The Complex – Wardrobe synopsis I

Love that tangerine

Last night I had every intention of going to Red Drinks.  I was going to take lots of photos, write about meeting Tran Wills and so on.  Instead I convinced myself that painting my toes a lovely shade of tangerine and watching the CW’s The Complex was a better way to use my time. So instead of meeting real, live  interesting people I watched fake people live fake non-interesting lives.  Sadly, I think The Complex may become my guilty pleasure for the summer.
Here are a few costuming/wardrobe notes as well as some accidental racial observations thrown in for sheer joy.

The Complex take place in L.A. where young, beautiful and marginally talented 20 something’s try to make it in L.A.’s entertainment scene.  The show is a cross between Melrose Place, 90210 and Fame and maybe SMASH without the overt talent. These characters don’t seem to be oozing talent, yet anyway.  But, then making it in Hollywood doesn’t necessarily mean one needs talent.  On that point Hollywood got it right.  On my first view there were no evil characters introduced yet.  Although the Aussie guy is probably going to be the resident cad.  The Complex offers typical Central Casting line of characters.  Nothing new here.  On to costuming.

What is it with dressing young black guys like Urkel?  Does anyone really dress like that outside of politicos like Tucker Carlson and people who live in Sun City? This character reminds me of the black guy in the new 90210 who always wore polo shirts buttoned to the top and was hands down the most unfashionable character on the show.  Or Winston (or was that the butler) from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air  in all his country club stuffiness.   I won’t do an entire history of costuming African-American characters but Hollywood, stop it already.  Don’t go into Mr. Rogers closet for inspiration on how to dress young black guys.

The character here who shall be called Urkel because I can’t remember names is trying to make it in the music biz.   In one scene the character is contrasted with the suave hip hop guys who are wearing muted tones and expensive suits with of course gold chains.  Then Urkel comes in with his red and blue plaid shirt buttoned up to the top.  It was so jarring just looking at him.  There was no safe place to rest my eyes.  In real life I would have let my eyes rest on his belt which would have been awkward in having a conversation.
I understand the need to visually contrast the big bad hip hop dudes with the innocent lamb but ugh, it was just too obvious. Urkel could have easily worn something less dorky and still have gotten the point across that he was a newbie in the business.  I just think putting this character in such obvious dork clothes is lazy and as well as other things I haven’t quite been able to verbalize.

So, did you watch?  What do you think of their wardrobe choices?  Do you notice type casting in the costume department?


One thought on “The Complex – Wardrobe synopsis I

  1. Sadly I did not watch. So I cannot comment about the wardrobe with any authority. But I can comment about Mad Men & Janie Bryant and how the wardrobe totally “makes” the characters. I think you can “assist” a character with wardrobe but don’t overdo it so it takes too much from the actor. We should discuss more at DSC. See you soon.

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