A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Themes include perseverance, chasing your dreams, and positive self-image (though, predictably, all of the characters are attractive and camera-ready at all times). The competitive nature of the business encourages backbiting and malicious intentions, but they're tempered by instances of kindness and mentoring that show the characters' softer side.
Positive Role Models
Diversity abounds among the characters, who hail from different ethnicities and socioeconomic classes. Their value systems vary, and some cross moral lines (lying, misrepresenting themselves, selling their sex appeal to pay the bills) that others wouldn't. Many also engage in some risky behavior like one-night stands and drug use. That said, they're willing to put it all on the line for their dreams, even if that means working below their abilities to fund the training process. Some use their experience to mentor newcomers, although the process sometimes serves their own interests as well.
Violence & Scariness
Some fistfights that draw blood, but they're rare. One character burns himself as a way to deal with his emotions.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Casual sex is common among the young adult characters, both straight and gay. Couples make out and undress each other (though nothing beyond women in bras or their naked backs is shown), and it's implied that intercourse follows. The show doesn't shy away from realistic consequences; in one case, a couple buys the morning-after pill because they didn't use birth control. Some female characters wear lingerie to dance in a strip club. The set-up for making a sex tape is shown.
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"Bitch," "hell," "ass," "dammit," and "piss" are heard frequently. Rare stronger words, like "t-ts," are bleeped.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Partying, drinking, and, to a lesser extent, drug use are popular ways to pass the time among these twentysomethings. Beer, wine, mixed drinks, etc. are consumed in large quantities, and some characters are shown taking pills.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.