11th Jan2015

‘Looking: The Complete First Season’ DVD Review

by Paul Metcalf


When I first watched Looking on television, I will admit that it didn’t hook me and I moved on to other things.  The first episode just didn’t seem to have that spark that I was looking for to keep my interest.  Now with the release of Looking: The Complete First Season though I decided to give it another chance, and I’m glad I did.

Looking focuses on Patrick (Jonathan Groff), Augustin (Frankie J. Álvarez) and Dom (Murray Bartlett) three best friends all Looking for love.  Patrick is the main focus of the show as the less grounded of the group as he flits between potential partners looking for the right man, or just random dates for the night.  When he finds Richie (Raul Castillo) he may have found ‘the one’ but when his new boss Kevin (Russell Tovey) enters the scene even though he is in a relationship Patrick finds him hard to resist.

Even though Groff’s Patrick is the main character I found myself liking Dom much more.  The eldest of the group, his dream to start a Peri-peri Chicken restaurant maybe not be the most interesting sounding of story lines but his relationship with possible business partner Lynn (Scott Bakula) is actually the most stable yet fiery relationship of the show.  Augustin and Patrick are much more annoying as their pretentious attitudes tend to get in the way of allowing themselves to be in strong relationships, they are always Looking for something better, or more fitting for themselves.

Augustin is an artist willing to take risks for his profession but when it comes to actually displaying these risks to the world he can never fulfil his ambition, pulling out at the last moment.  He is unwilling to risk that one step to success.  It comes as no surprise really that his relationship with Frank (O.T. Fagbenle) runs the same risk as his career.  Augustin plays up to the role of the spoilt rich kid not really willing to take a risk yet willing to waste people’s time proving just how amazingly anarchic he is, when in truth he is just wasting any potential he actually has in love and life.

Patrick is the character who goes through the most change during Looking: The Complete First Season and though I stated that Dom is more interesting you do still get caught up in wanting to see Patrick actually find a relationship and not ruin it.  Groff plays the character very well, to the point that he is annoying as hell, but that is the point.  Spending most of the time caring what other people think about him, testing how they will react and getting so stuck up his own ass assuming the worst, he runs the risk of losing what he is actually Looking for.  His budding obsession with Kevin his boss though is where the electricity of Looking: The Complete First Season is found.

I don’t really want to go too deep into the relationship between Patrick and Kevin, because the will-they-won’t-they aspect of it is a slow burning storyline that has to be experienced, not ruined by me revealing any spoilers.  Jonathan Groff and Russell Tovey work well together and have good chemistry that you can see on the screen from the very first scenes they share, which is very heavy in innuendo.  They make the characters have an obvious connection and tease the audience with the fact that both are in relationships, but you can’t help but feel they should just get it over with and be together…but will they?

Although the first few episodes of Looking: The Complete First Season aren’t the most accessible for the audience and each episode feels a little too short it is a show that really does grow on you.  With a great cast and a well thought out story you end up caring about the characters and hoping that the show will be a success (just so you can see where their relationships go).  The characters may be annoying and pretentious and they really need to get over themselves, but rather than this being a negative point, I do feel this is just what Looking is trying to convey.  Looking could have easily have been called Boys (the male version of Girls)…but I do feel it deserves more than that so it can shine on its own merits, and there are plenty of those on show.

**** 4/5

Looking: The Complete First Season is available on DVD and Blu-ray from January 12th.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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