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'Looking' react: HBO's dramedy gets grieving right

Season 2 | Episode 7 | “Looking for a Plot” | Aired Mar 1, 2015

There wasn’t very much Richie or Kevin in tonight’s Looking, though Kevin did make a giant, important step in the right direction. So I’m going to skip my scorecard this week to do a Looking react and talk about how well the show did at portraying a funeral and the different types of grief that people go through when someone close (or not so close) to them dies.

The episode starts the morning after last week’s Halloween party. Doris gets a text letting her know that her father has passed away. Already eating breakfast, Doris appears to be more concerned about where the coffee she ordered is. You never know how grief is going to strike when someone close to you dies (or in Patrick’s case, when someone you’ve never met and only peripherally know dies). Looking is whip-smart in its portrayal of Doris, Dom, and Patrick’s reactions.

Doris feels unease more than anything else. She doesn’t want to go back home to Modesto, where she fought so hard to get out and leave for a better place. She doesn’t want to see her family or have to go through the rigmarole where everyone tells you how sorry they are and asks how you’re doing. There’s a lot of strangeness with these things. You find smaller issues to focus on, like the ugly suit your father is about to be buried in. Doris doesn’t want to see her father’s body, but Dom talks her into it when he tells her how he regrets not having seen his father’s corpse. Once there, Doris says, “I hate how much makeup they put on him. It’s so gross.” Dom does the best possible thing he could and replies, “He looks like a drag queen.” Dom knows that what’s going to be most helpful right now is to make Doris laugh, and he does.

There’s a weird, guilty feeling that comes with seeing a dead loved one and not crying about it, and Doris touches on this while she reminisces with Patrick and Dom about old times. No one can tell you how to do your grieving, and Dom and Patrick are the best friends she could have, because they’re simply there and willing to do whatever she wants. Dom asks if she wants to visit family before the funeral. She says, “F— no. I wanna do something fun.”

Funerals and death stir up a lot of memories—sometimes ones that seem random or insignificant, like Doris remembering how bad her dad was at golf. For Dom, it reminded him of his own father’s funeral, and he was filled with regret because he never got to tell his dad that he’s gay. Patrick and Doris (again, the best friends ever) take him to the cemetery and help him do it, despite being unable to find his father’s tombstone.

Even Patrick has a visceral reaction to seeing all of these people mourning in the cemetery, and he breaks down and cries harder than anyone else there. It seems like there’s always someone like this at every funeral—the person crying much harder than it seems they have the right to. But again, it goes back to what Looking got so right here. You don’t know how you’re going to grieve, and it just happens differently for everyone. Patrick tells someone that this is the first funeral he’s ever been to; this brief touch with death is enough to really affect him, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It’s not until Doris sees Malik and lays eyes on someone she really loves that she breaks down sobbing. No one can tell you the right way to be sad about a loved one’s passing, because there is no right way to do it. Good on Looking for displaying that perfectly tonight.

Looking airs Sundays at 10/9C on HBO.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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