Think you know everything there is to know about The CW’s sizzling summer series THE L.A. COMPLEX? Thing again! Which is to say that while you may already know that the show is sexy, scandalous and doesn’t shy away from pushing the envelope, we here at theTVaddict.com have compiled five things may surprise you.
The United States and Canada See Slightly Different Versions of the Same Show!
As a result of what L.A. COMPLEX showrunner Martin Gero calls a more “sexually repressed” country, viewers north and south of the 49th parallel actually see a slightly different version of the exact same show. “Because The CW is broadcast over the air it has some pretty weird rules in contrast to Canada which is far more lenient about things as simple as showing beer,” explained Gero during the TV Addict’s recent visit to the Toronto based set of THE L.A. COMPLEX. “The CW had to blur out all of our Bud Light logos, they couldn’t show the Vivid logo because it was said to be promoting hardcore pornography and there was a little too much side boob for standard and practice’s liking!”
Casting Kaldrick and Tariq Was Easier Said Than Done
One of the most surprising additions to THE L.A COMPLEX isn’t so much the unexpected relationship between rapper Kaldrick King and wannabe musician Tariq Muhammad, but rather the fact that the romance between two African American men almost didn’t happen. “It was very difficult to find two guys that were willing to do those parts, I’ve never had people drop out of auditions like flies, you’d be lucky if you got 60% of the your people coming in,” revealed Gero with regards to the controversial same sex relationship that has quickly become a fan favorite. “The show is all about taking television tropes and asking ourselves if there is a way to spin them in a way that we haven’t seen before. So for us, the relationship between Tariq and Kal was just a real love story. If it was a straight couple, it would be insanely boring, but because it’s two relatively heterosexual black guys in the hip hop industry, it’s crazy. [Prior to Frank Ocean coming out, which occurred after this interview was conducted] No one is out in hip hop, we really haven’t come that far yet.”
Raquel’s Unexpected FIREFLY Connection
Try as she might, L.A. COMPLEX star Jewel Staite can’t escape her iconic FIREFLY alter ego. Or at least that was our takeaway following Gero’s reveal that the inspiration for Staite’s hilarious has-been of a character Raquel was none other than Morena Baccarin’s current HOMELAND costar! “The inspiration for Raquel was Claire Danes. We always based it on what if all Claire Danes did was MY SO-CALLED LIFE, what an awful life that would be for her!” explained Gero who follows up an anecdote about FIREFLY fans confronting Staite in Toronto with some complimentary words for his star. “Jewel and I are very close friends and have been since we worked on STARGATE five years ago. We moved to LA at the same time and I knew how funny she is. She’s such a phenomenal talent and there’s nothing you can throw at her that she can’t do. So to have a character that is very close to her — maybe slightly more bitchy — it’s great to watch her be given a chance to play something other than the girl next door which is kind of what she’s typecast as.”
The CW Really Is Behind the Show
Despite the show’s middling Nielsen ratings, The CW remains steadfastly behind the show. “I think The CW is seeing this as a bit of an experiment for them so there’s a wider margin for what a failure is considered than if we had launched with a billion dollar marketing campaign and they had put an enormous amount of cash into the show,” said Gero. “I wish they were bigger dicks because this wouldn’t sound like me being a corporate shill, but they really love the show. They think it’s a positive direction for their Network to go in, they’re very excited about it and we’re doing incredibly well online. We gets tons of views in the US via Hulu and TheCW.com so even with our abysmal numbers we make sense.” And speaking of abysmal numbers…
New Episodes air Tonight (Tuesdays)!
Since ratings would indicate that far too many of you haven’t realized that The CW has been airing new episodes of THE L.A. COMPLEX all summer long, it behooves us to mention that you can tune in tonight at 9PM on the CW and MuchMusic in Canada for “Rule of Thirds.” A brand new episode that finds Kal at a crossroads, Connor forced to come face to face with someone from Jennifer’s past, Abby in over her head, and Raquel forced to take a gig solely for a pay check. In other-words, just another day in the life of a struggling actor in Hollywood.