So, what do you think of when you hear the words “Melrose Place.” It could well depend on whether you picture the early years (in which case you might reflect on self-contained stories that were dull as dishwater) or the latter ones (in which case you’ll most likely envision Kimberly ripping her wig off or breastfeeding Jo’s baby). In either case, MELROSE is the show most often referenced in conjunction with THE L.A. COMPLEX, a Canadian import which debuts tonight at 9PM on The CW. But which incarnation of the famous Fox sudser does it resemble? Neither, really, at least if one goes by the pilot. Instead, viewers will find COMPLEX to be a show that gets off to a rough start, but gets better as the initial hour unfolds and, much like its predecessor, leaves one wanting ready for more (if not willing to admit that publicly). What might be most surprising about the series is the things you’ll find here that aren’t staples when it comes to broadcast television. Such as? Read on, my friends, read on!
Stars letting themselves portray themselves… as jerks.
Both Paul F. Tompkins and Mary Lynn Rajskub appear in a sequence that is brutal, honest and (especially in the case of the 24 vet) hysterically funny.
The morning after pill used… and milked for laughs.
Getting frisky has consequences as evidenced by the frank conversation had following a drunken hook-up. Rarely has talk of those consequences been as realistically casual… or led to such an awkward moment.
Casual race talk.
In an age when every word any politician utters about race is turned into a week of endless bloviating by pundits looking to fill a 24-hour news cycle, the scene in which a frustrated actress calls out television itself on its distorted view of race relations is refreshing.
Strippers who actually strip.
Ever notice that most small-screen strip clubs are filled with dancers who specialize in the exotic over the erotic? Or how on THE CLIENT LIST, it’s implied that there’s some naughtiness going on, but we don’t actually see it? Well, it’s made pretty clear that these ain’t those kinda girls!
A cast of relative nobodies.
Yes, some of the performers are painfully green. And yet, once you get used to watching a bunch of people whom you’ve never seen before (as opposed to Hollywood’s natural tendency to go with proven entities), they not only grow on you but prove worthy of the investment.
THE L.A. COMPLEX premieres on Tuesday, April 24th at 9PM on The CW (MuchMusic in Canada).