There’s only one episode left in Looking‘s first season, and unless they really fuck it up (which is entirely possible), it will go down as a lop-sided debut, with the first four episodes getting off to a wobbly and largely disappointing start, while the final four gave us something that was much more promising.
“Looking For A Plus One” continues last week’s trend of our three leads behaving like jerks to love interests who deserve better, but the stakes are even greater this time around. More “happens” in “Looking For A Plus One” than all of the other episodes combined, really, in terms of conflict between characters.
Yeah — conflict! Who knew Looking had such a thing in store?
Last week’s “Looking For The Future” was the first time in Looking‘s still-brief run that the show actually took a narrative and creative risk, allowing a single date between Patrick and Richie to sustain an entire episode. Some found it the epitome of the show’s nothingness, its willingness to let the mundane create drama.
Others, like myself, proclaimed that it was by far the best Looking yet, because it’s not that it matters so much what happens on a show, but how we feel about it. Looking‘s first four episodes similarly didn’t have a lot going on plot-wise, but they also kept the characters a bit of a mystery. Are we supposed to feel sorry for Augustin amidst all his self-entitled whining? Can I really sympathize with Dom’s moping about the Big 4-0 when he’s still gallivanting around like a fresh-sprung twink? (Answer: no, and not really.)
Now, with “Looking For The Future,” Looking has less to prove. We know it can be heartfelt and insightful, but will it be, ever again, from here on out? With “Looking In The Mirror,” we (kinda sorta) have an answer.
We’re now officially more than halfway through Looking‘s first season, and we’ve finally gotten the series’ first pretty great episode.
Sure, Looking‘s detractors can still complain that nothing happens — in fact, even less happens on a plot level in “Looking For The Future” than does in previous episodes — but that’s by design. Looking cuts out all the side characters to focus exclusively on Patrick and his developing romance with Richie, finally giving us some insight into the show’s lead.
Allow me to interrupt my coverage of Looking for a review of my first 2014 film, which is coincidentally (or not coincidentally) also about men cruising for sex. Stranger By The Lake is a French production, by which I mean it is in French and takes place in France, and also that there are penises everywhere. I swear, no matter how attracted you are to the male anatomy, you will grow tired of penises by the end of this movie. The leads spend at least half of the movie fully naked, and the extras are pretty much all naked all the time. That’s because Stranger By The Lake takes place entirely at said lake, which is unofficially a nudist beach and cruising spot, with lots of dirty deeds going down in the nearby woods.
Which you’d think would be a total boner-killer in such a place. But as it turns out in Stranger By The Lake? Not so much.
When I first heard HBO’s new gay show would be set in San Francisco, I thought it was a bit strange. A gay show set in San Francisco, really? What is this, 1985?
As it turns out, the creators of Looking really do seem stuck in 1985, and thus, in “Looking For $220 An Hour,” the inevitable occurs. The boys head to the Folsom Street Fair for some leather-clad fun.
It’s the morning of the Oscar nominations, and I’m not upset.
This is weird. All the films I wanted to see nominated for Best Picture are. All the actors I hoped to see receive nominations for this year’s performances were. Compare and contrast to last year’s fatal omission of Kathryn Bigelow as Best Director, or 2011′s Oscar season, in which none of my ten favorite films were nominated for Best Picture — but Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close was. This year, on the other hand, five of my own picks for Best Picture overlap with Academy’s. Three of my four favorite performances were recognized. All of the films from the Best Director nominees were in my Top 10.
In 2013, Hollywood was particularly obsessed with money. Not just with making money, but with telling stories about making — and losing — money. In my Top Ten list last year, I named Zero Dark Thirty my favorite film of the year; it’s a movie that serves as a symbol of America’s search for catharsis after 9/11.