Wednesday, June 20, 2012

TV: L.A. Complex

I enjoy the type of shows that I feel like should be on the CW...mostly I call them teen soaps, but they don't have to be about teens. When the Canadian import, the L.A. Complex, first premiered at the end of April, I sort of wanted to watch it because some of the critics I follow on Twitter seemed to really enjoy it. But the concept didn't exactly appeal to me and I was pretty caught up in whatever I was watching at the time. Also, the new CW shows lately just haven't been very good. Hart of Dixie lost steam quickly, The Secret Circle got boring fast, Ringer was pretty terrible from the beginning. I actually started to think maybe I was just outgrowing this kind of show I normally love--something I admittedly thought would never happen.

But the first run of episodes of the L.A. Complex was only 6 episodes and since the CW puts their shows up five episodes at a time for streaming, I decided to give it a shot. I was surprised by how much I like it. And it's not even like it's groundbreaking stuff, or terribly different and inventive, but you know what? I don't need that. While intellectually I recognize that shows like Breaking Bad and Mad Men are well written and made, and I do watch the former, I can never really just well, love them because there's a kind of darkness and grittiness and uber reality to them that saps them of all heart. (just another reason I love Borgen--I think it's on par with those shows quality wise but it has so much heart) Like...I don't always need to see the full landscape of a person's dark soul, I only need to recognize a few essentially true human qualities in them to care about their journey.

But putting that rant aside, it's true that in the L.A. Complex you have stock character types. But it's comforting in a way, because I feel like they are still very alive and interesting on the show. And while some predictable things might happen, this show still makes it seem fresh somehow. So...while it's not a masterpiece, it's still very enjoyable.

So yeah the verdict is that I like it. It's interesting and different from pretty much anything else I'm watching at the moment. I want to see what happens with the characters and if they succeed and overcome their demons. It's different and interesting that these are basically a bunch of poor people--money and needing to work are very real things. They aren't all trying to act, either, one of them is a comedian, another a dancer, etc. It's also kind of funny because the show is clearly racier than what the CW allows and they bleep things out and trim the intimate scenes.

Now as seems to be my track record these days, this show is not watched by very many people and its premiere was like the lowest rated drama premiere ever. Which is a shame, because as many critics have said, it's probably better than most of what's on the CW right now.

I have some stuff I want to talk about on the show as usual, though, so hopefully maybe some of you watched? Maybe it was bigger in Canada?

I guess the most interesting/heartbreaking story to me was Kal and Tariq. I would label this relationship as abusive, but it's so much more complicated due to the fact that they are a gay couple and Kal is not comfortable with the idea of coming out. So the lengths he goes to, threatening Abby and then later beating up Tariq when their coworkers come upon them kissing is not acceptable? But it's somewhat sympathetic and so sad because he wants to be in a relationship with Tariq and he wants to be happy but he doesn't think his image allows for that. Which actually leads me to a question...I know NOTHING whatsoever about the rap music scene, so it is completely unacceptable for a rapper like we're supposed to believe Kal is to be gay? To be honest, the story feels like it could be slightly outdated...but I figured maybe the climate in the rap music industry is still pretty closed. Anyway I really like Tariq and I have to admit to feeling like I just wanted him to find a nice happy loving relationship.

I thought Raquel's story line was also pretty interesting with the dentist/producer. She was such a master manipulator that it was kind of funny that she wasn't actually an alcoholic. And I kept wanting her to actually fall for him, because he was so nice. But it was kind of a relief when at the end he revealed he knew she'd been manipulating him...and I don't know I think he was also playing his own games trying to get the truth out of her. I was zero percent interested in her being pregnant, though.

Connor!!! ♥♥♥ I can't help but feel for him. He's just so lonely. And he can't really fill that emptiness in normal healthy ways. And you know...he makes a lot of poor decisions, but so far it hasn't been like he's actively hurting anyone. Burning down his house seemed super extreme, but whatever.

I thought Alicia's story was so sad as well. I don't know it just kind of sucks that when Rick showed her some kindness she was so open to helping him out, but she just ended up getting burned. Bad decision after bad decision and then she's broken just before her big break comes. Ugh.

Nick and Abby are the show's main couple I guess, but they are just alright to me. I liked Sabrina sooo much so I was kind of bummed she ended up being a blip.

Anyway!!! The show comes back July 17th so you have plenty of time to catch up! You can watch all but on episode on the CW website depending on when you watch, so that's not so bad! It's pretty fun.

In other news, I'm thinking of watching Breaking Pointe and Awkward next. Do you guys watch either of those?


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