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Monday
Mar102014

"True Looking," HBO Finales

With two HBO series ending their first season runs last night, I thought an open thread to discuss both was in order. Mass reactions to both "True Detective" and "Looking" have been somewhat mystifying to me, so I need you as sounding board.

Gross generalities and spoilers ahead. Ready? 

LOOKING (episodes 1-4 previously discussed)
"Looking" has been met with quite an endless stream of haterade since it premiered. Especially by the gays who seem to be experiencing representational crises every Sunday. 'Not enough sex'/'shallow and sex obsessed' were frequent complaints at the beginning but how can both be true? Later on 'not enough specifics of characterizations' and 'I hate the characters!' cropped up more frequently and, yes, both of those complaints can be true simultaneously. But are people misreading the emptiness of the characterizations? Aren't all of the characters heading straight towards or already in 'who will I be?' arcs at the moment, which seems like a reasonable target for a showrunner to aiming at in a short first season, right?

Agustín is obviously the most "unlikeable" character on the show, but I don't think his characterization has been non-specific at all - it's just he's an asshole. But assholes on other shows are often worshipped, so I wonder why he is so different for people? Dom just turned 40 and his story arc, which has him switching gears abruptly and atypically in terms of career and romance, is about someone trying to recreate themselves before it's too late. Patrick (Jonathan Groff), the show's lead is not "without personality" so much as he is a passive guy, and I'm not speaking sexually despite letting his boss fuck him over (literally). Patrick's blankness may well be intentional and is arguably somewhat smart for a short first season... you have to leave characters on television with somewhere to go (you've got hours of programming ahead). And lead characters especially are often meant to be our way into a show's world and therefore, except in extreme diva situations (see Sex & the City or Girls), often have less showy and easily categorized personalities. Consider Woody Harrelson's Detective Marty Hart on "True Detective" for a moment. That show couldn't work if both detectives were these sealed off mysterious practically alien characters. The dynamic worked because Marty was enough of an everyman, despite a few well placed details, that we had a way in to seeing Detective Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and were free to bristle along or build slow respect for or worry about him right alongside Marty.

My longwinded point is I think "Looking" is getting better and better. Episode 5, an impressively focused episode which featured only Patrick and his new boyfriend Richie getting to know each other, sexually and otherwise, was the turning point. The show has been improving ever since deepening its characters -- loved everything about the wedding episode but especially the cameo by 80s sitcom star Julia Duffy as Patrick's mother (I hope we see more of her) -- and raising the emotional stakes. That's an excellent place for a show to be at the end of its first season.

First seasons are always about figuring your show out. TV's greatest hits often have first seasons which look really atypical in retrospect. I'm curious to see what this show becomes (that last scene between Patrick and Richie was a heartbreaker) and hope the second season is strong enough to forever vanquish that annoyingly frequent boogeyman presence of "Queer as Folk" in conversations about it. That that dated trash TV is sometimes compared favorably to "Looking" is as horrifying and impossible to fathom as that spaghetti monster with the green ears in "True Detective" 

TRUE DETECTIVE
"True Detective" has, unlike "Looking", been greeted rapturously with intense fascination / praise by seemingly everyone on the internet, none of whom seem to be worried about whether it accurately represents miserable Texas atheists or philandering cops or devil worshipping pedophiles. (Kidding!)

I liked both shows but hated the reactions to both; my friend Joe loves to needle me about my anti-TV bias but I continue to maintain that I have no objection whatsoever to TV, just to the public reaction to it. I enjoy a ton of TV shows (mostly on cable). I am 100% convinced that the things people love on television they would never give the time of day in the cinema so I get defensive. People continue to skip artistically ambitious cinema and flock to ambitious television and then complain about the false narrative that they themselves have propagated with their "tv is better than film" and "movies are garbage / all remakes - no new ideas " nonsense. The truth as its ever been: They are different mediums which can look similar in appearance, even using the same faces, but have different DNA and specialities.

The best thing about TV has always been its ability to build long form stories and character arcs... though surprisingly many TV series still don't care about that. But with TV seasons getting shorter and with the short form anthology series possibly rising, the two artforms do seem to be merging. True Detective was roughly 8 hours long. I'm not entirely convinced that it couldn't have been a 3½ hour movie and been even better. Did it have enough substance to fill 8 hours? There was a lot of teasing and many red herrings and too much repetition and running in place. No, nothing as egregious as, say, True Blood where a lot "happens" but almost nothing actually changes in between a season opener and its closer 12 hours later, but still. There was dead space. I love Cary Fukunaga as a visual director (Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre) but even he couldn't find a way to lighten up the often numbing deadweight, visually, of hours of shot/reverse shot interview scenes in a single set. True Detective got more interesting and more baroque in the second half of its season when the gaps between the truth and the "truth" as told became more visible, but my god those first four hours were interminable... or at least they were as one long movie. And that's how I watched it essentially; four hour movies are the original binge watching. Holla!)

I'm slightly perplexed and fascinated by how patient and forgiving people are with television, sticking with shows long after they don't really enjoy them and finding ways to engage with things they wouldn't like in a movie. I can't count the number of times I've heard people dismiss entire seasons of a show they like... "well, __ season is bad/rough but...". What movie would be someone's favorite if they hated whole huge swaths of it? Similarly "True Detective" is a great example of people actually having fun with the artful pretensions of a story but they don't seem to think "pretentious" movies are fun. This is not a condemnation or judgment of the way people watch television, it's just an observation. I think the world would be a better place if people extended this open-minded patience and curiousity to the cinema.

"True Detective" is surely heading to a ton of Emmys for its byzantine plot and heavy-handed philosophizing and showboating performances that added up to... what exactly? I'll admit that the grand guignol finale complete with Ann Dowd (yay!) as a mentally challenged hilbilly living in art-directed horror movie squalor didn't quite do it for me other than terrifying me. It did do that. It seemed like a different show and I'm not sure it earned the 7 hours of buildup, frankly, particularly that weirdly tacked on spiritual redemption for Detective Cohle. Still the show had great moments and that final development gave McConaughey another opportunity to grip his future Emmy tighter. His star turn as Detective Cohle was the most subtle and nuanced overacting I think I've ever seen -- and no, I don't know how you do both at once. But he can! So, I bow down, I guess. My favorite detail of his characterization was how possessed he often looked; all was not well inside that head.

Due to that trajectory of acclaim, I only ask for two things: Can we please not pretend Woody Harrelson is a "supporting" character in this (groan!) once we hit TV's own awards season and can we all take a moment to appreciate how much Michelle Monaghan did with so very very very very very very little here. Seriously, actresses are such good sports. Always in the background but having to drive home important emotional content as soon as the camera and screenwriter remembers that they exist. Last I heard, which might be outdated now, Season 2 of "True Detective" is still a mystery in terms of cast, characters, and locale  (McConaughey will not return and neither will Louisiana). But if "American Horror Story" is the new model for this type of thing, can we give Michelle Monaghan one of the lead roles next time? She's earned it. 

Did you watch both shows? If so, SPEAK UP. 

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Reader Comments (41)

Wow! Im actually speechless, did I write this while I was sleeping? I didn't think ANYBODY tough like I did about BOTH these shows! Thank you for make me feel less alone!!

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersteans

Loved the LOOKING finale. Had me feeling very melancholy. And had conversations with more than one person that felt the same like we all want to go back in time and be eloquant as Ritchie or apologise for being a Patrick.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

I did not watch True Detective, but I'm glad it's over, because now I won't have to hear about it anymore. I'm ready for the "McConaissance" to end... though of course I'll have to watch him take another year-long victory lap of awards ceremonies first (it wouldn't be so easy for him, though, if they didn't claim this thing, like American Horror Story, were a "miniseries" - the Oscar is one thing, but I doubt he could best Bryan Cranston for all those acting awards).

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

My main problem with Looking is still the same in spite of the improvement. It loves its characters way too much to recognize they are or can be assholes. While Girls gets viewers identification (even if you're not a girl) by being merciless with them, showing all their flaws with no mercy (not even for Hannah) Looking shows their flaws but excuses them. For me that's the difference between being an asshole an being aware of it (Hannah) and being an asshole and thinking your shit is The Shit, like Agustín (Augustine as a first name is probably a female name, and probably French).

As for True Detective, I tried the first episode but I found it hard to understand as a second language user. Too thick accents? Don't know. but I found Joel McHale's parody hilarious.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

stjeans -- i'm glad i'm not alone too :) ...i don't require agreement great conversations can be had with people with whom we disagree about entertainment and art but i'm just perplexed by the hate for Looking.

March 10, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Speaking from a TV awards perspective? Harrelson probably WON'T be submitted as supporting. They need to fill up that miniseries (due to the stated approach, they'll be approaching this like American Horror Story to soak up as many nods as possible) bracket somehow (there aren't nearly as many of those these days) and be as respectable as possible, even if Harrelson has no hope of winning.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

For me, Looking has just been very boring. It feels almost like nothing happens. Finally when we hit the last two episodes I felt like things were going on. Augustin is one of the most unlikeable characters I've ever seen on TV (thankfully he was much better on the last episode), and Dom is just kind of there. The show is by no means BAD, it's just kinda okay in my opinion, but I think a big problem is that it's only a half hour so you can't even get much done. At least that's how it feels to me.

The show is also extremely white washed (sure there are quite a few latinos, but where are the black guys? the asians?) which is sad considering it's a show for a minority group about a minority group, yet the black gays still have to watch feeling left out by the white man.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

I liked Looking very much, especially Episode 5, where Patrick and Richie waunder through San Francisco. I agree that that was the turning point for the series. And Richie's last scene with Patrick in Episode 8 was heartbreaking.

I also agree that the series would benefit from having more minority characters (Asians especially; there are so many Asians in the city).

I'm already anticipating the next season (next year?) . . .

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRC

Philip -- but Frank is black or at least mixed race. It's true that the show is largely white but then so is Girls and so are a lot of shows. Not saying that it excuses it but i just feel there's more nitpicking going on with this series than most new series out there.

Iggy -- do you really think the show excuses their flaws? I'm not sure I see that. It seems like Agustin is hurting right now precisely because he's such an asshole (although I do wish Patrick hadn't forgiven him so quickly for that hateful reaction to Richie... that's the only note in the series so far that has really bothered me. Friends not responding well to boyfriends/girlfriends is a fairly common drama in real life but people don't generaly get over it instantly. it tends to create more complications)

March 10, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I have never in my life been so unfathomably angry at a character like I am with Patrick after Looking's season finale. I guess that means something. It's kind of wonderful how bottoming can be such a crucial character and story moment though.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDerreck.

I for one adore Looking. I'm just thrilled that we have a well-made and realistic show centering on gay men. "Realistic" is obviously subjective here, but compared to shows like The New Normal, it's as real as it gets. Never understood the hate thrown at it, but what can you do? The gays tend to nitpick over the most minute things, and there'll always be a continent of gays who are bothered by something that's on or not on the show. It's a shame because I think Looking deserves a much better reception than what it's been given by the gay community.

Regardless, I'm mildly depressed that I have to wait until 2015 for the next season. HBO kills me.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

That doesn't excuse it at all. That's one of the reasons Girls leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I was expecting more from a gay show, that's all.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

I'm so glad to see this post, as I wrote up some thoughts myself on these two shows recently (www.homefilmschooled.com)!

I found True Detective to be one of the most deeply unsettling television watching experiences that I've had in recent memory, so haunted was I by some of the imagery and especially the themes at play. The show is designed to keep you in the dark and on edge, and while it was perhaps too successful at the former, the stalling nature of some of the passages within the early episodes resulted in some confusing pacing; but the tension, for me at least, never let up. Did the show end with a bit of a whimper rather than with the bang many expected? Sure. But for a show that has clearly sought to navigate that fuzzy border between embracing expectations (i.e. stereotypes) and subverting them, that makes an odd sort of sense.

As for the craft and visuals of the show, I guess I found them more interesting than you did. The craft on display is immaculate, and (at the risk of provoking internet ire) if you need a comparison point for what True Detective has done so well, just look at the similarly expensive House of Cards. The sets on Cards look cheap, the frame is rarely as full of visual cues and extra information, and the visual effects are obvious in their inadequacy -- none of which stood out to me as being the case in Detective. True Detective spent much of its time gazing at rural poverty, but rendered it in as grotesquely intricate a manner as possible.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRJ

I actually just spoke with my roommate about it... I think the problem we have with Looking is that the show doesn't really have a premise aside from "being gay." That's really all it is. And that's not really a good focus, or any sort of focus at all honestly. It's not about some character trying to achieve something who just so happens to be gay and have gay friends and all this stuff, it's just about a gay guy being gay in the most gay city in the US. I don't know... I'm hoping for more from season 2.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

Like, what's the arc here? What's the objective? Just to find themselves? It seems like the characters don't even know what they're working towards, they're kind of just floating in space.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

Mcconaughey won the Emmy last night. His last scene was incredible.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKai

Loving LOOKING has felt like a lonely position here In San Francisco, where the knives have been out since the first 15-second teaser-trailer. If gays in general are hungry for representation, the San Francisco gays are positively starved for it.

In this atmosphere, Patrick didn't stand a chance. He's an upper middle class white guy who works in tech. (If the show was set in NY, that's the equivalent of making the main character a sympathetic Wall Street broker.) In the first episode he thinks one guy is too hairy, another too "portly" and makes fun of a third for having a lazy eye, and then goes on to fetishize uncut Latino cock and act all fussy about the Folsom Street Fair. To the gays here in the land of anti-looksist, sex-positive, polyamorous, multicultural progressive queer utopia, a bumbling, half-aware character like Patrick seemed exactly like the kind of guy you move to San Francisco to avoid. It's a narrow critique, of course. That said, I think the creators made a mistake by not having Patrick be newer to the city, more of a fish out of water, like Mary Ann Singleton in "Tales of the City." Patrick is supposed to have been here 8 years, right? Seems like he'd have encountered an uncut cock in that time.

I agree with you, Nathaniel, that all of this gives the character somewhere to go, a person to develop into his better self. If the show is smart, they'll give Patrick something he actively wants, something he's striving for, rather than having him bounce from moment to moment making mistakes along the way and being defined in contrast to stronger characters like Richie and Kevin and Dom. Patrick needs to grow into the type of main character you can root for, whether you're a PC San Francisco queen or not.

PS: That final scene with Richie had me bawling my eyes out. (Please, Emmy nominators: Remember Raúl Castillo!)

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

Yes, no matter what they do, the show adopts their perspective in most cases so we never question their reasons, and so the show can continue presenting them in a (mostly) positive way. I believe that if you present or see a character from different perspectives (i.e Marnie in Girls as seen by Hannah) is when you avoid being indulgent with them and you really show their 3 dimensions. It's not so much in what the other characters think (I thank the show for not having the 3 characters meeting for coffee to tell their stories and judge each other), but in the perspective from which the show decides to show the characters, and in Looking most of the time we only get their own view on themselves. The case of Agustín is a case for study. He just doesn't do anything right, he's a total asshole and still there's room for the show to imply that is the artist temperament.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

@Philip H: "Like, what's the arc here? What's the objective? Just to find themselves? It seems like the characters don't even know what they're working towards, they're kind of just floating in space."
Yeah, I think that it's true but this is the BEST thing about this show. It's different. It doesn't concentrate on plot but rather on emotions and intimacy. And that's awesome. I'm in love with "Looking" and I'm really, really disappointed that now I have to wait one year to see what will happen next between Patrick, Richie and Kevin. I hope that the second season will be longer because eight 30-minutes episodes is like NOTHING!

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSomeone

Loved the Looking finale and the season as a whole. It's a fascinating mix of the prosaic and specific and is so fully present-tense I feel like in ten years it'll be a dated relic (we hope).

iggy, in the case of Augustin, I'd argue the show specifically rejects the the idea of his artistic temperament excusing his assholiness. He's just an asshole. Look at how his former boss sees him. Or CJ. Or even his ex-boyfriend. Listen to him talking to his boyfriend: "I admit it now...." jeez, not his pleading admission, but the "now." So profoundly pathetic, and the show doesn't shy away from that.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

I LOVE Looking. My man, however, is one of those strange creatures who think it is somehow inferior to Queer as Folk, which I don't understand. The only thing is that QAF really was only a couple of small steps above total trash TV, with uninteresting/poorly written soap opera characters, which to some people means it was "easier" to watch than Looking, which is deliberately a bit slow and withholding - both with plot and with nudity. I can see that argument, but I don't understand it. Looking is far, FAR richer a show than I ever expected, and certainly moreso than it had to be. Color me surprised - I was NOT expecting that, even with Andrew Haigh at the helm.

Side note: Since that gorgeous, PERFECT fifth episode, I've gotten the urge to watch Weekend again twice. GOOD GOD but that is a great film!

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

Damn Nathaniel, you are on point today. Well said on all accounts.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrianZ

Iggy: Agustín is a masculine name in Spanish. The corresponding female name is Agustina.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMarcos

Agree with SanFranCinema -- Patrick is too bumbling to have lived here for 8 years; at a minimum he'd at least be more self-aware. The second season should just revolve around Richie. Raul Castillo is amazing. Roomies and I were thrilled to get a glimpse of our neighborhood in the final ep -- Glen Park! Not that there was any reason for Augustin to have wandered there. No one seems to comment on this, but this has to be the most visually interesting show on tv.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermikey67

Philip -- but why does there have to be a goal? a ton of shows are about people trying to figure life out or just live it (Parenthood, Once & Again, Thirtysomething, Girls, Sex & The City, Getting On) I guess i don't see the argument because a ton of shows are like that. they're primarily character pieces. Plot is not this show's strong point.

iggy -- you really only think we're seeing the characters from their own POV of themselves? Maybe that's an issue of needing a broader cast but i think the supporting characters are pretty on point in terms of offering different eyes on the leads. (but yeah their roles should be beefed up)

March 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I'm one of those people who wasn't too much into Looking from the first episode. I didnt have a problem with it not representing me, just that I wasn't finding the characters or the story interesting yet, but I'm glad I stuck with it because it has gotten better and better. Episode 5 as you said was a big turning point and was the episode that reminded me most of Weekend which was my point of reference going into the series (tough act to follow and big expectations to place on something, i know). And while I am not in love with it, I am excited for the second season, I just wish the episodes were longer, some of the episodes feel like they could be fleshed out a lot more. Also, I think Richie is too good for Patrick and this has nothing to do with the huge crush I have developed on Russel Tovey.

True Detective got me a bit more interested on the first episode on the other hand. It was pretty interesting overall, but it did have some rough patches. I just am so mesmerized by McCounaghey in it, and by Harrelson too. Not in love with it too but I defenitely dont regret sticking with it.

I am also going to use this space to take out my frustration with AHS:Coven, a season that had me so in loved the first half, and then it all turned to fan service, delivering what I belive to be the worst season so far. Just want to see if anyone agrees with me.

March 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterpaco.

Paco - I started with AHS with Coven and then decided to try out Asylum and Asylum makes Coven look completely asinine. I haven't either bothered to look at the first season and after the hot ass mess that was Coven, i'm not sure that i will check out the fourth season.

You're totally right about the fan service and Coven just seemed to bring out all of Ryan Murphy's worst instincts. At least Asylum was a solid season. Coven was all over the place, the Supreme arc was a flop and Marie Laveau and Delphine LaLaurie's plotline ended with a whimper.

March 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDerreck.

Love "Looking" and its finale. Especially fond of Patrick and scene-stealer Doris. It was the right bookend to the pilot on every level, and that Golden Girls ending was perfect. As for "Queer as Folk" I know it's assumed the US version which is at most enjoyable trash, but the UK one had some definite charm and merit, and it gave us Charlie Hunnam.

March 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

Nathaniel - I guess that's true? Out of all of those I only watch Sex and the City so I can't comment on the others, but Sex and the City felt like they were trying to understand what it's like to be women, friends, lovers, mothers, etc in this world. And they knew that. Maybe I'd find it more interesting if they weren't in the most gay friendly city in the US? But I don't know. I guess I don't have a real argument anymore, lol, except that the show just isn't very entertaining. Sex and the City is endlessly watchable and I'm bored to tears with Looking. What gives.

March 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

I ADORE Looking also and I think True Detective is massively overrated though I like the performances (sidenote: does every TV show have to feature male antiheroes to be considered great TV and do the stakes always have to involve murder?).

As a gay person of color, it bothers me when people say Looking is all white guys because that is objectively not true. Not only is the actor who plays Frank half-black and the character is presented as black (remember the Cheetos comment?) but Augustin and Richie are Latino! And the show even DEALS with the imbrication of race and class (Patrick's issues with Richie/the scene where Richie tries to speak Spanish with Augustin) which most shows won't even touch!

March 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAkash

PS: Also I'm disappointed there hasn't been as much buzz for Groff's quietly effective work in Looking as there has been for McConaughey's more affected performance on True Detective. EVERYTHING Groff did in the pilot was deserving of an Emmy -- so beautiful and nuanced and so different from the other Lead Actor in a Comedy nominees/winners these days, which tends to be a far less interesting category than Lead Actress and not just for actressexuals. I know Looking is not really a comedy, but the definition of TV comedy has expanded (thank god) beyond sitcoms and in that genre, Groff deserves to win the Emmy,

March 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAkash

I have never seen Looking, but I gotta say, that title is so generic and nondescript that it doesn't really pull you in. It also connotes yet another emblematic tribute to cruising--something the world doesn't really want or need. But this article makes me want to rethink. Thanks, Nathan!

March 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Nathaniel- just look at the scene you mention, when Patrick doesn't really get very upset because of Agustín's atitude to his boyfriend. The relationships between the three friends are not built enough to have a complete view of how they see each other. Agustín is a different case, but do we know how Bakula sees his partner? Do we know how his partner sees Agustín or even Patrick? Maybe it's because the nature of the characters, they're three self absorbed guys too busywith their own issues to really care about the others. Why are they friends in the first place? We don't know, we just assume they are, but there's nothing or very little showing of their affection between them.

I'm not saying it's a bad show, I'm not a hater. Though it's true that I hated the first two episodes with a passion, and stopped looking (pun intended), and I only went back when I read about epiosode 4. It's only that I'm absolutely in love with Girls, and Looking doesn't hold up to the comparison. It's not fair, I know. But there was this one scene in Girls (don't remember the episode nor the season) where we see Adam lying on the couch (or bed) just staring at Hannah who is on the phone with her things. Just that scene shows us the love for her and how he sees her. That's offering a different perspective of the character.

Marcos - gracias, I know.

March 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

Okay, I think LOOKING is *clearly* aware of the characters' problems. Calling anyone but Agustin "awful" is pushing it (Dom's only issue is his vanity). And did people even watch the last episode? Agustin admitted he's a dick and then had Frank tear his face off in that perfectly acted scene at the Oakland house.

Lest we forget that many shows have more than 8 25-minute episodes in their first season to pull a successful show together. Many, including some of the greatest, like Sex and the City did not become the show we know until after their first season had come and gone and they knew what worked and what didn't. That Raul Castillo, Russell Tovey and Lauren Weedman have been bumped up to regulars in season 2 says they at least know that much. Those three provided some of the best moments - especially in the finale when each had a scene that was hit out of the ballpark. I'm only sat that O.T. Fagbenie (Frank) will likely be put out to pasture in Oakland. As much as I liked his character and Fagbenie's performance, I think it's be cruel to get them back together. Maybe he can appear once or twice. That'd be nice.

The idea that "they just happen to be gay" always frustrates me. "I'm a man first and gay second" being the sort of Grindr-talk that gets me mad. Yes, the show has no real stance other than the characters are gay, but as sad as it is to admit that IS a unique stance. So many people seem to want a show where the characters "just happen to be gay" and spend no time actually *being* gay and projecting gay and so on. They want a show about a group of accountants and lawyers and doctors that are only gay when they have a dick in their arse. Not enough sex! Too much sex! Ugh. Who can keep up with what gay audiences want?

I don't believe for a second that people in San Francisco - as according to San Francinema - aren't judgemental. If anything, just like NYC, I imagine they're even more judgmental. With more options etc etc. I doubt many could say they've never made a quip or a joke about somebody's weight or their equivalent of a lazy eye.

March 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

"To the gays here in the land of anti-looksist, sex-positive, polyamorous, multicultural progressive queer utopia, a bumbling, half-aware character like Patrick seemed exactly like the kind of guy you move to San Francisco to avoid."

Wow, nice to know that the gays in San Francisco are so non-judgmental. So everyone there is completely aware and never makes mistakes? What a utopia!

March 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commentervladdy

Vladdy, yes, that was exactly the (ironic) point I was trying to make.

March 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

San FranCinema, I beg your pardon. I originally read and understood your full comment, but when I went to look for something I wanted to answer, I think I accidentally pulled yours out of context and mixed it up with another comment. Sorry. I promise your point was clear, just not my thinking this afternoon.

March 12, 2014 | Unregistered Commentervladdy

Cheers, Vladdy.

March 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

I did not like "Looking" at first but the show got better with each new episode. It feels more like a gay indie movie than a regular tv show.

March 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

I don't quite see what's wrong with a gay centric show where the show is about the character's gayness rather them characters who happen to be gay. Maybe you're lucky to live in a post gay world or whatever, but for some being gay is a major part of who they are and I have no problems with a show that's about that.

March 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBee

Yes, Akash, I thought Groff deserves an Emmy nom for his quietly funny, heartbreaking work!

March 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLars

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