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The L.A. Complex

by Cris Clapp Logan on May 18th, 2012 in Parents

Have you head of this new hit show from the CW?  I heard about “The L.A. Complex” at Target this week when I was standing in line behind a few girls that looked to be about 13 or 14 years old.   Their discussion was very animated, and it was clear that the show was one of their new obsessions.  Later, when I watched a few sample segments from the show, I discovered gratuitous sex, explicit language, some violence and a number of situations that I would call unsuitable for children. 

In the latest episodes, Alicia, who has been working as a stripper and dancer, agrees to make a sex tape with an actor whose star has been fading.  When her friend Nick goes online to masturbate to some pornography, he stumbles across the sex tape and confronts Alicia.  Their dialogue goes something like this:

Alicia: “This is going to open a lot of doors for me.  It’s just sex!”

Nick: “What doors?  You don’t want to walk through those doors!”

Alicia: “Look, the best part about it is that they’ve identified me… people will actually know my name now… besides, name one person that hasn’t benefitted from a sex tape!”

As the latest episode continues, Alicia isn’t able to book dance gigs and doesn’t see the payday she was promised with the release and pending sale of the sex tape.  She soon feels as though she has no other options than to sign a contract with Vivid Entertainment.  It’s clear that it’s not what she wants, but it’s what she is willing to settle for.  Her friend warns her that the industry will just use her up and throw her away, but she insists that she won’t do anything that she doesn’t want to do.

Isn’t Alicia’s story so similar to so many of our young girls today?  Sadly, many of the young women I counsel have this perspective, that sex is “just sex”.   It’s “no big deal” and “sex tapes can make you famous”.  They want to be the next Kim Kardashian, and they are attracted to the allure of being desired and even memorializing their love affairs through digital means.  Of course, as these girls go farther and farther down the path of giving their bodies away, they often feel isolated and begin to realize that the sexualized lifestyle portrayed in the movies, in music videos and promoted in much of our culture just sets them up to be used and thrown away.

If you’re a parent reading this today, I hope you have a conversation today with your daughter about how much she and her body matters.  Help her to understand that she is a prize.  If anyone ever starts pressuring her to send a sext message or watch pornography, tell her that you want her to come to you.  If she has already started down that path and if she is feeling pressure to continue, let her know you want to help her to make wiser choices and that she always has a choice to leave that lifestyle in the past.  Finally, I think it’s best not to let your kids watch this show (be aware they can watch full episodes online for free).  As I mentioned earlier, this show is filled with extremely mature content, but, unfortunately, it’s being marketed to teenagers and tweens.  If you do decide to allow your child to watch this content, then watch the show with them and debrief together.

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  • Suriburd

    I have not seen or even heard of the show, but from your description it sounds like the greatest negative consequence of the sex tape was the judgmental nature of other people and their desire to punish her.

    • Dude

      The idea of accidentally releasing a sex tape is so passé, it would only make the wannabe actress looks cheap and silly for taking part in it. Rather than promoting her career, it would likely produce the opposite effect. 

      BTW, this show and television station is aimed at young adults, not teens.

  • The L.A. Complex is one of the very few Canadian shows that currently plays on Canadian networks like CTV and Much.  To say that it is a “new hit show from the CW” is partly inaccurate.  CW only carries a simulcast of the show when it airs in Canada.  This clarification should be made so that readers are not misled to think that The L.A. Complex is American.  It is Canadian.

    It is too bad that this is another repulsive show from Canada.  There are some golden gems shows like Flashpoint (which is an awesome show and has so little sexually suggestive content that it’s not worth worrying about), but  The L.A. Complex just sounds like a typical teen-targeted program filled with sex and fame.  In other words, it perfectly compliments the type of programming that CTV and its parent Bell Media typically ̶b̶r̶o̶a̶d̶c̶a̶s̶t̶ simulcast: shows with celebrity gossip, dancing, singing and sitcoms.

    Now, i don’t want to be overly negative, but the general quality of Canadian broadcasting has greatly degraded since Bell bought it, sold it off, and bought it once again.  Also, maybe there’s something i’m missing about The L.A. Complex.  But based on what i read here and elsewhere, it sounds like the show wants to say “All sexual lifestyles are okay, even homosexual and non-marital, and if you disagree with such lifestyles, then you’re a judgmental hater.”  That’s not true of me and many who disagree with both sexual practices.

    We lovingly disagree.  It’s not fair, however, tha Bell Media shows a clear bias against family values.  i would prefer if we as Canadians (and elsewhere, too) only supported appropriate programming on our networks, but people need to stop watching the crap shows and stand up for positive values.

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