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Jonathan Groff Explains The Symbolism Behind The Handjob Scene In The First Episode of “Looking”

urlI feel like that scene is incredibly symbolic in ways about the show but also for the character Patrick, where he’s for the first time stepping outside the comfort zone in his life and trying to go deeper, ask questions, break patterns, and also figure out where he fits in the gay community. If he wants to hook up with people and sort of have an openness about his sexuality, or now that there’s marriage, if he wants a boyfriend, and just settle down. Just about what he’s looking for in that arena. He’s looking for that and also looking to see where he fits in the world as a whole.”

 

Jonathan Groff, asked about the anonymous sex in the park scene that opened HBO’s Looking, in an interview with SiriusXM Progress’s Michelangelo Signorile

By:           Editors
On:           Feb 2, 2014
Tagged: ,
  • 29 Comments
    • TinoTurner
      TinoTurner

      Absurd. I watch the show for the cringe inducing moments…

      Feb 2, 2014 at 1:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Caleb in SC
      Caleb in SC

      How about this for hand job symbolism — his character was horny.

      Feb 2, 2014 at 2:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ron Jackson
      Ron Jackson

      Now that they have introduced all of the characters (I think) I am finding that I like the show. Looking forward to watching every week.

      Feb 2, 2014 at 2:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • NateOcean
      NateOcean

      “Sometimes a handjob is just a handjob.”

      Sigmund Freud said that, but I may be mistaken.

      Feb 2, 2014 at 2:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • QJ201
      QJ201

      Way back in the days of Before the Internet… I did the gay grand tour…with many detours into dark corners here and there. But I did it in the 80’s as a teenager, not a 30 year old.

      Feb 2, 2014 at 3:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      Well, sometimes a handjob can lead to marriage. You have to start somewhere!

      Feb 2, 2014 at 3:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CaptainFabulous
      CaptainFabulous

      Sometimes a handjob is just a handjob.

      Feb 2, 2014 at 4:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ouragannyc
      ouragannyc

      whatever!

      Feb 2, 2014 at 5:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • muscl954
      muscl954

      I didn’t realize a handjob could have such meaning!

      Feb 2, 2014 at 5:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kenover
      Kenover

      Yawnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

      Feb 2, 2014 at 6:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Icebloo
      Icebloo

      His character is way too old to still be trying to figure out how he fits into the gay community. It is not realistic to portray someone so old as still being so naive.

      Feb 2, 2014 at 6:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CCTR
      CCTR

      @the other Greg: LOL Funny!

      Feb 2, 2014 at 7:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CCTR
      CCTR

      @Icebloo: I know what you mean but realistically people’s sexual/life experiences vary and it is not all dependent on age. Hopefully as we learn more about the character we will learn more about why he appears so naive and why he is trying to figure out how he fits into the gay community. Yeah, so far I see his character more as someone who is in his early twenties or someone that just “came out”.

      Feb 2, 2014 at 7:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tdx3fan
      tdx3fan

      @Icebloo: Apparently you live in an alternate universe where everyone is out and open about who they are from the moment they are born. For those that live in the real world, it is perfectly understandable for someone to come out and try to figure out who they are at a much older age than 17.

      Feb 2, 2014 at 9:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • balehead
      balehead

      Slut….

      Feb 2, 2014 at 11:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sportyguy1983
      sportyguy1983

      Symbolism? That is one of the most absurd things I have heard an actor say. This show is a dud, he knows, and he is desperately trying to keep the show relevant so he can keep a job.

      Feb 3, 2014 at 9:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • viveutvivas
      viveutvivas

      @icebloo, at 30 I was even more naïve, so it is certainly relatable to me. I came out at 23 and had only been with two guys by the time I was 30. It was only after 30 that I started meeting more guys and experimenting more.

      Feb 3, 2014 at 10:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe Dalmas
      Joe Dalmas

      100% agree, @Icebloo. The show feels like Gay 101 for straights.

      Feb 3, 2014 at 12:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      Part of the problem is this absurd “figure out where he fits in the gay community” stuff. No one actually thinks that way (I hope!), except maybe a few delusional Queerty posters who never leave the basement.

      If any young-ish gay guy has ever seriously thought about “how do I fit into the gay community,” he’s doing it wrong. That’s ridiculous. In the real world you relate to your relatively small circle of non-sexual friends and sex partners. It’s impossible to relate to the ENTIRE “gay community.” If you were to try to do that, it would be a good way to drive yourself insane.

      Feb 3, 2014 at 1:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stache1
      Stache1

      @CaptainFabulous: Wow. Amazing quote. Really makes ya think sometimes.

      Feb 3, 2014 at 1:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      After seeing last night’s show, I’m not sure this actor understands his own character. Patrick doesn’t seem all that naive or un-confident, and he takes his job seriously. He doesn’t seem particularly slutty either. The only gay guys who’d consider him a slut are the prudes who want to arrange everyone else’s sex lives for them, and think everyone should be married by age 30. Let’s leave that sh*t to the Christian homophobes, please!

      There’s nothing wrong with being a slut, even if he was one. Not every 30-ish gay guy is ready for a serious relationship. So what?

      Feb 3, 2014 at 1:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stache1
      Stache1

      @sportyguy1983: Yeah, helps if you actually watch the show. You’ve said the same thing from the beginning. Either you’re keeping up with it and thus interested or your just talking out of your ass.

      Feb 3, 2014 at 1:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CCTR
      CCTR

      If you listen to the conversation of the characters directly after that scene and throughout the show you’d understand that Groff’s comment about symbolism is spot on. Keep in mind this is fiction…a story with characters. The scenes and situations are dictated by writers usually for a purpose and to support the storyline.
      By far Looking is one of the most realistic shows on TV. Nice departure from the glamorized criminal justice system lawyer police investigator scandal killer corruption shows or the predictable sitcoms. Hope there is a season 2.

      Feb 3, 2014 at 2:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iluvcakes
      iluvcakes

      Yeah im having a hard time watching the show.. His character gets essentially dumped during a date and later on meets this FYNE ass latino dude on the subway (Who was 100x better than the date) and proceeds to act like he is not interested.. Urgh I just couldn’t

      Feb 3, 2014 at 3:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stache1
      Stache1

      @iluvcakes: On the contrary. He was very interested but just in an objectifying way as in wanting a big fat uncut Latin…

      Feb 3, 2014 at 3:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mel
      Mel

      The show is dull

      Feb 3, 2014 at 3:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sportyguy1983
      sportyguy1983

      @stache1 I have seen the first 2 episodes and watched half of the 3rd episode before I just couldn’t take it anymore. Terrible show that needs to be cancelled sooner rather than later.

      Feb 3, 2014 at 5:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jimbryant
      jimbryant

      Gay men lead very stereotypical lives, just like the rest of society. Like straight men, they are horny. Straight guys need to pay for their sex but gay guys don’t. That’s why straight guys hate gay guys.

      As for the show Looking, it should be looking for ratings, not hand-jobs.

      Feb 3, 2014 at 6:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MK Ultra
      MK Ultra

      I like Looking and have enjoyed it since the first episode. I understand the symbolism that he mentioned. Also, I don’t think it’s unrealistic to think that someone would still be finding their place in the grand scheme of things at 29.

      Feb 3, 2014 at 11:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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