Looking, Season One

Because it’s been quite hot for the past two days, and I’ve been looking after my cousin’s tropical fish, I spent some time in his air conditioned house to make sure the water temperature doesn’t get too high. Looking is a show I’d meant to watch last year, but I never got around to it for reasons I’m not entirely sure of. So I spent two days in air conditioned bliss (a cool change has finally come through but my house still hasn’t cooled down) watching this show that’s just lovely. This is going to be a short series of thoughts rather than a review because it’s late and I don’t have much time to write something more structured.

As a white, straight woman living in suburban Melbourne, I have no idea what it’s like to be a gay man living in San Francisco, but the characters on this show are incredibly relatable. During the fourth episode, when Patrick spotted Richie at a nightclub and started a conversation with him even though he was nervous, I tweeted: “Patrick is all of us, and we are all Patrick”. I know what it’s like to approach someone that you really like and try to have a conversation but you’re so nervous that you have no idea what you’re saying but you know like you sound like an idiot. That kind of nervousness happens when you have a crush on someone. I also liked that his friend (and the show) pointed out his flaws – Patrick was pretty self-aware, which is something more television characters should be.

The best episode of the season is the fifth episode, “Looking for the Future”, in which Patrick and Richie get to know each other. It captures the simple magic of what it’s like to get to know the person you’re dating, but it also touches upon serious issues, like Richie’s past relationship with an HIV positive man, and what it was like coming out to their parents, which is something I know I’ll never have to do. Some of the best episodes of television just involve conversations between two people (if you’re really into this kind of thing, check out the show In Treatment, it’s great), and “Looking for the Future” is one of the best examples of that.

As for the other characters: I don’t know how I feel about Agustin, he acted like a jerk for most of the season, but I love Dom and Doris. Richie is probably my favourite character on the show, he’s just so funny. I don’t like the storyline with Russel Tovey’s character; we’ll see how the second season goes. On the other hand, I really liked Lynn who was played by Scott Bakula, who has moved onto a permanent job with NCIS: New Orleans, but at least he’s in the second season premiere. I’m really looking forward to watching the second season when it starts in just over a week.

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