#FIRSTLOOK: HBO’S “LOOKING” STARRING JONATHAN GROFF
I am absolutely unafraid to admit that HBO‘s LOOKING is my newest Guilty Pleasure. As its first Season reached a half-way point this weekend, I look forward with a bit of sadness that there are only a few more weeks till it concludes. And then comes an excruciating wait for another Season. Hopefully.
The Premise is simple, but there are so many, many rich unafraid-to-go-there layers in this Series from Creator Michael Lannan. Set in San Francisco, we get an honest look at the lives of three Gay Men: Patrick (Jonathan Groff), Agustín (Frankie J. Alvarez) and Dom (Murray Bartlett). If this were Sex and the City, Patrick – a Video Game Developer looking for love – certainly would be our Carrie. Agustín – a coupled Artist amidst a bit of a creative Dry Spell – and Dom – a Waiter aspiring to embark once again as a Restauranteur after a big disappointment – don’t so clearly fit the archetypes of Samantha, Miranda nor Charlotte, but as the Series gets rolling, we get the feeling big changes are about to take place for both of them. We can’t wait to see what happens next and we have a feeling there might be a bit of trouble. The knowing glances we get from our three Leading Men capture so subtly that unique dynamic among Gay Men of perhaps once being potential Lovers before deciding ultimately to be Friends.
Fans of GLEE and FROZEN will feel a sense of familiarity with Groff who has starred in both, the latter still freezing its position near the top of the Box Office, and he is just really, really good here. He owns it as a picky, fumbling Patrick, constantly reminding us the importance of using a filter when we speak, but we are with him every step of the way watching him redeem himself each time.
In one super-awkward moment in the Series’ third Episode he hits-on Kevin (Russell Tovey), whom we later learn actually is his soon-to-be Boss. Raúl Castillo plays Richie, whom Patrick meets on the Subway and we become enamoured at first glance. Did I mention, the Cast is heartbreakingly-handsome?
If that weren’t enough, the amazing Scott Bakula also stars in the Series as a Floral Shop Owner, Lynn. We meet him in a towel only in a Steam Room with Dom. Yes, I just said Scott Bakula and Steam Room in one sentence.
LOOKING looks and feels like San Francisco, taking us away for 30 minutes to another place every time. The eclectic Electronic-Pop selections also are just pitch-perfect. While most eyes are on HBO‘s Runaway Hit TRUE DETECTIVE right now, this new Comedy Series certainly isn’t to be ignored.
Anyhow, I’ll let you Wongsters discover LOOKING on your own. It airs Sunday nights on HBO Canada at 10:30 PM EST.
Learn more here.
Some of the more memorable moments thus far:
Patrick (Jonathan Groff) hitting-on eventual Boss Kevin (Russell Tovey)
Dom (Murray Bartlett) meets Lynn (Scott Bakula) in a Steam Room
Agustín‘s curiosity piqued by a Male Sex Worker who makes $220/hr
Patrick (Jonathan Groff) meets Richie (Raúl Castillo)
(Photo credit: HBO)