Like some supernatural accident, The Complex: Malibu was born. Put Bob Vila and Big Brother into a transporter that allows for only one item, and watch the two meld into the weird home improvement competition that is this reality show. Unfortunately, I'm finding, I'm learning less about how to remodel my house than about how people fight when they're tired and on a deadline. If the producers could edit out some of the snivveling and showcase some actual renovation techniques, I'd pay closer attention. Instead, this show is falling victim to the "It's good TV" bug. Well, one person's "good TV" is another person's "No, I'd rather not watch these people having it out, thankyouverymuch." We learned this lesson when Jase of Big Brother acted like an idiot all for "good TV," and most of his antics were never aired; there was only so much idiot we could take. But that's another show.
In episode two of The Complex, we saw Jayna and Erik's eviction, and Kim and Carl moved to Upper Complex. Episode three opens with Kim and Carl packing and moving upstairs. Barney, of Lower Complex, is happy to be rid of the wicked witch of the west, as he calls Kim. Little did he know the identity of the cackling, conniving, wart-nosed woman in his bed.
This week's challenge is the second bedroom. Unlike in previous weeks, teams will only have four days (and not five) to complete their renovations. 96 hours to go, teams can spend $8,000 and any money leftover or won last week. Brad and Lew are expected to spend their winnings of $2,000 on this challenge. We see windsurfers and hummingbirds, the beauties of nature and the fun one can have in it, and then we are taken to the multi-layered cake that is the apartment complex. No icing. Only sawdust and vitriole. Kim suggests that she'd be the property manager again this week, her rationale being that she knows the judges. Steve says to her that he can't argue with those strengths. But, to us, he says he knows why she's on the block from week to week.
In Lower Complex, Ana will be the property manager, and Lew acknowledges that their team had trust issues last week. He's bitter toward Ana, seeing as she was the one he most trusted, but he is determined to work as a team. Brad and Lew are comfortable having Ana as the property manager as long as they can work on their own in apartment #3. Ana later tells us that she really enjoys working with Brad and Lew; they're talented and great team-players and easy to work with.
The challenge begins. The Uppers (can I get away with calling them that in the City of Coked-up Angels?) decide to make cut-outs in apartment #2, alcoves in which to put flowers. Scotty admires Kim's organization skills and calls her a great manager. Sam says that Kim is as anal-retentive as she is. I think Sam meant "expulsive," given how much crap-talk everyone's giving out.
Kim calls for diagrams for the electrician, but in apartment #1 she lacks leverage. She offers suggestions to Steve who says he doesn't want their eyes to get bigger than their stomachs. But, isn't this Malibu, the land of wide-eyed people and glitz? It's about more and bigger and gluttonous excess. Steve wants something simple, because obviously his know-how is so limited he wouldn't be able to do any of the tasks Kim suggests. Sam worries about the Uppers losing two weeks in a row.
Down in apartment #3, Brad and Lew plan out their paneling. They want to create a wall unit for one wall, a shelving system above a computer desk. In apartment #4, the thrift comes to the fore. Rose wants to put vertical blinds on the french doors. Dave wants to purchase old hardcover books at the Goodwill. These'll serve as decoration. With an $8000 budget, why not buy antique classics, leather-bound books from a genuine collector? Dave, though, is all about playing pretend, and that Harold Robbins hardcover softcore pirate porn isn't going to look smart on your bookshelf.
The teams tear up floors and begin sanding walls. The full moon (because the moon is always full on reality TV) curves overhead, and we're thrown out of the continuum of linear time. Last week we saw the crescent moon, and it should take fifteen days before that crescent became full and it's only been two or three days, but I digress. Steve is discouraged, in that he must not know what the judges were looking for to have lost both of the other challenges. Kim wants to blow the judges away, she says to Sam. Sam says that the judges are going to expect "crap" in apartment #2. Not if you retain it, not if you retain it.
Carl goes up to check on apartment #1. Kim tells him to make sure that Steve and Nicole have sanded their walls. But apartment #1 is portrayed as a disaster zone. Steve diagonally rolls the paint all across the wall, and Nicole tells him to stop, that he's not doing it right, and he's leaving spots on the wall.
47 hours to go. Rose and Barney go to check on apartment #3, while the cats are away (the mice play). Rose (who has nothing nice to say) looks over the Threes' green tile bathroom and says, "I could do that." I think she adds, "if I had a car." I don't quite get it, so if someone does, please let me know. Barney notices that Brad and Lew think of all the details and that this is why he has to get rid of them. Rose then says she doesn't like Brad and Lew's taste and that their master bedroom looks like a Chinese restaurant. That's always a good plan of action when someone comes out as looking better than you, as having more talent and ability: insult the heck out of them.
38 hours to go. Steve lays down dark wood floors. He gets frustrated after attempting to lay down the same piece seven times. Sam and Kim go to Sears. Their visit contrasts with Sam and Jayna's paint supply trip. Sam wants to know if they can purchase an item and Kim says, "You want it; you get it." Sam is happy and juggles tools. Kim wants to eventually approach Sam and form an alliance with her and Scotty.
Back at apartment #1, Steve and Nicole are bickering. Steve doesn't think Nicole should paint the trim in the bedroom. He meanwhile is unable to correctly cut a piece of baseboard. Nicole says that she'll just have to sunbathe since Steve won't give her a job to do. Hon, it's not up to Steve. Go do something. Steve doesn't know what he's doing anyway. And he admits it. Scotty goes upstairs to look at the baseboard beneath the french doors, and they puzzle over Steve's improper cut. Steve tells us, "You start losing and losing and losing. You start to feel like a loser." Scotty worries about Steve and Nicole and says they're always screwing something up.
36 hours to go. Brad and Lew make their wall unit. They put together boxes and laquer them for the wall unit. They hope that the Fours' project will fall apart so that Dave and Ana can then team up with them. In apartment #4, Barney whistles and paints the ceiling. Rose, ever the workhorse, tries to cut a piece of wood with an electric saw. The cut is completely jagged and crooked. It's clearly her first time ever operating a saw, and she goes back to whiling away time on the patio and cackling profusely.
Scotty peeks over the balcony and looks down at Lew. Whatcha doin'? he asks. Lew says that he's building a wall unit. "That's a crafty little cat down there," Scotty says. "Must be nice to have that kind of talent."
In apartment #4, Ana wonders how much money they have left. Rose hides money but doesn't tell Dave and Ana. She thinks they'd spend it on "something stupid." Meanwhile, Rose blows all the rest of the money on Virginia Slims. You've come a long way, baby.
Ana doesn't quite understand the money-hiding thing. She says, "It's not like I don't know how to count." True, but consider this: There are several billion males in this world. You don't have to count them to know there are more opportunities for you than Plastic Dave.
Their Asses on the Line
It's the next day and Sam hasn't put out. We know this, because Scotty tells us he tried like hell last night. Sam tries to put together cabinets, looks at instructions, is confused. Scotty teases her and she tells him he must really not want to have sex for the rest of his life.Scotty may know better how to put together cabinets, but he certainly can not put together the enigmatic schizoid oracle that is Sam.
Downstairs, Rose feigns shock at $350 turning up and the Sears gift card. Dave again mentions that he and Ana have to keep pretending like they have an alliance with Rose and Barney. I don't think anyone there has an alliance. It's more like working together to keep the talented people from winning.
21 hours to go. Ana is concerned that what they bought won't make them win. She thinks their room is average. Dave and Ana go shopping, and they bicker. Dave thinks that Ana and Rose shop like they shop for clothes. "They want to see everything." Dave just wants to get things done, without driving around. He is talking in circles. Ana reasons with him that driving around and buying objects for their room is part of their work. Dave then tells her that he can't shop with her because she annoys him.
In apartment #2, Scotty, who is by now totally repressed, knocks through a wall with a hammer. The plaster comes out through the other side. Sam jokingly calls him a moron. She then announces to everyone that Scotty made that hole because he's a "dumbass." So far we've learned that some asses are dumb, some are retentive, some are expulsive, and all of them live in an apartment which happens to be #2.
It's the 11th hour and Ana again seems conflicted. She realizes that Barney and Rose could keep them from winning in the future. Lew worries that all day he thought that the second bedroom could be their last room, despite their talents and teamwork. Upstairs, Scotty wonders about Steve's skills, although he calls him a smart learner. Steve wonders if his alliance with Scotty and Sam will get them through.
73 minutes to go. Lew mentions that he and Brad stayed up until 3 a.m. and also that they don't have time to go shopping
39 minutes to go. Barney and Dave squeeze Rose through the doorway...I mean, a couch.
3 minutes to go. Nicole says that it wouldn't be Upper Complex if they weren't working at the last minute.
Tyler, our stiff host with the steady speech, blows his you-know-what...I mean, his horn. It's time for inspection. I know, he says, that all I am is a big Doc Marten's boot, but please look past that.
Steve seems to think that, since they've lost twice in a row, it'd be a good story if they eventually won the game. It would, indeed, be just a story.
The judges critique the units.
Jason: A finished, occupiable feeling.
David: The pieces are nice but they don't work together. The closets need to be utilized more.
Lourdes: She appreciates the stainless-steel shelves, the red chair. "You guys are improving."
Jason: A better level of completion. Craftsmanship has been well attended to. He likes the accent details, and points out the cut-outs in the wall on either side of the bed.
David: He wants a bigger carpet under the bed.
Lourdes: She likes the bed and how it contrasts with the light floors. "Overall you've done a great job. I really like the look."
Jason: He says that the finish on the wall unit could be more consistent.
David: He likes the leather couch and the colors on the pillows. He waxes heavily on the colors: "It's young, it's fresh, it's unique, and it really says I'm here, I'm working, I'm resting, I'm playing, I'm everything."
Lourdes: She likes the wall unit but not the base molding.
Jason: The vertical blinds are a generic, inexpensive alternative. They don't have an upscale feel. The shelves could be finished better.
Lourdes: She also doesn't like the finishing on the shelf. She likes the black leather chair but not the lamp behind it.
David: He wants to see better closets and more attention to detail.
Before the teams visit the lumber yard for the eviction ceremony, they talk about alliances. Ana wonders if it'd be better to work with Brad and Lew. Dave acknowledges that Rose is shady and cites the money-hiding. Upstairs, Sam sits backwards on the patio on an uninstalled toilet and cries to Scotty. While Scotty thinks it'd be better to get rid of Steve and Nicole, Sam says she's a person of integrity and she won't let a million dollars get in the way of being true to her word. The toilet is not in use, and Sam retains...something.
Your Ass Is Grass
The couples take their seats at the lumber yard, and we hear a few voice-overs. Steve feels like a loser. Barney thinks that everyone's afraid of him, the old fart. Please take it upstairs to apartment #2. (You know, I'd have not resorted to potty humor, except that there's a potty right there, in plain sight, used as patio furniture! How can I not?!)
Tyler tells us how much each apartment spent on the Second Bedroom challenge.
Apartment #1: $7,311
Apartment #2: $8,212
Apartment #3: $9,122
Apartment #4: $7,223
Tyler also says that the room that added the most value to the complex is the one in apartment #3. He reminds us that, although apartment #3 won three weeks in a row, it's more important not to lose. He requests that certain couples to stand, so that he can berate them. Steve and Nicole, Tyler says, you've lost two weeks in a row. He asks them if there's any reason they won't drag down their team again. Carl and Kim, Tyler says, you've led your team to two victories. He asks them if those victories weren't just from riding on the coattails of others. Tyler mentions Barney and Rose's half-assed bathroom job (as a matter of fact, their job was no-assed, since they did nothing) and that it was strategy. He wonders what their excuse will be this week. He tells Brad and Lew that their talent is undeniable, but that their teammates see them as a threat.
The couples nominated for eviction are Brad/Lew and Carl/Kim. They then have a chance to talk to their teammates. Carl and Kim say to the Uppers that they've been great and that they understand why they've been nominated. Scotty tells them that it's horrible that all the people up for eviction are the strong people. Kim thanks him. Next, Lew very diplomatically tells the Fours that they did a great job with their unit and that they (Brad and Lew) did a great job with theirs. Barney thumbs-up him. Lew says he has nothing more to say.
Ana, then, changes from sweet and kind to belligerent and decides that this is her turn to yell at Kim, even though she's no longer on her team. She tells Kim and Carl not to flatter themselves to think that the Fours were trying to vote off the strongest teams. Kim asks Ana if she has to talk. Ana asks Kim why she feels threatened by her and mumbles something like, "You can see the results from our design that..." implying that they were able to hold their own without her. Kim tells Ana to shut-up.
The apartment adding the least value to the complex is apartment #1, again. Kim and Carl hug Brad and Lew. They leave. Brad and Lew are given the choice to move to Upper Complex or stay at their own apartment. Brad acknowledges that both teams already have their alliances, so they might as well stay at home. Tyler tells the Upper Complex couples that, if their team loses next week, then both of them will be on the block.
Back at apartment #2, Carl says that it was beginning to feel like home. They both, then, say that the Fours won't be able to handle renovating a unit on their own, and they continue to be bitter about them. Kim writes a note on the budget board to Sam, Scotty, Steve, and Nicole: Kick unit 4's ass. Love, Kim and Carl.
Tune in this Friday, when Upper Complex buckles down and Tyler announces a surprise twist, which apparently is a "lesson in teamwork." Thanks, again, for joining me. May your toilets remain safely indoors, and may your asses be smart and whole.
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