Monday, August 27, 2012

Live-Blogging 'The L.A. Complex's' "Half Way"...

Tonight's TV Talk: The L.A. Complex's "Half Way"

- I'll take nekkid Kal (Andra Fuller) any way, but it bums me out he's trying with a woman. He knows he's not attracted to women. I know he's not past lying to others, but I thought he was at least well past lying to himself. It seems he has to take a few steps backwards before he's going to move forward even a little bit.

- Muppet Pancake Nick (Joe Dinicol) is adorable. But Sabrina's (Georgina Reilly) moxie is even more adorable. I love that just when Nick starts to soften around her, assuming she has done the same with him, she pulls another punch.

- God, I want Jennifer's (Krista Allen) house. Only second to Kal's house. But I do not want her disposition. Wanting to be there for a friend is one thing, but having a savior complex that takes over someone else's life? Too detrimental to everyone involved. She can't be there for every second of every day with these guys; eventually they have to learn to cope on their own.

- I'm really impressed that Raquel (Jewel Staite) is being the supportive, nice girl without the cameras rolling. ...Oh wait, never mind. Can't have too much growth from these narcissists! After all, Hollywood would collapse.

- I completely respect The L.A. Complex for having Sabrina rant about being a female writer in Hollywood the way they have, but I hate that she implies she's relying on getting the gig simply to fill a quota. It's not enough to be a diversity hire; you have to prove you actually deserve the spot because you're talented, too. There's enough crap floating around this town; we really don't need new kinds of people to add to it.

- I have to admit, I'm shocked to see Abby (Cassie Steele) floating around on set right now. I was convinced she would have showed up, only be to whisked into Donald's (Alan Thicke) office and told she was already fired, the threesome spun into some kind of seduction/corruption on her part. But maybe Laura (Megan Hutchings) is more bark than bite, and I overestimated her at the end of last week's "push her in the pool" rage. Bummer.

- I'm shocked this rehab reality show doesn't have cameras in the bathroom...or does it? Why else would they shoot from the side, wide like that? Just to exploit Aaron Abrams' nakedness a bit more? That's probably the case, but film school teaches you never to use an angle like that unless you want to indicate another presence in the scene, like someone spying on the people having the conversation, which in this case would be the producers and the public through the lens of another camera. Could you imagine if Raquel was caught trying to manipulate the show on the show? That's perfectly meta and exploitative in a way that reality TV has managed to never do yet.

- This punk lawsuit should actually go to trial. Regardless of Kal's actual innocence, if he's worried about his reputation as a rapper, this is the way to do it. I really, really, really hate this kid Infinite Jest (Stephan James) in a way I probably shouldn't considering I usually admire those who are trying to make their own way in this industry and "do it themselves" through independent production and distribution and stuff. But this kid is trying to capitalize off someone else's fame. He claims he doesn't care what anyone thinks of him, but it's a front or his simple stupidity because he's literally banking on the fact that Kal will be pissed off enough at his GarageBand mixtapes dissing him to come back on his own EPs and therefore make this kid a household name overnight. It's weak.

- Connor (Jonathan Patrick Moore) is such a little kid, probably willing to take the blame for his pseudo-big brother, but it only means his heart will be broken harder when Eric disappoints him for the first time the way he has to Jennifer so many times she knows what to expect and is seemingly numb to it today. As much as I find myself cocking my head and pitying Connor right now, though, I am kind of judging Jennifer for still letting Eric in. If she knows he's not really trying to get help, she's not being clever or respectable or the "nice, sensitive one" for letting him crash there; she's enabling him and his bad behavior. She may not think she's hurting herself by doing it, but I'd beg to differ. And she's certainly hurting him, too. In part because if he misreads her obligation or sense of loyalty or generosity as something greater, he's being unintentionally led on. But also because she's teaching him that he doesn't have to take responsibility or accountability for his actions because he has a place to lie low, to feel good about himself in the times when that's what he wants out of life. It's a destructive cycle all the way around. Because whens he eventually puts him out, he returns to his self-destructive ways, spurred on further by fresher, deeper wounds.

- I can't with this 7th Heaven "Grace" show anymore. The Sister Wives clothes, the pecks on the cheek, the weird accent director, Abby's terrible emoting that still no one calls out or corrects. And what's worse? The way everyone is so afraid of Donald like he beats them when they don't make their days.

- Watching Simon (Michael Levinson) be unwilling to perform because he's mad at his sister is the first time we've seen him be a kid all season. It's jarring to realize that and refreshing, too, at the same time, even though he goes from mumbly to tantrum in two seconds flat. 

- I hate to say I told you so about Eric, but it looks like he's proving my point already, and he's still in  the house. Connor being willing to cover for him is a bummer, but his willingness to help Eric at any cost, like taking his keys, shows he could have made a good dad if Raquel hadn't lost the baby. Maybe having to take responsibility for someone else will be enough to straighten himself out. He's doing better lately.

- Oh Raquel, you know you'll still look like the bitch when the show airs, right? There is no footage of Ricky (Abrams) saying any of these things about this kid. You're so desperate, you're not even seeing the easiest trappings.

- I like the idea of Kal as a mentor. I'm just not convinced Infinite Jest is deserving of his talent.

- Oh Simon, you don't want to live with dad. The grass is just greener somewhere you don't know and have never seen. And what happened to your so-called "dream" of acting? Is it just a phase? I don't want to see a kid forced into this business because there are no other options. It's too much on his little shoulders. Hell, living in one room with his big sister is too much on his little shoulders. I'm kind of sick of being around Beth (Dayle McLeod) and her terrible decisions, too, and I'm able to turn her off after an hour. Poor Simon. Maybe he can be adopted by Jennifer. That would get her back in headlines-- and it would be a positive, mutually beneficial, and not creepy way to channel her maternal energy.

- Ricky, read the room! When this kid kills himself in this house, they might be able to come after you for...well, it's the equivalent of selling the drug addict the pills he overdosed with, right? However, I love how Raquel completely catches Ricky off-guard, even if she can't quite say "we're here to build each other up" without rolling her eyes.

- I don't know what to do with Nick and Sabrina either right now. I don't want Nick to turn down the job because Sabrina is the one who really deserves it because he needs to have some balls and do what he needs to do to get ahead in this town just like the next guy. Or you know, like Sabrina. Yet, I kind of do want something to happen so that she ends up with it, even if it means she realizes how little she wants to be in a room that rewards such misogyny. You can only fight the system from within it. She could use it as a stepping stone to something better, whereas Nick would be stuck in that job forever because he'd get comfort there and nest. And because he isn't good enough to advance to anything else yet. Or maybe for a while.

- Never mind, I take what I said about Connor back. He's not maturing; he's not taking steps forward. He's more f*cked up than I realized if he's using Eric as his new father figure. Yikes. I thought most kids who grew up with crappy parents just learned to rely on themselves, even if it left them a little bitter and jaded and unable to trust or be appropriately intimate. This one just reaches out for anyone to care for him the way he was deprived of as a boy, though.

- Kristopher Turner, you are too good for Beth!

- Wow, it took awhile to see Donald on-screen. I thought he was just going to be a disembodied voice over a speaker, you know, like the God mic in a control room. But kudos to Laura for covering her own ass by pointing out Abby's very real screw ups. She's a better actor than I thought. Abby, on the other hand, is even worse than I thought. Who thinks it's a good idea to say you're not unprofessional because of your threesome and then you go through your boss' desk!? I'm sure he has skeletons in his closet, too, but he's smart enough not to hide them at work-- where he built an empire. Talent aside, it's getting harder and harder to root for Abby to succeed when she keeps screwing things up so royally for herself. Everyone self-sabotages on this show, but hers may be the worst.

- Oh yeah, by all means, Kal should mentor the dumb piss-ant who torched his car and was stupid enough to stick around so Kal knew it was him. I wouldn't be surprised if he FlipCamed it and used it in his next YouTube music video, too. At least now I have a more legitimate reason to dislike this kid: he's hurting my boy Kal's pretty, pretty things!

- Aw, Nick, you were going to drink the fat! ...Again, this is not a cute look on you or any guy. I do not condone it. But I could see why Sabrina is endeared by it.

- Connor's sick little pseudo family is making me uncomfortable.

- It occurs to me that if this is the bulk of the lawsuit Kal was said to be dealing with this season, it's really a nothing part of the story line, simply a plot point to introduce him to this lawyer guy, which I guess I'm willing to forgive the thinness of simply because this lawyer guy is way hotter than Tariq (sorry, Benjamin Charles Watson). But it still leaves me to wonder what that weird mouth on the cell phone call in last week's episode with the matchbook guy was about. It seems even less relevant now.

- Zack's dead, Raquel. Clearly this rehab isn't a good enough one to keep the substances out entirely. Good job, kiddo. Maybe Eric should check in, too. Then we're taking care of a bunch of characters' problems in one place/big swoop. If and when he and Jennifer go south again, he's going to end up convulsing on the floor, too. It's a sad state of things this season. Lots of lonely people taking things way too far.

- I love the parallel of Abby trying to call Connor the way he was trying to call just about anyone last season. It's that "Pinwheel of the Gods" thing-- when one is up, another is down, but the wheel, and luck in Hollywood, will never be consistently one or the other. Everyone just takes turns.

- How far can Simon really get on what appeared to only be ten dollars and change? I can barely buy lunch for that these days!

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