The L.A. Complex “Help Wanted” Review


Ever since it debuted, I haven’t been able to tell if The L.A. Complex is a ridiculously exaggerated picture of life in Los Angeles…or if I’m just not doing California right. I didn’t think about that until I was asked to cover this week’s episode, “Help Wanted, and I really had to examine what I’ve been watching for the past few months, instead of just treating it like the weekly guilty pleasure that it is.

All right, first of all, who called Connor’s faux-sister’s game as being some sort of take on a certain institution that is endorsed by Tom Cruise the second she started railing on him for taking his much-needed medication? Wow. I mean, they can change all the names they want, but we know what they’re talking about; we’re aware. As far as this being true to life in L.A….no comment. Of course, we also know that Connor’s happiness is doomed to be short-lived. Now, I just want to know how the chick pulled off the DNA test. Deep pockets, I assume. Again…no comment.

I found it absolutely hilarious that Raquel called one of the movie boys “Thing One,” because I was seriously going to christen them as such in this review. Mostly because I can’t remember their names. Do they have names? Well, if they don’t, they will, because now one of them is sleeping with Beth, which I guess makes him mildly interesting. Also, as one of them insulted Ellen Page, they now have to settle for shooting their movie with Raquel, who had to declare bankruptcy to shake off all the lawsuits she was piling up. So far, nothing more has been said about her DWI charge, but I’m sure she’ll start sleeping with her new boss at the restaurant she’ll be bartending at as soon as possible, so what does it matter?

Because apparently that’s how things work in L.A. Everyone has sex with everyone else, whenever and wherever they want. In all fairness, thought, this episode was surprisingly light on the booty calls, with the exception of Beth and Thing One. Even Abby managed to keep her clothes on for the entire hour and that is saying something. Manny Santos…my, how you’ve grown! (If you don’t get that, you don’t Degrassi.) Abby got a blast from the recent past in the form of Kaldrick King (or do we call him Sean?) who came to her on some sort of quest for redemption, as if by giving her a job singing back-up vocals, she would help him find Tariq. Actually, I really liked how the scene was shot, with the silence in the booth contrasting Abby’s very physical reaction to King’s confession.

Let me take this opportunity to point out something that I’ve noticed on this show that I actually do feel is true to life. L.A. is a city of celebrities; unless you live in the less-desirable areas, you see famous people on a fairly regular basis. Restaurants, grocery stores, movie theatres…you get used to it after awhile and you start to see them as what they are: real people. On the show, the residents of the complex have witnessed everything from an upcoming TV star’s rotating bed partners to a pair of Christian TV siblings getting into a fight with the third member of their threesome. Yet no one puts it on Twitter or Facebook or goes to the press, even when they have proof of these transgressions.

Contrary to popular belief, I think that L.A residents (at least the ones who don’t make a living circling celebs like vultures with cameras) feel almost protective of celebrities. We tend not to bug them when they’re shopping for lunch meat or when they’re just trying to have dinner with their kids. I certainly can’t speak for everyone, but I know that I would never go up to Ryan Gosling at the Arclight (even though I really, really wanted to) and if I witnessed an event in his personal life, it would be none of my business to tweet about it. They live their real lives here, the same way I am.

But then, I am still, after six years of smog, traffic, earthquakes and tourists, somehow an optimist. Soooo…maybe I am doing life in L.A. wrong.

All right…let’s move on to Nick. Oh, Nick. Will he ever, ever make the right choice when faced with a big decision? I have no idea if his boss would have appreciated him telling the truth about whose cocaine was found in the bathroom or if he would have fired him for not being a team player, but at least Nick would have left with some sort of dignity that didn’t rely on giving the coke head a broken nose. All he has now is Sabrina…and maybe some new self-confidence. Although I still think he isn’t funny.

What did everyone else think about the episode? Does Beth need to borrow some of Connor’s meds or is she doing the best she can? Will Connor drink the Kool-Aid? Do you want to see Raquel make a comeback or fall even farther? Let me know below or on Twitter, @krieli1.