Canadians affected by L.A. Complex
Cassie Steele, Joe Dinicol and Benjamin Charles Watson appear on MuchMusic's New.Music.Live to promote a new TV series 'The L.A. Complex' in Toronto, Canada, January 10, 2012. (DOMINIC CHAN/WENN.COM)
The first time Alan Thicke's character sees Cassie Steele's character in The L.A. Complex, he says, "You're dressed like a prostitute."
Good lord, what is Los Angeles doing to all these polite Canadians?
But that's the general theme of The L.A. Complex: How do the moral dilemmas associated with big-time show business in Hollywood affect the sweet and innocent Canadians who move there dreaming of stardom?
The L.A. Complex returns for its second season Tuesday, July 17 on MuchMusic, and also on the U.S. network CW, which has purchased the series.
Thicke, of course, is a Canadian entertainment veteran, but he's guest-starring in The L.A. Complex as an American entertainment mainstay. He plays Donald Gallagher, the star, director and executive producer of a Christian-based TV series called Saying Grace (not to be confused with Saving Grace).
That's where Donald first encounters Canadian wannabe Abby Vargas, played by Steele. Abby shows up for an audition in rather provocative attire, at least by Donald's standards.
Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it does lead Donald to immediately say, "Oh my - did your agent explain this character to you? She's a missionary. She's married to God."
It turns out, though, there might be some rather non-Christian shenanigans occurring on Donald's own set, whether he knows it or not.
And hey, it could be worse for Abby. Thicke's character might have been casting a Growing Pains reunion.
Anyway, for a show centred on the concept of Canadians in Hollywood, The L.A. Complex had a very American thing happen to it with its six-episode first season.
After it aired in Canada early in 2012 (it got a stunt launch on CTV with subsequent episodes on MuchMusic) and garnered widely positive reviews, CW picked it up and aired it in the spring. It got good reviews from the U.S. press as well, but it did horribly ratings-wise on CW, and for a while that became the main thing on which people were focusing.
It's an odd phenomenon that occurs with certain U.S. series - Community and Cougar Town immediately come to mind - in that how the show is doing in the ratings for some reason becomes the main topic of continued discussion.
With Community and Cougar Town, more people like to muse about ratings than actually have seen either show, and we hope The L.A. Complex finds a way to avoid that trap. The second season consists of 13 episodes, more than doubling the order for season one.
The thing is, for what it is, The L.A. Complex is actually quite good. Yes, some of the characters are stronger than others, but that can be said for any show.
If only Alan Thicke's Donald can be a little nicer to Cassie Steele's Abby. Yes, it's L.A., but come on, Alan, she's hot, and we're all Canadians here.