The L.A. Complex, episode 1: religion, psychiatry and discovery

The L.A. Complex, episode 1: religion, psychiatry and discovery

The L.A. ComplexSeason 2 | Episode 1

We’re back! Our favourite drama about struggling Canadians navigating Hollywood has been renewed for another season on MuchMusic—and we’re ready for the denizens of the Deluxe to get back to their usual tricks of illicit sex and blind ambition. The details on the season opener after the jump (spoiler: Alan Thicke has joined the cast!).

When we last left The L.A. Complex, Abby and Nick had solidified their relationship by shacking up, rapper Kaldrick King had punched out his secret gay lover (aspiring producer Tariq) and TV newcomer Connor had burned his entire house down. Success, even when you attain it on your own terms, can leave a bitter taste. Now, Alicia is leaving the Deluxe for her tour with Usher (after a misguided attempt at porn), while Connor returns to cynical actress Raquel, and asks her to be his girlfriend. We’re pretty sure two drowning people can’t save each other, though their coupling is just as advisable as Abby and Nick’s, who relate to one another through sheer narcissism alone. We know that’s already a lot to take in, but the fun doesn’t stop there: Nick happily bluffs his way into a writing job with his nemesis Paul F. Tompkins, and he’ll be working his first writer’s room alongside his one night stand-turned-arch-enemy Georgina; Abby, dressed in her typically skimpy boho uniform, tells the star of a religious drama (played by Growing Pains’ Alan Thicke!) to hold the judgment and ends up winning the role of a missionary; and even Eddie, the super of the Deluxe, is taking acting classes.

The season opener (written and directed by showrunner Martin Gero) may have relied too heavily on plot and exposition, but the message of the episode is clear: sometimes one person’s folly is another person’s big break. This episode introduces a subplot of a young child actor and his sister getting discovered for the first time, capturing the excitement of acting from the most innocent perspective possible. We’ve already seen the puke on the piano, so we’re excited to see how these new transplants from Winnipeg will be changed by The L.A. Complex.

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

• Right down to Alan Thicke’s tragic haircut, the creepy religious TV show Abbey Lands is 50 shades of 7th Heaven

• Georgina and Nick’s will-they-won’t-they relationship has the sparks of Pacey and Joey’s screwball romance before the storm

• We like the idea of Kaldrick King facing his inner demons in a psychiatric ward, even if the setup feels like an urban remake of Girl, Interrupted