HBO's Looking, Episode 2: Oakland Still Doesn't Look Right
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Behold, the desolate and dream-sucking chasm of concrete and three-legged pitbulls known as Oakland. At least, that's how it seems Looking will be portraying "Brooklyn of the West." Don't they know that the NYT said Oakland was, like, the fifth coolest place in America? Augustin moves in with his BF Frank, and the house looks like it has been plunked down in the center of the Coliseum parking lot. The set designer did at least get the interior of the place right: a thrift store mishmash of urban junk and tapestries.
The show is already hitting its stride though; we are already invested in the characters, especially Dom, the moustachioed gad-about who has somewhat anonymous OK Cupid sex with tiny men.
We the viewers are obviously supposed to be focusing on Patty -- he's the one with vulnerabilities and charm, and for that reason I am not drawn to him. I feel like I'm being manipulated. But he's good enough of an actor (the role is played by Jonathan Groff) that he could eventually win me over.
HBO Murray Bartlett as Dom
Here's what has people talking about this show: The universality of relationships, regardless of sexuality. The awkward sex scene with Patty and Richie has been replayed by either gender for centuries, usually in a college dorm room. Patty admits that he had been reading up on whether or not Latino men are circumcised, and he giggles about it, which turns Richie way off. Total cock block. I've had similar experiences, not so much with the state of someone's dick, but letting slip in the lead-up to amore that I had viewed their ex's Facebook page, or making a joke about some part of their body that they obviously had issues with... and I know men can relate to that last one.
HBO is banking on the fact that everyone will find their voice in this show. And they may be right.