The L.A. Complex

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The L.A. Complex
Intro to The L.A. Complex
Genre Drama
Created by Martin Gero
Directed by Martin Gero
Stefan Brogren
Starring Jonathan Patrick Moore
Joe Dinicol
Andra Fuller
Chelan Simmons
Cassie Steele
Benjamin Charles Watson
Jewel Staite
Georgina Reilly
Dayle McLeod
Michael Levinson
Jarod Joseph
Country of origin Canada
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 19 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Martin Gero
Stephen Stohn
Linda Schuyler
Troy Miller
Location(s) Los Angeles, California
Production company(s) Epitome Pictures
Distributor MuchMusic
The CW
Bell Media
Original channel MuchMusic
Original run January 10 – September 24, 2012 (2012-09-24)
External links
Official website

The L.A. Complex (originally Highland Gardens) is a Canadian drama series which premiered on CTV and MuchMusic on January 10, 2012, subsequently airing on MuchMusic. It also began airing in the United States on April 24, 2012 on The CW.[1]

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."[2][3]

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.[4]

On December 20, 2012, The CW announced that the series was not going to be picked up by the network, making it officially canceled.[5]


Main characters[edit]

  • Cassie Steele as Abby Vargas, an aspiring, talented, but very naive young actress originally from Toronto who moves to L.A. to pursue her dream, only to discover the true nature of show business.
  • 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.
  • Andra Fuller as Kaldrick King, a successful rapper originally from Oakland, California who is attempting to make a comeback in the music world as well as hide a secret of being a closeted homosexual.
  • Jewel Staite as Raquel Westbrook, a 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 producer originally from Montreal who works with Kaldrick King.
  • Georgina Reilly as Sabrina Reynolds (Recurring Season 1, Series regular Season 2), a ruthless and intelligent comedienne, who acts as a rival to Nick the 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 leaves them.
  • Michael Levison as Simon Pirelli (Season 2), a child actor who moves into The Lux with his older sister Beth.

Recurring characters[edit]

  • 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 whom 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. He makes a sex tape with Alicia to try and boost his profile, and then enters a celebrity rehab show.
  • 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 everything should he ever publicly come out about his sexual orientation.
  • William Stewart as Rook, Kaldrick King's long term friend whom 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, 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.
  • 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 Grace
  • Rebecca 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[edit]

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.[6]

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.[6]

On March 22, 2012, Bell Media ordered a further 13 episodes to be produced for the first season.[7]

The CW picked up the second season of the show for the network's summer schedule, to begin airing on Tuesday, July 17, 2012.[8] 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.

Critical reception[edit]

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.[9]

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."[10]

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".[11]

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.[12]
  • Episode 2 aired January 17, 2012 on MuchMusic drawing 87,000 viewers.[13]
  • Episode 3 aired January 24, 2012 on MuchMusic drawing 40,000 viewers.[14]
  • Episode 4 aired January 31, 2012 on MuchMusic drawing 44,000 viewers.[15]
  • Episode 5 aired February 7, 2012 on MuchMusic drawing 16,000 viewers.[16]
  • Episode 6 (season finale) aired February 14, 2012 on MuchMusic drawing 22,000 viewers.[17]

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.

International broadcasts[edit]


  1. ^ a b Seidman, Robert (January 10, 2012). "The CW Acquires Six-Part Canadian Drama ‘The L.A. Complex’". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 19, 2012. 
  2. ^ "The LA Complex premieres January 10 on MuchMusic and CTV". Retrieved 12 December 2011. 
  3. ^ "CTV to double-debut The L.A. Complex in January". Retrieved December 12, 2011. 
  4. ^ Vlessing, Etan (December 3, 2012). "'The L.A. Complex' Not Renewed for Third Season by Canada's MuchMusic Channel". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  5. ^ Vlessing, Etan (December 20, 2012). "The CW Not Renewing 'The L.A. Complex' for Third Season (Exclusive)l". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 20, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Bell Media's Original Series 'The L.A. Complex' Acquired by The CW". Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  7. ^ Vlessing, Etan (March 22, 2012). "Bell Media Orders 13 More Episodes of ‘The L.A. Complex’ (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 17, 2012. 
  8. ^ "The CW Announces Premiere Dates for 'Oh Sit!', 'The Next: Fame is at Your Doorstep', 'America’s Next Top Model', 'The LA Complex' and More - Ratings". TV by the Numbers. 2012-06-06. Retrieved 2012-07-11. 
  9. ^ "The L.A. Complex - Season 1 Review, Ratings, Credits, and More". Metacritic. April 24, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Popular TV Shows 2012 Q&A -- House Finale's Best Surprise? - TVLine". TVLine. May 25, 2012. Retrieved June 20, 2012. 
  11. ^ Baldwin, Kristen (2012). "TV: The L.A. Complex". Entertainment Weekly (#1222): 66–67. 
  12. ^ "The Brioux Report: Big Bang beats Globes; new CBC season soars". Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  13. ^ "The Brioux Report: Canadians love hockey, football and The Big Bang Theory". Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  14. ^ "The Brioux Report: Big Bang, CSI, All-Star hockey wins week before sweeps". Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  15. ^ "The Brioux Report: Canada bowled over by the Super Bowl". Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  16. ^ "The Brioux Report: The Grammy Awards hit high ratings note for Global". Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  17. ^ "The Brioux Report: Survivor and The Amazing Race roar back in pre-Oscar week". Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  18. ^ "La série canadienne The L.A. Complex dès le 5 novembre sur June" (in French). October 4, 2012. 
  19. ^ Munn, Patrick (October 4, 2012). "MTV Acquires UK Rights To Canadian Series ‘The LA Complex’". TVWise. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 

External links[edit]