Last May I saw that HBO was going to have a new show about a group of gay men living in San Francisco called “Looking”. I didn’t have HBO at the time but I was so excited about a gay centered show being on a premium cable channel that I thought about ordering HBO just so I could watch “Looking”.
I ended up getting HBO last summer, which meant by the time the series premiere of “Looking” aired in January I had already had the show for several months. I appreciate mainstream “straight” shows that have gay characters. Without a doubt “Modern Family” has been valuable in the further acceptance of the LGBT population. However, I feel that to a certain extent any minority population can only be given a very limited portrayal when they are the supporting players on the majority populations show. That is why I was so excited for “Looking”.
Within the first episode of the show I was in love. Patrick, brilliantly played Jonathan Groff, reminded me show much of myself. A gay boy from Colorado, who tries too hard, is exactly what I was when I was in my twenties. Dom (Murray Barlett) and Agustin (Frankie J. Alvarez) were also intriguing characters to round out the main cast.
While no one show can full encompass any population as a whole I did feel that in its first season “Looking” did a good job of portraying a group of gay men who aren’t married with children.
Patrick stumbled into a relationship with a Mexican barber named Richie (Raul Castillo). The fifth episode of the show was pure magic. It was a great capturing of the beautiful moment in time at the start of a relationship where everything is perfect and be before friends and family begin to complicate the recipe. The culture and economic clash that emerged between Patrick’s world and Richie’s world was very well done. Adding to the complications was Patrick’s overly friendly relationship with his boss Kevin (Russell Tovey). Patrick makes mistakes but they aren’t any better or worse than the many, many mistakes Carrie Bradshaw made on “Sex in the City”. It has been so nice to see the portrayal of a gay man who isn’t sanitized and isn’t overly sleazy.
While Patrick has struggled in this first season to figure out if he’s capable of being in a relationship or not his friends have had their own interesting stories to navigate. Dom is the resident slut but may finally be looking for something more as he turns forty. Dom is interesting because he’s a good looking man who has clearly settled for certain things in his life because it’s easier but now that he’s trying to push himself a little he’s very uncomfortable with any kind of rejection or failure.
Agustin has gone from the one in a stable relationship to a complete basket case. It’s not because he and his boyfriend, Frankie, opened their relationship it’s because as Frank said in the season finale Agustin is a “bored little rich kid”. For some reason Agustin has felt the need to create drama in his life and it’s clear that he’s only headed for more trouble in season two.
Speaking of season 2, I am so happy that the show is getting one. These characters are too interesting and the show is such a great and complex portrayal of gay men to not get more time. I just hope season two gets a full ten episode order instead of the shorter eight it got in the first season.
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