The L.A. Complex Review: Reality Bites

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I'll say it: Raquel killed it tonight. 

On "Rule of Thirds" Jewel Staite shined as Raquel, the ultimate producer of her own fake reality. The L.A. Complex is best when it uncovers a part of the entertainment industry that we, as the viewer don't get to see. I know, I know, it's a fictional television series. But I can't imagine the jaded perspective The L.A. Complex takes is all that far off the mark of what the industry is really like. 

It's as if the series exposes the fourth wall, while creating a fifth wall. It's continually fascinating to see this series' take on production, especially the reality part of tonight's episode.

Connor in Bed

What really got me is how Raquel was manipulated into a vicious sound bite from the production manager. It's a fascinating glimpse into (again, I'm guessing here) how a number of those confessional rooms are run on your stereotypical reality program. I enjoyed seeing Raquel take control of her image, even if her efforts turn out to be fruitless, which will probably be the case. Editors can make or break you and Raquel's ego is overshadowing this fact. 

It was great to see Ricky back, although I'd trade him to see Alicia, even though her story wrapped nicely. The dynamic between Raquel and Ricky is unique and I don't think I've seen it on television before - the idea of acting as a certain archetype to avoid what you've been cast for. Has anyone else seen this?  Maybe in a different television format, but The L.A. Complex does it so smartly and continually compels its viewers to root for the actors we'd normally see as the editors want us to. 

I hope this storyline gets more air time next week.

Kaldrick, or Sean, as Dawna will now be calling him, had a relatively calm week compared to the beginning of Season 2.  But internally, Kal is still stuck figuring out who he wants to be. His father sets him up on a date with a seemingly great girl, but it doesn't matter how great she is. Kal is gay.  Nothing will change that. And of course, Kaldrick will find this out the hard way, as if he hasn't already since the whole Tariq situation exploded earlier this season. 

Although the show didn't tell us explicitly, Kaldrick's burning of the phone number he picked up from a waiter tells us he's attempting to be straight.  Dawna was talking about choices earlier, and even though he was distracted by a cute guy, her message came through louder. He picked her. And he picked wrong. As long as Kal continues denying who he is, even if he claims to be confused about the kind of man he is, he'll suffer. But again, it makes for compelling television. And, hey, the number given was an actual Los Angeles number! Someone call it, please!

I didn't view the other storylines this week as favorably. Let's start with firecracker Beth, who I wish would take a Xanax before going on auditions and filmings with her brother. Let me put it this way: Beth is powered up at 11 most of the time. She needs to dial it back to about an 8. 

It's not as though I don't understand her frustrations. I'd be questioning the show's tactics as well if they tried to put a plastic bag on my brother's head. But why can't Beth ask nicely? Why must she rant and scream? It's just so destructive to everything her and Simon are setting out to do! And I really don't blame Simon for slamming the door in Beth's face.

Nick and Sabrina barely registered on my radar this week as their back and forth feud over this writer's room job seemed to continue endlessly.  When is this decision being made?  I like them working together and competing, but how long can the show keep this up?  Pick one and let's live with the consequences. Meanwhile, these two do a nice job of humiliating each other. All the herpes cracks were enjoyable. I just want more for these two.

Connor and Jennifer also had a mediocre storyline this week. I was surprised to see Jennifer has a husband, but now that Connor and him get along, what are they going to do with him? Will he be the cause of Jennifer and Connor's break up? Aren't they contractually obligated to one another? I'm curious, but skeptical. 

And finally, the overcomplicated threesome finally splits back into its natural state. I want Abby to be a bit smarter than she's being right now. Laura and Brandon have been together for years and Abby just expect Brandon to choose her after knowing her for what, a few weeks? It's completely unrealistic, and by the end of the episode, Abby's repeated line, "Well, at least no one got hurt, right?" annoyed me. But this is Abby. She is impulsive. She doesn't see the big picture. And she puts her emotions first. 

And as such, she gets deservedly thrown in a pool. And I'm sure she'll be tossed out of Saying Grace in due time as well. I'd love for her to do something intelligent and get the brother/sister duo fired instead, but it doesn't look like that seems like a viable option.  In order for me to stay invested in Abby, I'd like her to get a little bit more clever.  Writers, take note.

We're about halfway through the season now, fans. Keep watching, I can only assume it gets better!


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (17 Votes)

(coninued) has anyone noticed that the so called "comedy writer" characters on the show like Nick and Sabrina -are never particularly funny?) Raquel had the greatest line ever a couple episodes before this, when she was talking to the writer/director kids and drunkenly says "how's Elmen Paige?"-and what happened to the one writer /director kid having a crush on Beth? they are forgetting plot points!
Also, has anyone noticed that every time a character seems like they are going to be evil (Jennifer,her husband, Kaldric, Dynasty etc.) they turn out to be likable-and every time a character seems like they will be likable (Ricky, That one mom at that audition, the director that says he'll help Beth) they all end up doing sucky things? Just sayin' they use that device a lot. So did One Tree Hill.


Abbey is an idiot. But lets think back. Abbey has been an idiot since episode one. Her impulsiveness has ruined every chance she's gotten. Whats the first thing she does in L.A? Sleeps with a totally random guy-has to take the morning after pill and pukes all over the director of the audition she's at. what is she doing now? Sleeping with another guy breaking up his relationship,potentially ruining several careers and an entire TV show in the process. But Abbey is a young girl and it's kind of refreshing to see her act like this because every girl that age I meet in real life thinks they are going to stay with their high school boyfriend until they die, which is far stupider and more naive than anything abbey does. It has to be said though that Abbey's relentless stupidity is dooming her and her career. Too bad cuz she's actually talented.Talented and doomed she is the Lohan of the show.
Raquel is a great character and probably the funniest character on the show (has anyone noticed that Nick and Sabrina who are supposed to be the "funny" people are never actually funny? ) actually on the episode that aired the week before this one Raquel had the funniest line in the ENTIRE series so far. When she was drunk and talking to -the two writer/director kids I forget their names, and she says "how's Elmen Paige?" funniest thing ever. And what happened to the one writer kid having a crush on Beth? they are totally forgetting plot points here!
has anyone else noticed that EVERY time you think a character is going to be evil on this show (Jennifer, Jennifer's husband, Kaldric, Dynasty etc.) they end being likable-and every time you think a new character is going to be good ( like Ricky in season 1 or the mom Beth meets at that audition or the director that says he's going to help her out etc.) they end up doing something shady? Just sayin' they use that device a lot. Kinda like One Tree Hill did.


@ Sal: While I do get what you're saying, I don't think Connor was every really that into Raquel... Like Raquel said, he can't be alone, not ever. So I think for him being with raquel was more about 'not being alone' than him really caring all that much about Raquel. Nick&Abby on the other hand, is a very weird situation I do not get.


I completely agree with you, Lisa. Abbey needs to be smarter, I can't stand her anymore. I wish we could see her sing and play music again like in the 1st season and be a bit less impulsive. I am also surprised how fast Nick and her moved on from their "relationship". This soap opera aspect is not that appealing. We actually like seeing people invested in each other.
Like how fast Connor moved on from Raquel. At least she is not wasting time. She stole the show for me.
I am only invested in Raquel's story but it was worth watching the whole episode. Never seen anything like that before. I love her so much. she is so smart. I really hope she catches a break next season maybe somebody seeing how talented she is.

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The L.A. Complex Season 2 Episode 6 Quotes

If we can move away from the crazy misconception that I'm a bitch and start organically developing my as a compassionate and loving individual, that would be super.


There seems to be another twosome developing in our threesome and it's starting to make things complicated.