as time goes by.
Augustin- Ugh. I get it. Every show needs one character that you can’t stand, or love to hate, etc. Problem with him is that the evolution of his character doesn’t really make any sense. I get how you can do the whole “this is my bottom, can’t get any worse than this” type thing but I keep thinking that each episode is his bottom. It takes his now ex, Frank (awesomely played by O.T. Fagbenle) to tell him what we all feel- spoiled rich kid who is at best a mediocre artist. Yup. Granted he is a good friend to both Dom & Patrick, and I get that, but as a person on the show he really sucks. I hope that the revelation that Frank gave him really makes him improve next season so his sucking ability goes down and he starts to act like an authentic person and not some hipster douchebag that seems to be growing in population.