Cypher Avenue Rating: 4 of 5      
Back in January 2012, we told you about a new 6-episode series airing exclusively on the Canadian television network CTV called “The L.A. Complex.” Well, after months of waiting, the show will debut in the on the C.W. Network here in the United States beginning Tuesday April 24th 2012. Here’s the official synopsis:
The L.A. Complex follows the lives of twenty-somethings 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.
To our surprise, the “twenty-something” characters in question included two attractive African American gay/bisexual men. The characters Tariq Muhammad (Benjamin Charles Watson) and Kaldrick King (Andra Fuller) initially proved to be a refreshing depiction of masculine black /bisexual men on the screen. None of the typical feminine, pop-diva inspired stereotypes were seen at all. It was a breath of fresh air.And many gay men of color agreed with us. Not only were we the first gay themed website to highlight the show, we began what turned out to be an avalanche of interest in the black gay community to a non-U.S. airing show they would have never even been aware of normally.
Our original article and video embed were re-posted on sites like Rod 2.0, MyVidster, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter and many personal blogs. This proved to us more than ever that many gay/bisexual men out there were thirsty for something more than Drag Queens and sassy black men wearing heels. It is also key to note that data tracking shows that everyone who came to DISCREET CITY from those sites listed above spent an average of 45 minutes to an hour surfing our pages, proving that we’re also a breath of fresh air to audiences as well.
We hope that this is the beginning of a new trend in which many more films and television series featuring black gay characters are available for viewing. This series is not without its flaws though. While we may not have to suffer through watching even more finger-snapping fems in “The L.A. Complex,” we still get the stereotypes.For example: One is the Submissive Bottom type and the other is the Aggressive Top type. One is “more comfortable” with coming Out while the other is on the “down low.” One is the “good guy” while the other is a “thug.” One is the One is the victim while the other is violent. I’ll give you one guess on which character is which.Regardless, that falls into the nitpicking category due to the fact there are so few depictions of “us” out there in the media to begin with that do not include random casual sex and/or unwise flamboyant fashion choices.

With a fast-tracked, rocky relationship road that includes romantic getaways, arguments, break-ups and even domestic violence, by the end of the series a bright light is shined on the complications of living in the closet and the perils of one person dating someone who is more Out than the other.

Originally I gave the show a 10/10 on the Representation Scale. This was before we began our “5-Star Ratings System” that we’ve now used on Book Reviews and Movie Reviews. If I had to give it a new rating now that I’ve seen all 6 episodes, I’d say it ranks as a strong 4-out-of-5 Stars.
For those of you who didn’t watch the entire series bootlegged on YouTube before it was taken down, check out another clip featuring Tariq and Kaldrick on their “first date” embedded below:
Here’s the smoking hot, “Do Something” clip that we originally posted of duo on the night of their “first date”:
– Nick D