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Thoughts About HBO's Gay Drama, "Looking"

LookingI don't subscribe to HBO so I came to its series Looking a bit late.  However, last month I watched the show's eight episodes in two sittings at my friend Tom's place.  I really enjoyed it and found it refreshing that storylines didn't revolve around circuit parties, hook-ups or children (which is probably why some found the show boring).  It's about three friends who live in San Francisco.  Patrick (played by Jonathan Groff) represents the gay Everyman, Agustin is the pretentious one and Dom's world revolves around sex and being desired. 


Richie.and.patrick.lookingMy favorite character is Patrick's boyfriend, Richie.  Besides being sexy as hell, he's loving and the most grounded of all the characters.  My least favorite character is Dom, who bores me.  As for Patrick's boss, Kevin, I liked him at the beginning (although I found his tiny, protruding ears distracting), but in the final episode my disdain for Agustin, who finally got his comeuppance, transferred over to Kevin because of his predatory nature.


I found it interesting that HIV was mentioned just once, during a discussion between Patrick and Richie, and it was a very simplistic chat at that, suggesting that in-depth knowledge about transmission has been lost to the younger generation of gay men.  Patrick displayed more naivete with his lack of knowledge about uncut cocks.  I found this unusual considering that he's supposed to be in his early 30s, plus his pals Agustin and Dom are pretty worldly.



  • The opening scene of the series in which Patrick is trying to have furtive sex in the woods but decides to take a call on his phone.
  • Agustin invites a co-worker home and he and his boyfriend Frank end up having a threesome with him.  It's just a 30-second scene, but very hot nonetheless.




  • Agustin meets sex worker CJ at a diner and becomes very intrigued by him and his line of work.
  • At Agustin's insistence Patrick buys a leather vest that he self-consciously wears it at the Folsom St. Fair.  Later that evening he goes into the office still wearing it, his gay boss stops by and the first sparks fly between them.




  • Weeks after their awkward first date, Patrick approaches Richie at a bar (while still wearing the harness) and their relationship is rekindled.
  • Lying in bed with Richie, Patrick wonders why guys assume he's the bottom.  In the course of the conversation they agree that Jennifer Anniston's character, Rachel, on Friends is a top.




  • At a picnic in Alamo Square Park Patrick gets kidded for having such a gay voice on his work voice message.
  • Richie shows up clean shaven and wearing a suit for Patrick's sister's wedding (which he ends up not going to).




  • Agustin's boyfriend breaks up with him and tells him to move out.
  • Patrick's chat with his mother (played by Julia Duffy of Newhart fame) at his sister's wedding reception shows how insecure and self-centered he is.




  • Patrick's lustful comment to Agustin about Richie's lickable, hairy armpits.
  • In the closing minutes of Season 1's last episode Patrick and Richie have a heartrending talk about the state of their relationship.  It happens out on the street right after Patrick got fucked by Kevin in the office - something Patrick hadn't let Richie do. 




Looking.trioOthers compare Looking to Girls and Sex & the City but I don't see that.  Instead, Queer as Folk is what I compare it to (or perhaps Tales of the City because of its San Francisco setting).  The characters on Looking aren't unbearable as those on Girls nor do they live lives of fabulosity like the gal pals on Sex & the City



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