The L.A. Complex (originally Highland Gardens) is a Canadian Drama series which premiered on CTV on January 10, 2012, subsequently airing on MuchMusic. It also began airing in the United States on April 24, 2012 on The CW. The series stars Cassie Steele as Abby Vargas, an aspiring actress who moves to Los Angeles with nothing but her Maple Leafs hockey bag and dreams of being a famous actress. As described in CTV publicity materials, "The L.A. Complex follows the lives of twenty year olds living in the same apartment complex in L.A. trying to make it as actors, dancers, producers and comedians. Relationships begin and end, the need to succeed is tested and all characters are pushed to their breaking points."
On December 3, 2012, it was announced that The L.A. Complex was not renewed for a third season by Much and Bell Media, but with a possibility that the series can be picked up by another network. On December 20, 2012, The CW announced that the series was not going to be picked up by the network, making it officially cancelled.
The L.A. Complex Wikipedia
Main charactersCassie Steele as Abby Vargas, an aspiring, talented, but very naive, accident-prone young actress originally from Toronto who moves to L.A. to pursue her dream, only to discover the ruthless true nature of show business.Jonathan Patrick Moore as Connor Lake, a good looking and successful actor from Australia who suffers from depression and self-harming.Joe Dinicol as Nick Wagner, a geeky, lighthearted and socially awkward stand up comedian originally from Calgary. Nick often has troubles in both his career and his love life due to his reputation of being a pushover.Andra Fuller as Kaldrick King, (formerly known as John Dougan), a successful but troubled and bad-tempered rapper originally from Oakland, California who is attempting to make a comeback in the music world after a stint in prison, as well as hide a secret of being a closeted homosexual.Jewel Staite as Raquel Westbrook, a 30-year-old, cynical, once successful actress from Halifax who fears her career is now over.Chelan Simmons as Alicia Lowe (Season 1, Season 2 Guest star), a sensitive, aspiring dancer originally from Regina who will "do whatever it takes" to make ends meet.Benjamin Charles Watson as Tariq Muhammad (Season 1, Season 2 Guest star), a quiet and timid music rap artist/intern originally from Montreal who works with Kaldrick King, and eventually becomes his lover.Georgina Reilly as Sabrina Reynolds (Recurring Season 1, Series regular Season 2), a ruthless and intelligent comedian, who acts as a rival to Nick for the entire duration of the series. She is the only main character who is born and raised in Los Angeles.Dayle McLeod as Beth Pirelli (Season 2), a headstrong teenager from Winnipeg who moves into The Lux with her younger brother Simon, after her father abandons them.Michael Levinson as Simon Pirelli (Season 2), a child actor who moves into The Lux with his older sister Beth.Ennis Esmer as Eddie Demir, the owner of The Lux Motel. Eddie is loud, fun and excitable. He is shown to being to pursue an acting career.Kristopher Turner as Cameron Logan, a resident of The Lux who focuses on making a movie with Kevin and Raquel. He also starts a relationship with Beth during Season 2.Jordan Johnson-Hinds as Kevin Rainer, Cam's filmmaking partner.Aaron Abrams as Ricky Lloyd, a once successful child actor, Ricky's career has dried up due to his drug addiction. He makes a sex tape with Alicia to try and boost his profile in Season 1, and later enters a celebrity rehab show in Season 2.Dayo Ade as DyNasty, Kaldrick King's focused and strict music producer. He is aware of King's homosexuality but pretends not to know for he is well aware that King will lose literally everything should he ever publicly come out about his sexual orientation.William Stewart as Rook (Season 2), Kaldrick King's long term friend who is very loyal and attempts to help King as much as he can. He also knows about King's homosexuality and helps him try to keep it a secret. In the series finale, he shoots and kills King's rapper rival, Darius.Paul F. Tompkins as Himself (Season 2), a straight talking comedian.Kate Todd as Katee (Season 1), Conor's co-star.Eugene Clark as Walter Dougan (Season 2), Kaldrick King's estranged father with whom Kaldrick attempts to form a reconciliation. He runs a halfway house in downtown Los Angeles for paroled ex-convicts and homeless teenage runaways, and who is also an ex-convict and recovering alcoholic and drug addict. He has no idea about his son's homosexualty because of having not seen Kaldrick since he abandoned him when he was a young child, and he remains oblivious despite Kaldrick throwing hints to him at times.Krista Allen as Jennifer Bell (Season 2), a successful actress who starts a "show-mance" with Conor to remain relevant in the acting business.Ryan Belleville as Scott Cray (Season 2), Nick and Sabrina's lecherous, drug-addicted boss.Brett Dier as Brandon Kelly (Season 2), an actor on Saving Grace who is in a three-way relationship with Abby and Laura.Megan Hutchings as Laura Knight (Season 2), an actress on Saving Grace who is in a three-way relationship with Abby and Brandon.Alan Thicke as Donald Gallagher (Season 2), the strict creator and producer of Saving GraceRebecca Dalton as Dita (Season 2), a quiet resident of The Lux.Louis Ferreira as Dean Pirelli (Season 2), Beth and Simon's father.Tori Anderson as Charlotte Lake (Season 2), Conor's estranged sister.Jarod Joseph as Christopher Taylor (Season 2), Kaldrick King's openly gay lawyer boyfriend.Steve Byers as Gray Sanders (Season 2), Abby's serviceman boyfriend.
Development and production
CTV's parent company, Bell Media, ordered six episodes of the series in August 2011. Shooting and production of the series began in the summer of 2011, with both Toronto and Los Angeles as primary locations.
Several hours prior to the series premiere, Bell Media announced that The L.A. Complex had been picked up by The CW to air in the United States later in the spring.
On March 22, 2012, Bell Media ordered a further 13 episodes to be produced for the first season.
The CW picked up the second season of the show for the network's summer schedule, to begin airing on Tuesday, July 17, 2012. Later, starting on August 27, 2012, the series moved to Mondays 8/7c as a lead-in for repeats of the new season of America's Next Top Model.
Production on the second and final season was scheduled to begin in mid-April and will be shown in Canada beginning in July 2012. The 13-episode second and final season was simulcast by The CW. Alan Thicke joined the cast as Donald Gallagher, a hot-headed actor-director-producer. Also guest-starring is Louis Ferreira as Beth and Simon's father Dean Pirelli.
The series received mostly positive reviews from critics. Metacritic which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 from reviews of mainstream critics, gives the series a score of 70 based on 12 reviews, indicating generally favorable reviews.
Rob Owen of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette gave the show a positive review stating "For the type of show it sets out to be, this Complex is surprisingly, well, complex." Alan Sepinwall of Hitfix also gave the show a positive review, describing the show as "It's a primetime soap, but one that's genuinely more interested in what the characters want to do for a living than in who they're sleeping with."
The TVLine team said of LA Complex, "It's like everything you’d want from a CW soap, and it delivers," and that it contains "TV's most interesting, unexpected romance."
Entertainment Weekly gave the show an A- and declared that it was "summer's hidden gem", saying that it was "unexpectedly smart", and that the bad decisions of the characters made it "far more interesting, relatable, and likable than the glambots we normally see".
However, Tom Gliatto of People Weekly gave the show a negative review, describing the show as a "blah drama about kids living in an LA apartment complex while hustling for big breaks."The L.A. Complex premiered on January 10, 2012 in Canada. It was previewed on CTV drawing 351,000 viewers as well as 60,000 on its regular channel MuchMusic.Episode 2 aired January 17, 2012 on MuchMusic drawing 87,000 viewers.Episode 3 aired January 24, 2012 on MuchMusic drawing 40,000 viewers.Episode 4 aired January 31, 2012 on MuchMusic drawing 44,000 viewers.Episode 5 aired February 7, 2012 on MuchMusic drawing 16,000 viewers.Episode 6 (season finale) aired February 14, 2012 on MuchMusic drawing 22,000 viewers.
However, after its initial airing in the United States, the series received the lowest-ever ratings for a broadcast drama series premiere, despite its generally favorable reviews.In the France, June will broadcast the show starting November 5, 2012 (in French).In the United States, the series airs on The CW.In the Australia, the series airs on MTV Australia.In the United Kingdom, the series will air on MTV.In the Turkey, tv2 will broadcast the show starting February 12, 2013In the Asia the series will air by April 14, 2013 with a back-to-back premier on MTV Asia.In the Czech Republic the series premiered on MTV Czech on April 17, 2013.In the Poland the series will premiere on MTV Poland on April 21, 2013.In the Netherlands the series will premiere on MTV Netherlands on April 21, 2013.In the Latin America the series will premiere under the title "Sueños de Hollywood" on MTV on April 21, 2013.In the Slovenia the series airs on Planet TV.In the Portugal the series airs on MTV Portugal.
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