A few days ago in the sex forest, Patrick and Kevin hoped that they’d one day lie next to each other in bed. This week’s episode begins by teasing us with a fulfillment of that wish, but like all things that seem too good to be true, it is. In fact, this entire half-hour is a reminder that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Their trip into the woods was about as transformative as seeing Into the Woods; it’s two hours later and you’re $20 poorer, but you’ve still got to get back to your routine.
See, Pat isn’t snuggling cozily with his boyfriend: he’s engaging in a little post-prandial banter with his partnered boss in a motel so sleazy that even Agustin wouldn’t touch it. The soft golden glow that they’re basking in isn’t the rising sun, but the glare of the sky during lunch break filtered through curtains that need the regret scrubbed out of them.
As they take the bus back to work, Patrick makes a proposal for a scene queen iOS game that involves him actually rattling off a gay checklist. Seriously, for the next episode to get more meta, someone would have to read reviews of Looking aloud. Kevin is lukewarm on the app, but totally sold on the idea of NEVER MENTIONING THIS TO ANYONE EVER NO REALLY THOUGH. The secrecy freakout is a little hypocritical from man who spends his afternoons nuzzled closely to his fuckbuddy employee on public transit in broad daylight.
After work, the main characters head out to the bar and we learn that interpreting signs is not a skill of Patrick’s. For instance, he doesn’t make the connection between “drinking lots of margaritas” and “being in a state of persistent denial of one’s emotions.” Also, everything about his situation says “affair” (including his friends, who literally say it aloud), but he actively recoils from the word. He is also unable to pursue the physical, written sign advertising rapid testing. But those red dots on his abdomen? Totes terminal. For sure. Like, Doris might have met a guy at the bar, but we don’t even find out how that situation resolves because we’re in the bathroom looking at a skin condition.
Elsewhere, Agustin is back on the disaster train. After his heavy tequila consumption, he goes hunting for Eddie. They didn’t have plans, but he’s sure they’ll meet up at one particular loud-ass club. And really, I can understand his certainty: if there’s one thing we can say about Ag, it’s that things always go his way. If my life were a constant litany of blessings and successes like his, I’d be optimistic, too! Instead of finding his big bearded beau, however, he stumbles across Scotty, the man he and his ex had a wild threesome with.
This, to Ag, seems like a great opportunity to play to his strengths, so he tells a bunch of lies and then does ill-advised drugs. An unspecified amount of shirtless montage time later, he’s sprawled on the street mumbling incoherently and mashing food truck delicacies into his beard. And just like that, his luck does kick in: spurned barber Richie appears from the mist and corrals him home. Patrick lets the two in and then repeatedly asserts how awesome it would be to go on a lunch date, but like not a date, but no really let’s have lunch. Sadly for him, Richie does not negotiate with delegates from the Desperation Nation and makes sure to peace out without committing to anything.
Dom is back to his sure-fire plan of cooking chicken and only chicken, though he’s scaled back and decided to do a sort of drive-thru-without-the-car rather than a full restaurant. The building he’s chosen is perfect, except that it’s overpriced, doesn’t have a kitchen, and currently appears to be the hot-spot for drunken hobo urination. At least Lynn is as supportive as ever. At home, they drink wine and celebrate how open their relationship is while pointedly not talking about Lynn’s dead ex. Dom notices they’re not talking about it and decides to not talk about how they’re not talking about it, and then the camera cuts away before their night devolves into silent, emotionless, glassy-eyed staring into space.
Eventually Pat bites the bullet and pricks the finger, and of course everything’s fine. (Though I have to say, after Eddie revealed his status last week, part of me would have been really impressed if the show had doubled down and made two more of its characters positive.) He flips out to Kevin, who tells him that next time they should just talk instead of getting an AIDS test. But like, no. First off, no one calls it an “AIDS test,” and secondly, it is a good idea to get tested! Know your status, kids. For reals. Their story ends with Boss Man doing a dance routine for Patrick in his glass office, which is only slightly subtler than sending a company-wide newsletter that just says “we bone all the time.” They’re probably saving that for next week.
Taking 2 minutes to read the synopsis bored me. I can’t imagine watching the entire episode.
The ratings for the premiere last week were half the numbers from last year so it appears LOOKING needs to look a bit harder for an audience or it won’t be back for a 3rd season.
It’s the newest gay show, and I have HBO. So I have to watch. But the dialogue is super trite. And it’s about the narrow, uber-gay culture that’s been around for thirty years. That wears thin very quickly.
On the other hand, at least the characters understand the basics of prevention. They talk to each other about testing and condoms, topics that were banned in the early days. That’s a huge step. And it’s fun trying to recognize where in town the outdoor scenes are placed.
I forced myself to finish the first season (and it was only a few episodes!) because I couldn’t stand ANY of the characters except for Richie, who’s the closest thing to a normal and functional man. I thought the characters ended much closer to “likeable”, but the first episode of this season made me hate them all again with a vengeance.
Can’t stand the show. I don’t have many gay friends, but thank goodness none of them come close to those horrible and shallow idiots.
The show kind of bores me but THIS! THIS IS BRILLIANT: “but the glare of the sky during lunch break filtered through curtains that need the regret scrubbed out of them.” Thank you, Mr. Kelly.
It’s lacking a fun element to it. The video game release party on the first season was fun to watch. Patrick freaking out thinking he has HIV because he has a rash, Agustin drugged out on the street…not so much.
Last week Queerty tried to convince us that Looking had transformed itself. It was now “fun”. The characters had more depth. It was now worth watching. So I watched. It’s as empty and pointless as it was before. And the characters are still thoroughly unlikable. If anything, more so. That’s it: done with Looking.
I told myself I was still gonna watch to support it but I haven’t even bothered to watch the first two episodes and I’m on vacation with plenty of down time. These comments let me know I can wait to see it…if at all.
The episode was fine, it’s a perfectly nice take on everyday gay in in SF with decent characters (of course Doris is the best one, go figure) and charm.
However, major points off for either not finding the money or not thinking to use that Take That song at the end. Criminal.
I don’t understand all of the negative reviews here. I think what people don’t like about it is exactly what I love and thats how real and dirty it is. I love that it isn’t all glittery, camp and “rainbowly” like most gay films. The show represents real gay men (not all but many) in todays world.
The show is super boring. I tried watching last night and got distracted.
Before I knew it the show was over. Thought about rewinding it on my DVR.
Decided it wasn’t worth it. I don’t care about any of the characters.
That’s the main problem with this show. It’s hard to give a damn about anybody.
You need to have at least one main character that viewers can give af about.
This show is very narrow in its perspective, way too white and upper-middle-class, and stultifyingly boring. At least it included some hot sex in the first episode of Season 2, but still. Yawn. Also, where are the Asian American characters? It’s in San Francisco, for chrissakes!
The show just doesnt have any real stakes or tension to it. Its just “normal” gay men having “normal” problems. Is there some deep past trauma the main characters are dealing with? Is there any type of rivalry? Protagonist/Antagonist? I can say that at least Augustine’s shitty attitude and bizzare obsession with the hooker last season was interesting for a second but seems everyone wants all characters to be nice and relatable so there goes that! When you have characters that are showcased primarily for there mundaneness your not giving the audience any work to relate them to there own lives, your just plopping reality in front of them. Its how stories of teachers becoming meth dealers, or prissy middle class women in prison learning to not give a shit, can be bridge the everyday to scenarios people only image being in. This show COULD have benefited from being a period show set in the 70s in SF considering you could have had almost every situation thats happened happening along with the looming civil rights and HIV events as an overarching dramatic anchor. This show just feels like being pushed into a Instagram filtered lens flared tar pit and struggling to get out.
@Kangol: I count two Hispanics on it which definitely represent San Francisco.
I’m waiting for more time between Lynne and Dom. I love how Lynne wasn’t at all jealous and just wanted to know the details of doms sexual conquest.
Augustine seems to be on his way off the deep end.
Kind of over the Kevin and Patrick relationship. It’s a bit too bland for me. The whole hiv scare and then the secrecy isn’t helping.
At the end of last night’s episode I turned to my husband and said, “Well, that’s 30 minutes we won’t get back.” This season so far is just flat out boring.
I find the show rather perfunctory. There is no effort from the writers to keep us engaged. Judging by the pace of the episodes, it seems like the show strains itself just to fit into its miniscule 30 minutes running time, a symptom of insufficient material. The makers of the show need to ask themselves why they created the show in the first place and if the reason justifies all this.
I find the bearded character (I think his name is Agustin) unlikeable. I don’t think it was the writers’ intention to make him unlikeable, which means they have failed in conjuring up the character and his traits, at least as far as I’m concerned. The character of Richie is very sensitive, to the point where it becomes irritating. I cannot imagine dating someone like that. I would be walking on egg shells most of the time. It’s okay to be sensitive about your race and class when you are a minority, but he takes it to a whole new level. It’s so bad I think he needs to see a shrink.
@QueerD: “The show represents real gay men (not all but many) in todays world.”
Sad life you have with “friends” like these caricatures!
@sejjo: “It’s okay to be sensitive about your race and class when you are a minority, but he takes it to a whole new level.”
By “dating,” gives a what appeared to be a BJ, and then cheated on by a white,wet/dry noodle!
J. Groff’s character is stunningly annoying. I enjoy flawed people but good lord, he’s a dope!
I can’t see Looking lasting. Its ratings are in the sink hole. I predict this is its last season.
The only reason I clicked on this was to see the comments, and as expected a bunch of bitchy queens bitching how boring it is. Three dimensional characters aren’t as fun as the whoring, coked up ones in your complete box set of Queer as Folk huh?
@jason smeds: @jason smeds:
Last season you said the same thing and predicted it wouldn’t come back this season. I guess if you keep saying the same thing one day you’ll be right. Oh, and by the way, make sure it’s the correct screename, it may have been your other screename that made that prediction. 😉
It definitely seems like the writers for “Looking” either read Queerty or were getting similar feedback from their bosses. Two of the biggest complaints from season 1 were, these people are supposed to be friends and yet we never saw them in any situations where that seemed to be shown. And 2 Augustine was so over the top irritating that there was no reason anybody would be friends with them.
So in Season 2, they have put them in a lot of situations together, and Augustine has a completely different personality. Two needed changes.
I hope the writers aren’t going in a very predictable direction with Patrick though, i.e. he chases Ritchie, and Chases, and Chases, but then gets him back and is confused about cutting things off with his boss, or suddenly his boss becomes single and Patrick is confused.
This type of plotline is so played out, I really really really hope they don’t go there with it.
As for Lynn and Dom, let me guess, Dom the guy that never cared before is going to get jealous and that will be his comedown, OR he’ll meet somebody wonderful but agonize over it because Lynn is funding his business.
Lastly, the author said “But like, no. First off, no one calls it an “AIDS test,” “………Well, I think that a huge amount of people outside healthcare or gay group circles call it exactly that.
Ok, enough bitchery for one post.
I finally watched the first season and I just don’t get this show. It’s kinda boring, too short, bad lighting, shaky cameras, if the lead guy wasn’t cute I wouldn’t have stuck with the show to be honest. But even that wore thin quickly. I remember watching Queer as Folk as laughing and being turned on and feeling sad (depending on the episode) and this show I barely feel anything. If this is a ‘real look’ at gay life, then we might as well all just stay in the closet cuz damn this shit is drab as hell.
As I pointed out previously, against the backdrop of a raging AIDs epidemic, the movie “Parting Glances” was viewed as being profound precisely because it showed gay men being ordinary / boring.
@killmequick10Exactly right. Bunch of bitchy comments. No character you can llike. Too nice. Doesn’t have a teacher who deals meth or a prison setting. Too white and upper middle class (HUH, they ride the bus for God’s sake).
It is really like they want to devour any gay series, because it doesn’t quite fit how they want it to be. Dumb. Dumb. How many Gay series are there on TV? Why all the vitriol at this one? Why are there so many negative comments about a gay series that may not be great, but certainly doesn’t deserve all the constant ranting. Not NY enough? Not edgy enough? Characters that are either too nice or ones like Agustin that people find “too dark?” Bitch, Bitch Bitch. Where are the perfect screen plays and series for these people?
Queer as folk was groundbreaking, but if it ran today, all these people would complain to high heaven about the schmaltzy scenes and the nasty characters.
And for SebX, who “doesn’t know many gay people,” but wants all the the characters to be “normal”? Gay people AREN’T “normal,” and why the hell are you commenting on a gay TV series on a gay site? Who the F__K cares if we are not NORMAL enough for you?
Watch some other dumb straight program.
@helenyouidiot: Happens in real life. Isn’t that the purpose of art, to show us glimpses of real life?
I wonder how many of your friends think you might be a real dope too? Or are you always fantastically aware, artistic, enlightened and endlessly entertaining?
@jimontp: Ha. I loved QAF and it represented me and my interests when I was in my twenties. I could only imagine if it was on today though the bitching would be non stop about how it only represents whites, makes gays look like a bunch of immature drugged out club trolls, etc.
Anyways, this show is a more mature look at gay life. The Younger one’s probably won’t like it. This is centered around regular gay men in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s with Lynne. Less clubbing/drugging and more settling down issues. Yeah, not as fun as your weekly club Babylon sexual high jinks with lots of anonymous people but that’s the reality of growing up. We all have QAF stories like that in our twenties but some of us grew up and want something different to reflect that.
@Kangol: It might interest you to know that in San Francisco, Asian Americans ARE mostly upper-middle class and often stultifingly boring.
Edit. Lynn’s actually in his 60s. However, he looks really good so it’s an easy mistake to make:)
I’m gay and don’t relate at all to these people. Are there really gay men who can relate to these guys and how they live?
I continue to love this show. But I’m starting to wish Showtime launched another gay show or something. Not because I need one, but because I’m tired of all the people sharing their tales of hatewatching “Looking.”
If you don’t like it, fine. Don’t watch it. But the desire for a show closer to “Queer as Folk” doesn’t say to me you guys want a ‘better show.’ It says you guys want a soap opera. Just change the TV to ABC and watch ‘Revenge.’
We do like the show generally speaking, but mostly by default because there are few options. The storyline depicts stereotypical gay characters in a negative way … Confused, unstable, untrustworthy, narcissistic, catty, unfaithful and downright mean. Patrick is esoecially immature and rather goofy. Queer as Golk was a better, more groundbreaking series. Oh well, we’ll see what happens.
@Atomicrob: “Patrick is esoecially immature and rather goofy.”
Now imagine if Patrick was “attractive” in a physical kind of way, he may have had a few more “Queerty” fans; and it would be more believable, in a superficial kind of way, to be pursued by a man like Richie (who he was ‘frigid’ with)and a guy who would cheat on his “spouse” and threaten his business.
If the show was set in Wisconsin in 1984 and they were between the ages of 14 – 20 it would be a very good show!
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