Looking Forward to the Second Season of ‘Looking’

Looking Season 2 PosterIn preparation for the fast approaching second season of HBO’s Looking I revisited Season 1 from start to finish. In a previous post, I discussed Season 1’s first 5 episodes, but after a thorough rehashing of Looking’s entire 8 episode freshman season I not only wanted to revisit and further explore a few points, but I also decided to share some things I want to see MORE of in Season 2.

  • Patrick a.k.a. Me?

PatrickUnfortunately, as I mentioned in my previous Looking Review, Patrick really does remind me of myself in numerous ways. These similarities concern me because, despite some redeeming qualities, Patrick can be unattractively nervous, clumsy, uncomfortable in his skin, naïve, and slightly superficial. Neither he nor I have been in a long-term relationship and, yes, sometimes when I’m on a date I need a few alcoholic drinks in me to fully relax.

The further I delved into Season 1, the more things I realized we have in common. I do not love Patrick as a person or as a character. I suppose we are both still maturing as characters. Hopefully, Patrick has some redeeming moments in the new season.

  • Episode 1 is still a snore fest

On my second viewing of the series’ first episode I found myself not having much of a reaction. Come to think of it, I didn’t have much of a reaction to it the first time around. Here is to hoping that the Season 2 opener will be more engaging and interesting.

  • Richie: My Perfect Man

Patrick and RichieI have come to love Raúl Castillo. My heart jumps a little when he steps on screen. He is so cute, but more importantly I love how he portrays Richie. For that matter, and to give the writers due credit, I love how Richie is written. Richie is so centered. So rational. So emotionally stable. So strong. And to top it all off, he is a good dancer.

For me, Richie improves the entire show. His presence makes Patrick better and less annoying. Every one of my favorite scenes from the first season had Richie in them. I am the most excited to revisit Richie’s character in Season 2 to see what happens for him next.

  • My Favorite Scene from Season 1

In case anyone was wondering, my favorite scene from Season 1 is the planetarium scene from Richie and Patrick’s Episode 5 date. It was real and heartfelt, filled with true moments of two people connecting.

  • My Second Favorite Scene from Season 1

My second favorite scene from Season 1 is when Richie confronts/talks to Patrick outside his place in Episode 8. Patrick has just gotten back from making a wrong decision and the audience gets to watch him immaturely try to justify his actions by telling Richie, “I thought you said you didn’t want to talk to me ever again.” (As though he truly thought it was okay to sleep with Kevin because he and Richie would never speak again.) Richie clarifies, “I didn’t say that.” And then he calls Patrick out on his mistakes and his not being ready for a real relationship. I admired Richie’s strength in this scene. He stands his ground and is very brave to tell Patrick how he feels. I hope his ability to project honesty and to speak the truth rubs off on Patrick in season 2.

  • Let’s see less Agustín

Agustín continued to get more unlikeable and reprehensible as Season 1 progressed. He was constantly trying to scare and intimidate Patrick. By the end of Episode 8, I did not want to hear Agustín’s voice for one more second and I was literally tired of seeing his face. I clapped when Franklin finally told him off. Agustín’s entire presence is toxic and unlikable. Is it Frankie Alvarez’s fault that I hate Agustín, or is this the way the writers want me to feel about him? I hope we are either exposed to much less of this character in Season 2 or that his personality is drastically altered.

  • Kevin: The More Dangerous Choice

In Episode 4, Patrick and Kevin spend a lot of time together during the day of the Folsom Street Fair. I remember when I first watched this episode last year I wanted Patrick and Kevin to have sex. I wanted to see Kevin/Russel Tovey naked. Plus, I thought Kevin seemed sweet and enduring. Now after having watched the entire first season, I can’t shake the feeling that the character of Kevin is sort of slimy and not to be trusted. I cannot feel good about how he pursued Patrick while he was so involved with his current boyfriend. And I didn’t like how he immediately seemed less interested in Patrick after he got what he wanted: sex. I love Russel Tovey, his British accent, and his adorable ears, but my jury is still out on Kevin. Besides I am Team Richie 100%!

Looking SquaresNow let’s explore my hopes for the new season, or put another way, in Season 2 I want MORE…

1. Doris a.k.a. Lauren Weedman. She is funny, likable, insightful and intelligent.

Lauren Weeman

2. Friendships. I want to see more intimate layers exposed behind these friendships. I want some friendship high and low points that I can relate to and enjoy watching.

3. New Characters. I’m looking forward to seeing how the new character of Eddie, played by Daniel Franzese of Mean Girls fame, factors into the new season.

Mean Girls Guy

4. Richie. Along with more development of this character and hopefully more scenes of him dancing.

5. Dom, Lynn and Love. Lynn has a calming presence and he brings out good things in Dom. Besides, I’m curious to see how this relationship blossoms between two older gay men.Dom and love6. Romance in General. I’m a sucker for some romantic sparks and relationships I can envy. Maybe this show can usher me back into dating.

7. Skin. Let’s up the quota for hot, male shirtlessness and nudity if you don’t mind. (more of Russell Tovey or Jonathan Groff‘s asses would not be a bad thing!)

looking skin

8. Time. I would love to see longer episode lengths, but I know that this is not going to happen. Looking’s creators have addressed this want from fans in numerous interviews. Alas, it looks like we will just have to deal with it and learn to feel satisfied in our tiny 30 minute fixes.

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The 10 Worst Things About Being Gay and Trying to Date in a Small Town

Deserted Small Town

  1. Lack of Variety: The gay population is so small that I see the same guys over and over every time I go out. I am just as bored with continuously seeing them as they are with continuously seeing me.
  2. We have one gay bar: The slogan for my local gay bar feels less like “You want to go where everybody knows your name” and more like “You are stuck going where everybody already knows your personal business”.
  3. No Culture: There are hardly any cultural or artistic events anywhere near me (unless if I want to drive over an hour away). This is frustrating to me because art and the like interest me and it would be thrilling to meet a man who is drawn to similar occurrences. I long to stumble across a handsome boyfriend while at a museum, concert, outside festival, or social club.
  4. Gay-ville. Population of 1: In my every day, normal functioning I feel like a black sheep. The small sampling of people around me is predominately heterosexual. As a result, I end up feeling like I am the only gay person who exists for miles.
  5. The Constantly Visible Ex: Around here, after a breakup, if you still choose to go out on the town to the local gay ‘spot’, you get to see your ex-boyfriend over and over and over. As an added bonus, eventually you will get to see him with his new boyfriend. Ugh.
  6. These Straight People are Crowding Me: As I mentioned, most of the public places I would take any date to in this small town are filled with heterosexuals. Gay men, and thus physical affection between two men, are still foreign and make most of these people uncomfortable. This makes any attempt to be flirty and affectionate in public extremely difficult and awkward.
  7. No Gay Box Office: None of the local movie theaters host any gay themed films. Of course most gay films are independently made and have no major film production company as their distributer. These limited releases are usually restricted to large cities. So, the gayest film I can hope to see is the occasional shirtless Mark Wahlberg or Channing Tatum epic.gay social apps
  8. Gay App Hell: Any attempt to use gay, cellphone apps to meet local men to date in a small town are almost completely pointless and torturous. Most of the small town guys are closeted and thus their profile photos are headless body shots and their descriptions are blank or only seeking NSA (No Strings Attached) fun. And humorously the closeted men are one of the better finds. The even more frustrating ones seem to be the bi-curious and experimenting (which means they have a girlfriend they aren’t telling you about and they just want to get off), the married guy only looking for a friend with benefits (FWB), and the 90-year-old man who simply asks you, “Want a BJ?”. Around here, most of the single, desirable, younger, gay men with fantastic jobs have moved to a bigger city in search of a more fulfilling day and night life. To make it more frustrating every time you sign on you are confronted with the same dead-end profiles day after day after day. (It case it is not blazingly obvious yet, repetition is one of the killers in small town life.)
  9. Boring Men Everywhere: I don’t fancy myself a wannabe resident of my small town until the day I die. One day I hope for more interesting surroundings. There is literally nothing to do here that interests me. So, if I finally met a local gay man, and he is happy living in this boring area and aspires to nothing more exciting than this place, then why in the hell would I want to date him in the first place? Even if I find a local man that I really like, I don’t want my relationship with him to trap me here.
  10. That Old Familiar Feeling: To be completely fair, there are many wonderful and positive factors to living in a small town. I speak from my own experience and, personally, I grew up feeling trapped in this small town. Now as an adult, I have temporarily moved back here while I get on my feet financially. And even though so much time has passed, the not so positive affect this place has on me unfortunately has not changed very much. I know they say it is the person, not the place, that is the problem. But isn’t it possible that, sometimes, the place is at least a little bit of the problem? Is this place too small for me to comfortably breathe in?Feeling Trapped