Thursday, September 22, 2016

MTVP So Cal Summer 2016: The LA Complex 1.03: "It's All About Who You Know"

“Not murder. You’re just sleeping. So, this is what counts as a win now.”

In the third episode of “The LA Complex,” it seems like everybody is have a no good, very bad day. Even the characters who are in a good place at the beginning of the episode seem to be struggling by the end. Or they’ve made a decision that is probably going to cause them problems down the road. There’s rejection happening all over the place, both personal and professional. Poor Tariq has issues with both the personal and professional at the same time. “The LA Complex” never fails to bring the drama, that’s for sure. The height of the drama is a bit unrealistic, as is the super hipster Luxe, complete with in-house band, Whale Tooth, but I think that’s part of the show’s appeal to me. It’s a heightened look at what Canadians might imagine LA life is like.

The episode picks up not long after the last one left off. Tariq and Kal are post-coital at Kal’s house. Kal is like a completely different person now, though. He kicks Tariq out of the house. At the studio, Kal acts like he can barely stand Tariq, and when Tariq lays a beat that is in line with what he and Kal had discussed (before the sex), Kal basically says he hates it. This leads Dynasty to kick Tariq out of the studio and put him on car washing duty. Later, Dynasty asks Tariq to drive Kal home, and this seems like it could be hella awkward. Kal tries making the moves on Tariq again, and Tariq is dubious, given how he has been treated all day. Kal says that he has broken all his rules for Tariq (not having any same-sex relationships in California, for instance), and eventually they start making out again.

Abby’s day doesn’t go much better. She arrives on the “Cause of Death” set, and she’s treated pretty dismissively. She decides to drop in on Connor, who happened to be in a bad place (one of the higher ups on his show wants him to work with an acting coach) and got even more upset when neither Raquel nor Abby would answer his call. He decides to drown his sorrows in his costar’s vagina, and Abby catches them in flagrante when she drops in. Later, Connor boils some water and pours it on his arm, so he's clearly in a very bad place. To add insult to injury, Abby falls on her way out of Connor’s trailer and winds up with a gash on her head. To add even further insult to injury, when she arrives back on the Cause of Death set, she is told that she is now “Dead Hooker” instead of a hooker with dialogue, and to make matters even worse, she’s going to be completely zipped up in a body bag. All of this, of course, results in a smaller paycheck, which means she’ll have to crash with Nick longer.

Raquel takes a meeting at her agency, which she hopes will be her chance to sell a script that some other (pretty goofy) Luxe residents wrote (that she can star in, naturally). She and the goofy guys wait and wait until the guys have to leave to go video a bar mitzvah. Raquel stays, and when her agent finally shows up, she finds out she’s being dropped by the agency. Raquel hasn’t booked any jobs for two years, and the agency is under pressure to trim its roster. The irony is that Raquel’s agent had been the one to encourage Raquel to turn down most of the jobs she was offered. Raquel’s manager sends her on interviews with a bunch of slightly smaller agencies, but nobody is interested in her. Meanwhile, she personally options the script that the guys wrote for three months, hoping that she can make something happen with it. The guys were about to give the script to someone they knew who knows Ellen Paige, so Raquel had to move fast.

Nick is also having professional struggles. He still hasn’t gotten the check for the stand-in work he did in the last episode, but the rent is eventually going to come due. He does another comedy set at the club, and it bombs horribly. He does get to go home with the hot lady bartender, though. Unfortunately for Nick, hot lady bartender can only orgasm if someone chokes her (or so she says). Needless to say, Nick is horribly awkward at trying to choke someone, and hot lady bartender actually falls asleep in the middle of it all. Nick is mostly just relieved that she’s not dead. The next morning, Nick is still hanging around the apartment, and hot lady bartender is understandably kind of freaked out by Nick’s description of what happened the night before. Nick decides to show himself out before he gets himself in too much more trouble. When he does his next set at the comedy club, he starts to bomb again until he spots the bartender and starts riffing on how weird their night together was. Part of me is glad Nick finally figured out to be funny, but part of me is sad that his funny is slut shaming the bartender.

Alicia is the only one of the crew who has a mostly good day in the episode. Things are going well with Ricky, although at a dinner with the two of them and Ricky’s manager, Ricky asks Alicia if she would join him for a sex tape. The manager really pushes the idea, noting all the celebrities whose fame increased after they had sex tapes “leaked.” Alicia is skeptical and first, and she doesn’t seem especially happy that Ricky approached her with this, but eventually, she agrees. The manager leaves the two of them in a hotel room. At first, it’s all just awkward, but surprisingly, it is Alicia who steps up and says she really wants to be there making this tape with Ricky. It puts him at ease, and they may just have a viral hit on their hands.

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