‘Looking’ Back

While the now last season of this series furthered the cause of gay male visibility on TV, its storylines expanded the characters’ conflicts and challenges significantly.  Sex itself practically became a series regular, going from a Sebastian-like encounter at the start, through a bottom-mocking scenario, and finally  passionate intimacy toward the close.

Augustin’s journey, which initially seemed a kind of blatantly inclusive stretch, was the most interesting, culminating in his literal breaking down the intimacy walls of a plus-sized poz guy.  Dom, too, went to extremes, torn between his suitor’s independence-deflating help and a friendly payday that was ultimately a wash, all of course his P.O.V.

The series though lived and ultimately died by Patrick.  There’s no question Jonathan Groff gave it his all, but the problem was the paltry choices given his character.  Two diametric opposite directions for the rest of his life.

And yet it could not have been clearer with neon sign to boot:  Richie is and will be “the one” for him.  The Halloween scene was fun and painful, a blistering x-ray into just how un-self-loving Patrick has become.  Which might explain his fusion with/repulsion to Kevin, himself a serial romantic.  I had thought their first workplace connection might be a downlow thing, which could have interestingly twisted up the “Gay Guys in Apartment 3-G” premise.  But instead due to the alternately moody and glacial pacing, the show clearly pitted Patrick’s self-dread against Richie’s selflessness, barrelling doubtlessly toward some major showdown.

It’s entirely possible the moment has passed where the need and success of an “all-gay” series exists.  And yet from all that the producers have said, the hunger and yearning of so many gay men (this one included) to see our stories out there couldn’t be stronger.  Terrific try, and better luck—to one and all—next time.

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