A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The L.A. Complex is a soapy drama series about a group of beautiful young adults living together in an apartment complex, so not surprisingly, there's some sleeping around, partying, drinking, and recreational drug use in the mix. Salty language is also a concern, with "bitch," "damn," "ass," "hell," and the like often part of casual conversation. Expect some partial nudity (women in bras and underwear or shown from behind with naked torsos) and implied sex -- both straight and gay, as well as a lot of suggestive dancing from scantily clad entertainers in a strip club, where one of the main characters works. On the up side, the show boasts a diverse cast whose experiences raise some discussion-worthy points about morality, integrity, and self-esteem, among other issues.
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What's the story?
Sunny Los Angeles entices young dreamers with hopes of making it big, but most get a harsh dose of reality after they arrive in Tinseltown. For one group of would-be stars, the support they've found among their new neighbors at "The Lux" is often the final spark keeping their dreams alive ... when they're not vying for the same roles, that is. There's Raquel (Jewel Staite), a one-hit TV wonder who fears her star may have already fallen; Alicia (Chelan Simmons), a talented dancer who's willing to do anything to see her name in lights; Abby (Cassie Steele), an illegal immigrant who teeters on the brink of throwing in the towel and going home; Tariq (Benjamin Charles Watson), a hip-hop artist trying to make a name for himself; and Connor (Jonathan Patrick Moore), whose chiseled good looks landed him a leading role in his first series. Brought together by shared dreams and a shortage of money, these hopefuls grapple with the ups and downs of life as well as showbiz.
Is it any good?
Part Fame, part Melrose Place, THE L.A. COMPLEXmakes even the life of a starving actor look glamorous, sexy, and all kinds of fun. There's no shortage of ways to fill the void when you're surrounded by beautiful, vivacious neighbors in need of similar attention. And when sex isn't in the cards, there's always a party within reach to help nurse the wounds of bad auditions or lousy bosses. That's not to say that everything's roses among these neighbors. There's plenty of competition, jealousy, and scandal, plus some mysterious motivations and back stories for many among the diverse cast.
Lest it be judged on these qualities alone, however, keep in mind that The L.A. Complex does a good job of keeping these twentysomethings real enough that viewers can still relate to both the dilemmas in their personal lives and their quest for professional ones. All of the characters -- even those who've found success -- struggle with moral boundaries, relationship woes, and self-image issues, and there are some positive teaching moments mixed into the well-written content. The bottom line? The show's steaminess and language require a discerning parental eye, but if your older teen can handle it, there's more to this Canadian drama series than just some run-of-the-mill bedroom scenes and salacious behavior.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about friendship. To what degree do friends substitute for family as you get older? Are there issues you discuss with your friends that you wouldn't with your family? Do friends always have your best interests at heart?
Teens: What is The L.A. Complex's message about taking risks? What consequences do the characters face from the decisions they make? What factors affect your decisions about which dreams you chase?
Does this series do a good job of incorporating diversity into its characters and the issues they face? Is it always important to reflect society's make-up in the media? How does diversity influence how this show deals with issues like self-image?
Themes & Topics
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