Sunday, February 16, 2014

Weekday (Television Review: Looking, Episode Five: Looking For The Future)

Well, it had to happen. "Looking" is executive produced by Andrew Haigh, who did the movie "Weekend," and tonight's episode, "Looking For The Future" is basically the episodic version of that movie. Fresh from their one night stand (well, technically it's their second time together) Patrick and Richie explore each other, physically and emotionally. The first part's awkwardness is subsiding, but the second part is brutal. This is a brutally honest episode, and the chemistry between Patrick and Richie sizzles not just externally, but most importantly, intimately. In fact, very rarely do you see this kind of intimacy on a television program. Actually cross, that. It is the first tie that I have seen such intimacy between two people on network television - gay or straight. This episode is achingly real. We normally get naked intimacy between two people  - and after a while that gets boring - but in here we see two people laying their vulnerabilities out in the open, just like a real first date. Well, just like a real date when you get past your physical attraction and you want to get to know the person inside. The dialogue, so wonderful and raw, make me cringe because I have had exactly the same ones. Groff is fantastic yet again, expressing a myriad of emotions all at once: hopeful, happy, excited, aroused, scared, curious, bewildered, satisfied. Never has falling in love been more emotionally expressed in a performance. But he is also intuitive enough to not be obvious: you know there's still an element of surprise there. You never really know what he is completely feeling, and you - just like his character - are never really ready for where his story will take you. Castillo is perfectly matched - he is slightly wiser, but not really. Patrick is the type of person who thinks ten times over what he does and says, and Richie seems to be the opposite. Notice the great dichotomy when he takes Patrick on a "surprise" destination - Patrick is uncomfortable with losing control of the situation, while he seems to relish it. (Even Patrick calling in sick that day, as random as the situation is - seems cautiously calculated) In that case, they are perfect for each other. But are they? I still have doubts. And that may be the heartbreak that this episode is heading towards, and will mark this show's brilliance.

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