The L.A. Complex: 2.01 “Vacancy”

Season 2 Episode 1
Airdate: July 17, 2012

“The L.A. Complex” will continue to air on Tuesdays this summer. The CW decided to keep the drama around, even with low ratings.

— the Examiner

I’ll take that poorly written Examiner article’s word that the ratings have been low, though they look pretty decent for Canadian TV as well as the CW. Here are the numbers according to Wikipedia:

Episode Canadian viewers US viewers
1 60,000 630,000
2 87,000 580,000
3 40,000 540,000
4 44,000 530,000
5 16,000 450,000
6 22,000 620,000

 

The U.S. ratings are typical, highest at the season opener followed by a steady decline until an uptick at the closer. The Canadian numbers are all over the place, though. I suspect episode 5 was up against a Leafs game.

Now season 2 is upon us. Here is where the characters are at following the end of season 1:

Abby has been cast in a movie even though she was rude to the producers. Since she has no money until filming begins, she is now shaking up with Nick.

Alicia has gotten a job as a dancer for an Usher tour after giving sugar to the man who could hire her.

Connor has been going through a mental crisis since becoming famous as an actor a medical show. He drinks a lot, got his face cut up in a bar fight, and burnt his house down.

Nick hooked up with a female comic named Sabrina. He unintentionally stole her material, so now she hates him.

Raquel hooked up with a rich dentist in order to get her movie funded. He got her pregnant.

Tariq was involved in a secret relationship with gansta rapper Kaldrick King. Tariq is out but Kaldrick is deep in the closet. Kaldrick beat the shit out of him when some people entered the room they were about to adult kiss in.

So let’s get to the episode.

Some fucking Swedish band’s song plays Connor watches the firefighters put out his house fire and still drinks beer. Yeah, that’s how they do it in Australia. Raquel has taken several pregnancy tests and the results all come back pregnant.

Abby and Nick are going at it because Abby has lowered her standards considerably. There is a sad clown painting on the wall that watches them make out. Nick hung it there because he needs things like that in order to get off.

Kaldrick meets with a lawyer to discuss giving Tariq money to keep quiet. The lawyer doesn’t know about Kaldrick being gay, he just knows that Kaldrick will go back to prison for violating his parole if Tariq talks to the police. With them is Kaldrick’s friend, a big black guy who is like a stock character straight from Death Row Records in 1994. Seriously, his plan is to threaten Tariq into keeping quiet and says he can make the “little problem go away”. The lawyer points out this would obviously be illegal, but Stock Death Row Character doesn’t care.

Alicia is leaving for the Usher tour. Nick hugs her goodbye and then gets a phone call. A talk show is interested in hiring him as a writer. The apartment manager tells him and Abby that they have to pay $400 more per month because there are two people living in his room. Now I am confused. This place is built like a motel, and so are the rooms, but everyone lives here all year round, so it would obviously be an apartment complex. But you get charged extra depending on how many people stay in a room like a motel would.

Abby gets bad news. The production of her movie has been put on hold indefinitely. Now Abby won’t have the money for rent. Looks like she is going to have to make Nick pay for her. Lucky for her, he doesn’t have enough spine to say no.

Kaldrick comes by and wants to know where Tariq is but Tariq has not been around for some time. He is in hiding. Kaldrick looks inside his room and remembers the hot man sex they had there.

Connor shows up at Raquel’s place. He wants to live with her now that his home is all burnt away. “It’ll be just like a sleepover,” Connor smirks, “with fewer clothes.” Connor wants to drink but Raquel says no because it’s 10am. I fail to see the problem here. Also, it’s like 7pm the next day in Australia, so it’s fine to drink.

So instead, they go on a nature trail overlooking the city. Connor says the people around them dress stupid and Raquel says she hates the outdoors. They seem like two miserable people would enjoy making each other miserable. I can see them getting married. They already have the vibe of an elderly couple who have grown to hate each other, as well as life, over the many decades. Raquel says she hated when she had to go camping with her dad. Connor says he went camping once, during which his dad drove a spike though his hand. His dad then ran away and Connor had to be raised by dingos. Connor had a rough childhood. We already saw in a flashback that his mom ran away and left him alone with his dad when he was little. I wish we’d see more of Connor’s fucked up life prior to coming to the US since it’s clearly why he is so fucked up.

Abby has a new audition. It is for a hokey Christian program called Saving Grace. Take THAT people who believe in religion. Abby bombs as she doesn’t even pronounce the name Philippians right. The man in charge WHO IS TOTALLY ALAN THICKE THAT’S RIGHT FROM GROWING PAINS complains “You’re dressed like a prostitute.” Duh, that’s the point. It’s called harlot chic. But Abby turns it around with a heartfelt speech in which she pretends to care about Christianity.

Nick arrives at talk show he hopes to get hired on. Another would-be writer is Sabrina. Sabrina psyches Nick out by pointing out that he is a terrible comic who will never be able to come up with new material every day. “That’s adorable,” she states.

Connor and Raquel continue their miserable date with a walk down the street that contains Man’s Chinese Theater and other tourist attractions. On the sidewalk is a table full of eager people promoting Diaretics. They are some Scientology-like cult. Raquel thinks this is stupid, but Connor is interested in watching their video and giving them his personal information. He just wants to meet John Travolta.

In order to come up with the extra $400, Abby gets a job filling in for the cleaning lady today. Someone cleans the rooms? Wait, how does this building situation work? Is it a hotel or an apartment? It appears to be some sort of hybrid system I have no idea exist in real life. I suppose it would be a pretty good deal, actually, if you are young and single. I wish I had a cleaning lady as part of my rent because I sure am never going to clean my place.

Turns out the show Nick is interviewing for is the Paul F. Thompkins Show and Paul F. Thompkins hates Nick. There is a lot of pressure riding on this as Comedy Central is banking on Thompkins to be their next Carlos Mencia. So Tompkins challenges Nick to make him laugh right here, right now. Nick fumbles for a bit and then asks Sabina what he is like in bed. Sabrina replies that he is bad. It gets a chuckle out of Tompkins and his producer, but Paul F. Tompkins laughing at someone else for being bad in bed seems pretty hypocritical.

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