This week’s episode of Looking gave us some insight into the careers and career aspirations of Augustin, Patrick and Dom. I felt that this probably should have been explored more in the second episode of the series, as after last week’s show, I still felt we really knew very little about the guys, and I, personally, still didn’t feel that I’d made a connection with any of the characters. In truth, I guess, I still don’t feel like I’m connecting with anyone here, but at least they seem to be trying to give us a little bit more character development this week.
Patrick, a game designer, started this week off by attending a video game launch party on board a Naval ship, complete with sailors and free drinks. During the event, a drunk Patrick becomes enamored with Kevin (Russell Tovey), first stalking, and then hitting on him. Patrick followed Kevin below decks, joining him for a round of drunk video gaming, while sitting astride torpedoes. Turns out, Kevin is taken, and he is also Patrick’s new boss. Awkward. Fast forward to a sober face to face at the office, where Patrick apologizes for his behavior and asks to be involved in the design of a hot new game, only to find that he’s being called out for internet surfing on company time, as Kevin runs through the list of his browser history. Awkward again. He ultimately finds, after buckling down and really working, that Kevin had planned to include him in the project all along. So we see that Patrick’s immaturity can be his downfall, but he’s capable of big things, when put to the test. It would be nice to see him do a little less squirming and a little more growing in future episodes.
Dom is probably the character that I like most, so far. We got to hear more about his dream of opening his own restaurant, and his hopes of making that dream a reality. His visit to a bathhouse resulted in a meeting with Lynn, a new character played by Scott Bakula. Let me just take a moment to say that seeing that Scott Bakula has made the Quantum Leap into San Francisco’s gay scene was a pleasant surprise. He may be the one character who I immediately felt warmly toward. However, it may be the actor and not the character who gave me the warm fuzzies. We’ll see, as it looks like Lynn will be returning for episode 4. There was some kind of a connection between Dom and Lynn, however, Dom was true to form and left the bathhouse to screw some younger guy. It seems his desperate quest to never grow up is going to be a consistent theme throughout the season. We did get a really good scene with Dom and Doris at a dance workout class. The interactions between Dom and Doris are always entertaining, and I’m really hoping that Doris will get more screen time as the season progresses.
Augustin seems like he can’t be satisfied with the things in his life that would make many people feel extremely content. He’s working as an assistant to an artist, in a field that he loves. He’s in a relationship with Frank, a guy who really seems to care for him. In spite of these things, he’s restless and discontented. His interest in making a home and a life with Frank seems to be nonexistent. He criticizes his employer’s work in a pretty bitchy way… bitchy enough to get him fired. After getting fired, Augustin goes out to a cafe, to drown his sorrows in cake. It is here that he encounters CJ, an out and proud sex worker. Augustin seems to be fascinated by CJ’s level of comfort with his chosen profession. As the episode wrapped up, we saw him contemplating a career change to prostitution. This, and his interest in CJ don’t really bode well for his relationship with Frank. Augustin is the least relatable character, for me. As of this episode, he comes off as whiny and unsympathetic, and I hope we’ll see some emotional growth from him in the very near future.
I had really high hopes for this show, and I’m feeling a bit disappointed, so far, as none of the guys are really all that likeable or sympathetic for me. It’s difficult not to compare Looking to both the UK and US versions of Queer as Folk, as they were both better written and driven by more dynamic characters. Even Showtime’s The L-Word was far more compelling, in the early seasons, though it suffered in it’s ending.
As of episode 3, the show doesn’t yet have a realistic feel to it. The guys from Looking seem like a slightly older, gay version of Hannah Horvath and her crew; selfish, whiny and lacking direction. However, unlike the Girls of Girls, the guys of Looking aren’t funny or charming. Sadly, they’re all even lacking the “hot factor,” which was abundant on both Queer as Folk UK and at least present on Queer as Folk US. Television today is severely lacking a high quality show that will give people a realistic look into the lives and loves of people in the LGBT community. I’m not giving up hope, however. It’s still early days and I’m committed to seeing this one through. Here’s hoping that Episode 4 will be the one that really hooks us.
What did you think of this week’s episode of Looking? Are you feeling the connection to the characters that I seem to be missing, so far? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the realism of the show, as well. Does Looking ring true to you? Whether you agree or disagree, we love to know your opinions! Leave your thoughts in the comments section, below.
MJ Snow is an avian behavior specialist, animal activist, role player, blogger and writer. A long time George RR Martin fangirl and Game of Thrones Addict, MJ spends way too much time in Westeros. MJ is the co-founder ofThe Snow Keep, a short story and fan-ficiton blog, and founder of The Brothers Clegane, a Sandor & Gregor Clegane tribute blog. She also co-curates several other Game of Thrones themed blogs, as well as Empowering Animals, an Etsy shop which sells wristbands to raise funds for animal causes.