Sunday, February 26, 2017

MTVP So Cal Summer 2016: The LA Complex 1.05: "Home"

“The first step to fake recovery is admitting you have a fake problem.”

Let’s start this post off by addressing the elephant in the room. It’s not Summer 2016 anymore. Heck, it’s not even 2016 anymore! I am determined, however, to finish out our So Cal Summer series before we roll out what we have in store for you for Summer 2017. So enjoy some more recaps from sunny Southern California during this abnormally warm winter (thanks, climate change!). And now on with the actual post! In the penultimate first season episode of “The LA Complex,” many of the characters seem to reach rock bottom. Some seem to have new beginnings, although the prospect of those new beginnings working out long-term currently seems dubious. And somehow two women decide to have sex with Nick on one day. How does this happen?! I mean, Nick is kind of adorably doofy, but really? Two women in one day? Seems a little unrealistic to me. On a related note, Joe Dinicol, who played Nick, recently had a somewhat interesting run as Rory on “Arrow.” I was kind of disappointed it (presumably) ended as quickly as it did.

Early episode, Alicia shows up for her first day of work as Vivid. I feel like the creative team kind of went a little too far trying to counteract the “this is a porn studio” thing with “they’re a big, happy family that all eat lunch together in a cafeteria and have a chipper lady named Mandi in charge of spirit like a bunch of high schoolers.” Alicia was enthusiastic about the new job up to the point where it started to become real. She had bought herself a shiny new car and everything. When she is introduced to the person she’s supposed to be working with in her first video, she balks. It has all become too real, and she wants out of her contract. The director says she doesn’t have to do anything she doesn’t want to, but she wants to give Alicia a tour of the facility first. In the aforementioned cafeteria, the director hands Alicia off to Mandi, who takes Alicia to a storage closet filled with candy for some girl talk. Mandi offers to be Alicia’s first video partner, and Alicia eventually agrees to the idea. After the shoot, a famous director (or something like that) brings Mandi a birthday cake, and Alicia turns the connection into an audition for a music video.

Meanwhile, Tariq arranges for Abby to sing vocals on the track he’s been producing for Kal. Everyone is really impressed with Abby’s work, and at first it seems like the moment could be a real career breakthrough for her. Then Kal enters the scene, and things take a downward turn quickly. The guys tell Kal that Abby is Tariq’s girl, and Abby plays along with it. Kal can put the pieces together that Abby probably knows Tariq well enough to know Tariq is gay, and there’s a non-zero chance that Tariq has told her about their relationship. Kal decides that the right solution to this problem is to physically threaten Abby. Abbey gets really freaked out and leaves. This also leads to a confrontation between Tariq and Kal out in the parking lot, where Tariq screams asking if Kal loves him. Tariq ends up leaving, too.

Raquel is super psyched that Gary has agreed to back her movie, and she buys some champagne to share with the two doofy Luxe guys who wrote the movie. As you do in Hollywood, the three of them end up enjoying their champagne in the Luxe pool, and Gary catches them at it. I don’t think his brain immediately goes to Raquel duping him or anything, but he does think that Raquel has fallen off the wagon and is a danger to his sobriety. He rushes off, ending things with Raquel. Raquel, naturally, turns to drinking even more, and she may potentially have had the realization that she has hit rock bottom. She shows up at an AA meeting (one where Gary happens to be, naturally) and gives a big speech about how losing someone she loves is worse than losing the chance at a movie. She very carefully plans walking out and allowing Gary to catch up to her. By the end of the episode, they’re having sex and telling each other they love each other, and Raquel is texting the movie doofuses and telling them Gary is back in. It’s hard to get a read on Raquel’s motivation. Is she in it just for business, or does she have legitimate feelings for Gary? My guess is that it’s some of both.

Connor spends this episode an absolute mess. He’s been drinking too much, and he’s obnoxious to everyone at work. He’s still having a lot of trouble getting his lines right, and he keeps begging for another chance. Eventually, the production team forcibly takes him home. Only he doesn’t have the driver take him to his mansion. He goes to the Luxe and tries to get his old room back. Eddie says they’re all booked up though, and again suggests he go home. He runs into Abby, who is sympathetic to him at first, because she can see he’s not in a good place, but then he tries to put the moves on her and she kicks him out too. He ends up at a bar, where again he gets told to go “home,” but instead he ends up provoking a fight. Relief washes over his face when he realizes he’s bleeding. I guess he feels he finally got what he deserved?

Nick goes on quite the journey (that’s half-sarcasm) in this episode. Early in the episode, Abby tells him that she wants to “keep it casual,” and naturally, Nick spends much of the episode obsessing over what that could possibly mean. The thought continues to haunt him as he goes to an improv class. He’s not exactly a spontaneous person, so he bombs until another actor named Sabrina helps him along. Nick tries to kiss her in a scene, she slaps him, and everyone thinks it’s hilarious. Nick and Sabrina banter after class, and she invites him back to her place. He thinks he’s there to watch a comedy special she likes, she’s there to have sex. And have sex they do, with plenty of post-coital banter, mostly about how if Abby really wanted to keep it casual, she wouldn’t have said keep it casual. Nick returns home to find a very upset Abby (she’s had a bit of a day, after all), and when she makes the moves on him, he doesn’t say no. Which could be a problem considering her current emotional state. And that, friends, is how the unlikely event of Nick having sex with two different women in one day came to be.

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