For many years I didn’t have HBO. One reason I wanted to get it was to watch “Game of Thrones” as it aired instead of waiting a whole year to watch it on DVD (check out my blog on the season 6 finale). Then in May of 2013 I saw a story that HBO was making a show about a group of gay friends in San Francisco. More than “Game of Thrones” the idea of watching the show that would become known as “Looking” got me excited to get HBO.
From the very first episode I became a diehard “Looking” fan. Upon the completion of the first season I did one of my first blog entries on it. Then before the second season aired I re-watched the first season and did a new blog entry after taking a second look at the first season. I loved and blogged about all ten episodes of the second season, from episode one in the woods, to Patrick’s HIV panic in episode two, to Patrick and Kevin’s first night together in episode three, to two breakups in episode four, to Patrick and Richie’s trip to the East Bay in episode five, to Patrick’s meltdown at his Halloween party in episode six, to Doris’ dad dying in episode seven, to Gaymer X in episode eight, to the showdown at the zoo with Patrick’s sister in episode nine, all the way to the giant fight between Patrick and Kevin in episode ten. I was heartbroken when HBO did not renew “Looking” for a third season but I can’t say I blame them. The LGBT community let this show down by not watching it. I really feel incredibly grateful that HBO gave us “Looking: The Movie” so that we were able to see these amazing characters one last time and give them a proper good-bye.
To prepare for the movie my husband and I re-watched the entire series. I have season one on DVD and thanks to HBO Go it was not a problem watching season 2. I tried to avoid as much information as possible about “Looking: The Movie” because I wanted to go knowing as little as possible. I was successful in the quest, at least until we started watching season 2. HBO GO had the preview for the movie before the first two episodes of season 2 so ended up watching the preview that I had previously gone out of my way to avoid. My husband and I also watched a Live Facebook interview with Frankie J. Alvarez and Murray Bartlett. The preview did get me even more excited for the movie, as did the interview but in retrospect I kind of wish I hadn’t seen either and had been able to go with my initial plan of going into the movie knowing as little as possible. While neither the movie or the interview had true spoilers they did have things that were spoiler adjacent.
Anyway, onto the movie…I absolutely LOVED the movie. There were so many unanswered questions at the end of season 2.
I’ll start with Patrick. Over the course of “Looking” it was very interesting to watching Patrick go from a very unsure man who questioned everything to very confident man we saw in the movie.
The Patrick of the first two seasons always seemed to care way too much what other people thought of him. A large part of that was tied to his family and especially his relationship with is mother. If I had guessed what would happen to Patrick at the end of season 2 I certainly wouldn’t have predicted he would leave San Francisco and move back to Colorado. It would have seemed like moving closer to his parents wouldn’t have been a good thing for him. However, the Patrick that returns to San Francisco at the start of the movie is very, very different than the Patrick that had Richie buzz all of hair off at the end of season 2. This Patrick is not only more confident at work, he is in charge of his own team back in Colorado, but sexually he has come into his own. Early on in the movie we watch Patrick move across a club and instead of just walking he is on the verge of strutting. This confidence is certainly what leads to him having an incredibly hot hook up with a younger guy early in the movie.
Yet, Patrick still has ghosts to deal with in the form of Richie and Kevin. After being gone for nine months Patrick finds that Richie is still with the abrasive Brady.
As for Kevin…Patrick and Kevin do meet for a very dramatic cup of coffee. During this scene Kevin reveals that he is back with his ex-boyfriend Jon. This confirms my belief that Kevin is incapable of being alone. It also shows that Jon is utterly and truly in love and devoted to Kevin. Over the course of “Looking” we know that Jon moved from Seattle to San Francisco for Kevin, had Kevin break up with him, took Kevin back, opened up their relationship and will soon be moving with Kevin to London. Jon has always been the unknown element to this show and in an alternate universe he would have gotten much more screen time and we could have seen exactly what made him tick and in what ways his relationship with Kevin both worked and didn’t work.
Back to Kevin and Patrick. Kevin is awful to Patrick during their cup of coffee. He calls Patrick out for not giving their relationship a chance and we basically come to realize that Patrick never really loved Kevin but that Kevin is still in love with Patrick. Their meeting is as fucked up as their entire relationship was. I now believe that Kevin would have tried to be monogamous with Patrick, I don’t necessarily believe he would have been successful but he would have tried. However, Patrick was more in love with the idea of Kevin and him being together then the reality of it and he did do the right thing by moving out since his heart wasn’t in it.
There is no doubt that these two men have an intense connection but it is one that was plagued by bad timing, a lack of honestly and a breakdown in communication. I can’t like Kevin but as Patrick watched him disappear underground to ride the muni I couldn’t truly hate him either.
That left Patrick to deal with the other complicated relationship, the one that began in episode one of season one and that, of course, is his relationship with Richie. Just like there is an obvious connection between Patrick and Kevin there is also an obvious connection between Patrick and Richie, but they are very different connections. I think the connection with Kevin was primarily a sexual one. It was exciting and dangerous and fun. The connection with Richie is one of love and friendship. It isn’t as exciting and it isn’t dangerous but it is deeper and longer lasting. The problem is that Richie is still with Brady. But over the course of the movie we see that Brady is probably an alcoholic and is also very, very jealous of Patrick. I truly believe that Patrick did not go to San Francisco with the intent of breaking up Richie and Brady. However, after Brady throws shade at Patrick one too many times Patrick finally hits back and it leads to a show down between Patrick and Brady. At the end of the movie we find that Richie has broken up with Brady and has returned to the club where Patrick is. The two of them kiss.
As the movie comes to an end we find the two of them walking around the Castro in the middle of the night talking. They want to be together but they have had a rough road both behind them and possibly in front of them. Patrick may have changed but Richie knows him well enough to know he has freaked out in the past. Patrick is considering moving back to San Francisco only to find out that Richie wants to leave. The two men struggle to figure out what will happen right as their paths reconnect. As the movie ends they don’t know what their next move is but as Richie gives Patrick a silent nod it is clear they will be making it together.
There were two things early in the movie that really showed how much Richie loves Patrick and those were two pieces of advice from Patrick that Richie took. One didn’t turn out well and the other one did. It turns out Richie did confront his dad about his homophobia and it didn’t have a possible result. However, on the other hand Richie took another piece of Patrick’s advice and opened up a mobile barber shop which is a big success. I really like how Richie tried both of these things and the realistic outcome that the results were mixed.
Patrick was always the primary focus of “Looking” but there are several other characters that I love that got a wonderful send offs as well.
Dom and Doris have allowed their relationship to evolve. His peri-peri chicken window has taken off and he is happy at work. Her relationship with Malik has established itself to the point where she is talking about having a baby. I love the relationship between Dom and Doris because it is so real. As gay men and their fag hags grow older lives they lead begin to differ. Like many a fag hag before her Doris finds that her romantic relationship needs to be the priority but with that a closeness with Dom dissipates. These two will remain lifelong friends but things have shifted. It’s clear that Doris needed to break away from Dom to have her relationship with Malik. And Dom needed to let her go and focus on his own life. Their ending is a bittersweet one because although both of them are in a good place it is obvious that their relationship will never be the same.
Then there is Augustin…Augustin in the first season was a vortex of destruction. But ever so slowly he began to change in season 2. Here in the movie we find that the couple that is getting married is Augustin and Eddie. This is great because at the end of season 1 nobody would have ever predicted that Augustin would be the one with the 100% happy ending.
I am so happy for Eddie. The addition of Eddie to the show brought a humor to the show and a heart to Augustin.
I love that Agustin’s ex Frank made and appearance in the film.
I do wish that we had seen Dom’s ex Lynn.
My husband and I watched the movie twice the nigh it aired. Although I was semi-spoiled on some things because of the preview and the interview I still adored every minute of it. The movie did a perfect job of moving ahead nine months and perfectly illustrating where these characters would be at that point. To varying degrees they all changed but they all changed in a way that made sense for that particular character.
I am still quite sad knowing that I won’t see anything new from these characters again but I’ve watched so many TV shows go well past their primes so I suppose it’s better to go out too early than too late.
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Here is a description:
Justin Gomez and his sister, Terri, have never been close. Separated by nine years and distant in adulthood, Justin and Terri have little in common, except for the love of her three children. In the days before they embark on a road trip to visit the father that once abandoned them and their now deceased mother, both Terri and Justin are dealing with unexpected changes in their lives. Justin surprisingly realizes he might want more than a series of one night stands after a first date goes unexpectedly well. After a lifetime of being a strong type A personality, Terri is forced to confront the reality of the end of her marriage. As they hit the road, with Terri’s children in tow, they find themselves forced to rely on and confide in each other following a devastating event. Confronted with memories from the past and challenges from the present, Terri and Justin must dig deep and unearth the truth about themselves and their parents in order to build a new family based on their love for each other.