HBO renews ‘Looking’ for season 2

Senior Television Writer
02.26.14 37 Comments


HBO has ordered a second season of “Looking,” its new dramedy about a trio of gay friends in San Francisco.

Created by Andrew Haigh and produced by Haigh, Michael Lannan and Sarah Condon, “Looking” tells the story of Patrick (Jonathan Groff), a video game designer getting into his first serious adult relationship; Agustin (Frankie J. Alvarez), Patrick's ex-roommate, adjusting to living with his boyfriend; and Dom (Murray Bartlett), whose 40th birthday has pushed him to get serious about launching his own restaurant.

Joining the cast full-time in season 2: Raul Castillo as Richie, Patrick's new boyfriend; Lauren Weedman as Doris, Dom's ex-girlfriend and current roommate; and Russell Tovey as Kevin, Patrick's boss and frequent (and probably mutual) distraction. Filming will begin later this year in San Francisco.

I liked “Looking” after the first four episodes but felt more engaged by the depiction of San Francisco and the particular communities Patrick and his friends moved through than I was by the three regulars. Having now watched the remaining four episodes (two have yet to air; HitFix's Gregory Ellwood has been writing about each of them as they air), I'm very much invested in the Patrick/Richie relationship, which was the lone subject of the show's terrific fifth episode, “Looking for the Future.” It's a slow build, and the ratings have been soft – for the season, “Looking” has been averaging 2 million cumulative viewers (including DVR and replays) for each episode, compared to 4.3 million for “Girls” and 10.9 million for “True Detective” – but as a pay cable channel, HBO often cares more about what a show does for the brand than how many viewers it pulls in. (See also the recent renewal of “Getting On.”)

This is a very good show, that doesn't feel like anything else on the air, and I'm glad it gets to continue.

For those of you who've been watching so far, what do you think? You happy it's coming back? Beyond the cast additions, are there any changes you'd want to see in a second season?

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