For this week’s Looking review I’m filling in for Daily Xtra‘s regular reviewer, so head on over to my review on their website!
I am often confounded by the startling, stranger-than-fiction symmetry of so called “real life.” A short, hypothetically romantic vacation this past weekend with my boyfriend at an adorable Montreal bed & breakfast in the heart of the gay village turned into an extended reality check. After a stopover in Kingston, ON, darling boyfriend began to feel nauseas, and what we hoped was just carsickness turned out to be a mildly debilitating stomach flu. We navigated that as best we could, and he started feeling better Sunday, the afternoon we were to catch a bus back to Toronto. I started feeling waves of nausea, and a terrible headache welled up… after a stopover in Kingston, ON. I managed to make it home for another quick stopover, before continuing on to the hospital early that morning to be treated for a fairly debilitating stomach flu. Hilariously, I registered in my dehydrated delirium that two out of the three nurses that treated me were sassy and undeniably gay.
Long story short, I’m late with my Looking review this week because of ugly, unfabulous, tragicomic reality. You couldn’t make this stuff up.
So what is the magic equation for these episodes? After a quick dig through IMDB I learned my statement that last week’s episode “Looking for $220/Hour” (which I found to be one of the weakest-written episodes) was actually written by Allan Heinberg, not strictly creator/producer Michael Lannan. In any case, “Looking for the Future,” written by creator Andrew Haigh, is certainly the strongest written thus far.
Just when I thought I was going to get some work done today, next week’s episode of Looking was released early.
In this exciting new episode we explore Patrick’s career as a video game level designer! It’s quite sad how truly excited I am for this episode. The “gay guy video game developer” premise was what made me sure I would give the series a try. This episode starts at a wrap party for the video game Naval Destroyer, which Patrick’s studio has been working on.
“They keep telling us to expand our demographic, and then they force us to make a game where you can’t even play as a female,” Patrick says. “And I’m a guy, and I always play as a female, and before you say it, it’s not because I’m gay.”
Perhaps I’m making this judgment early, but I think my dream of what Looking could be is coming true. I think the show has something new to say, while striking a balance between wry, sarcastic, signature gay-humour and dark, quiet moments.
Certainly I’m not the first person to jump to conclusions prematurely. An artist who I really admire posted on Facebook asking if the first episode of Looking was worth a watch, and he received dozens of comments calling the show, in various iterations, garbage, usually preceded or followed by, “I haven’t even seen the show yet, but…” A decent metaphor for the gay community: making assumptions and judgments based on surface appearance. I’m not saying people can’t disagree with me on the numerous things I really like about the show. What I find maddening is when people don’t even give something a chance. I mean, come on… I watched almost a whole season of RuPaul’s Drag Race before deciding that it’s cons outweighed it’s pros.
But I digress. Episode two: Looking.