The L.A. Complex, episode 3: sex tape on the second date edition

The L.A. Complex, episode 3: sex tape on the second date edition

The L.A. ComplexEpisode 3

In Hollywood, you gotta fake it till you make it. In this episode we learn that the now-agentless Raquel likes to network at AA meetings (she doesn’t have a drinking problem, she says as she chugs a bottle of vodka in the afternoon) so she can pick up moneyed dentists for production funds. Abby grins and bears it when her guest star role as a prostitute is downgraded to the silent part of a corpse—body bag zipped all the way up. (“Breathe shallow, dead hooker.”) And, in the most painful scene of The L.A. Complex yet, there’s a sex tape made with the ex-child star character. Find out who gets naked with a has-been in our TV brief after the jump.

Stripper-with-a-heart-of-gold Alicia tries to keep her dignity intact when the man of her dreams (ex–child star Ricky Lloyd) offers her a part…in a sex tape. A lesser show would never have allowed Alicia to participate for fear of undoing her morality. The L.A. Complex has her reassure her co-star that she’s comfortable as she wincingly undoes her bra.

As for Nick, he chokes (for once not onstage). He goes home with a drunk fellow comedian, who first begs him to throttle her and then comfortably passes out. He finally has the epiphany that fact is sometimes funnier than fiction and ditches his midget jokes (he’s had it up to here with them) for a real life retelling of the incident that actually gains him applause. Abby seems to love it, though maybe she is just trying to get over Connor, whom she walks in on while he’s having sex in his trailer. Finally revealed to be shitty at both acting and relationships, Connor is forced to do the old “menthol stick in the eyes” trick for a dramatic scene that made him look like he’s being water-boarded. And when none of his casual hookups return his sexts, The L.A. Complex turns into a creepy Polanski film, with Connor pouring boiling hot water on his forearms just for something to feel. (Knowing actors, it is probably a sense memory exercise.)

Perhaps the episode’s theme can be encapsulated in a line from Ricky Lloyd’s impassioned sex tape pitch: “Working hard’s not working and being good’s not good enough.” Desperate to try anything that might lead to success, the wannabes of The L.A. Complex accept a certain amount of degradation into their lives as currency. We can’t help but be excited to see how they’ll be humiliated next week.

The L.A. Complex is a veritable Frankensoap, mining the backlogs of other primetime dramas for inspiration. Here, our weekly look at what they stole and from whom:

• Looks like house band Whale Tooth are going to play their expositional indie rock in every episode. If they do a Burt Bacharach song, we’re calling Vonda Shepherd and the cast of Ally McBeal.

• After hooking up with his co-star and wardrobe assistant in the span of a few hours, we’ve realized that poor Connor is a philandering Vinnie Chase without an Entourage. Can’t the show get him an Australian posse?

• Alicia’s stripper with a heart of gold is too much of a Hollywood cliché to be for real. Did The L.A. Complex simply copy and paste Elizabeth Berkley’s character from Showgirls into a Pretty Woman plot generator?