HBO’s Looking debuted 5 years ago today: January 19th, 2014.
The controversial series followed the everyday lives of three gay men in San Francisco, each with their own distinct point of view and story to tell.
The show was able to manage two full seasons before getting the axe. Luckily fans of the program were able to get a much-needed conclusion to these characters when a movie was filmed that aired on July 23rd, 2016.
The main character of the series was Patrick, played by Broadway veteran Jonathan Groff. Patrick was a SF transplant who often found himself in situations that he didn’t necessarily know how to handle (taking an AIDS test, douching, etc). He encountered two intense relationships during the series run: first with barber Richie (Raul Castillo) and then with his tech boss Kevin (Russell Tovey). Both imploded during the first and second season, however the movie concluded with Patrick and Richie falling back in love and them moving out of SF and into Texas.
Agustin (Frankie J. Alvarez) was an artist’s assistant who couldn’t catch a break in the field that he worked in and was his own worst enemy both professionally and personally. His character was often seen as selfish and self-absorbed in the first season, however he evolved into a much more likable person in season two when he dated Eddie (Daniel Franzese), an openly HIV-positive gay men who ran a homeless shelter for LGBT youth.
Finally there was Dom, played by Murray Bartlett. Dom was the eldest of the three characters who lived with his longtime BFF Doris (Lauren Weedman). He initially was stuck being a sommelier at a gastronomic restaurant while has dreams of opening up his own place one day. He manages to fall in love with floral shop owner Lynn (Scott Bakula) who started as an investor of his but they develop something much deeper as the show progressed.
Looking was heavily criticized even before it premiered. Some saw the show as being way too stereotypical while others harped on the cast not for not being diverse enough. On the flip side there were several fans who were thrilled to have a gay-themed show on the air that was a lot more realistic to them compared to ones that preceded it like Queer as Folk. Both of those criticisms stuck through the series run.
Looking is available for streaming on HBO NOW for anyone who wants to catch up or hasn’t watched it just yet.