Friday, January 31, 2014

A critique on the new show "Looking"

I have to admit, when I saw the first episode of "Looking" (the new HBO hit) I was a bit confused by what the screen writers were going for. There was a lot of hype that this would be a "different" look into the queer world with more characters of color. I was actually thrown aback from the first episode. It actually showed more people of color or in this case Latino men being side caste by Jonathan Groff character Patrick and Murray Bartlet character Dom. For me it created the same repetitive sidekick where people of color were strong side leads and not the main focus. I thought this was going to be about people of color, not about a white man trying to find himself a person of color to date to prove a point. This only reinforces the idea that people of color can only play parts that are not main leads. While Jonathan Groff has a great career ahead of him, it pains me to see the story situate itself around him for the first episode. While I am unsure how the other characters air time will be calculated I wish they had shown them more. I still long for a TV show that can showcase all different types of queer people of color existing and tackling issues of structural oppression that they face every day. If there was a TV show that centered on Trans* and gender non-conforming folks having to deal with day to day oppression it would be great. It would be even better to see them make a created family in which grounds them and keeps them together and moving in this racist, sexist, homophobic, classist etc. world. That would be a TV show that I could totally see myself in.

         However, the other "main" characters are people of color who are both Latino and are going through a time in their relationship were being in an open relationship is new to them. I find this comforting to see that this is being discussed in a major network, because honestly in my circle of friends it is not talked about. It's not like being in an open relationship is bad, it just isn't the "norm" in many cases within my circle of friends (including myself). I believe that with many states being able to pass gay marriage laws, the LG community are straying away from open relationships and moving towards being monogamous. Even Jonathan's character battles with this issue with his friend when they discuss what is happening in their "open" relationship. I put the open in quotation marks because form the show it shows that one of the characters is more willing to be in an open relationship and it was never consented that this was happening. It becomes painstakingly clear that this is the direction in which the LG community is heading. I find this more to deal with conforming to hetero-normative acts. I believe that being in a healthy open relationship that is consented from both parties is a great way to deconstruct the hetero-normative oppression’s that is placed on QPOC folks. I do believe that going toward a more monogamous relationship is not bad, but for the folks who are committed to staying in one not to lose your identity in the process of assimilating to this hetero-normative society. 

Persisting Petro

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