"Moving Day/Bedroom Bonanza"
- August 30
Ah, Malibu, California. Enclave of the rich and famous.
And starting tonight, home of eight couples who will
battle in the newest competition out of the house of
Idol and TPIR, FremantleMedia. And their weapons? Tools.
They're loud. They're sharp. And they can kill you. But
not all is fun and fortune with this beach blanket
community... It's time to enter... the apartments that
evil took for granted. In a word... Hideous.
This is "The Complex:
Malibu", taken from an Australian format currently in
its second season. Our eight couples, living and working
together 24/7 and grouped in teams of four - Upper
Complex and Lower Complex - will have six weeks to turn
things around in our slum block, room by room. EAch
week, a team of experts will determine which renovations
add value to the complex, and which ones don't. The ones
that don't will put one couple of that team in danger of
getting evicted, kicked off the project.
We meet our host Tyler
Harcott (hey, another "Junkyard Wars" alum!), as he lays
out battle plans. Living and working in Upper Complex
are: Sanyika & Monique, Erik & Jayna, Scotty & Sam,
and Scott & Nicole. Living and working in
Lower Complex are: Brad & Lew, Carl & Kim, Dave &
Ana, and Barney & Rose. Each team will
remodel one identical room each episode, with the losing
team of the appraisals facing eviction.
Like my cohort-in-crime
Wolvie, expect lots of nicknames. Erik & Jayna (The
Artists) have never done anything like this in the
mainstream, although they do allude to building Habitat
homes. And they want to keep their limbs.
Understandable. Scotty & Sam (The Rednecks) are quite
brassy. Scotty's a pushover, for lack of a better term.
Barney & Rose (The Seniors) have been together for 49
years, having married in their teens. They're eager to
get started, despite Barney having a big mouth. Dave &
Ana (Team NYC) have your usual passive/aggressive
relationship - she's a priss and he's understanding of
said prissness. Brad & Lew (The Boys) hope to play off
the other teams' prejudices of gay couples. Carl & Kim
plan to play dirty, thus prompting my nickname: "The
Dirty Dirty". Steve & Nicole (The All-American Fiancees)
are your basic story of football captain meets
cheerleader. And if they act as such, I just might
vomit. And finally, we have Sanyika & Monique (The
Renovators), who say they don't camp. They just finished
refurbishing their first house, so expect them to have a
slight, albeit unfair (tee hee), edge.
There are your remodelers,
and here are the keys to your new homes for six weeks!
Sanyika & Monique and Steve & Nicole will share a flat,
as will the Artists & the Rednecks, the Seniors & NYC,
and the Boys & the Dirty Dirty. Steve & Nicole already
learn that they're underdogs, only having done one
discrete task in comparison to the Renovators' flipped
house. The Rednecks promise not to go freaky on the
Artists. The Dirty Dirty and the Boys ally with each
other to start. The Long Island Seniors meet the NYC
(from Brooklyn) and trade design secrets. But will
Western and contemporary mix? Probably not, but it would
be fun to watch.
Lots of rumors going around
of the places, but none of them realize that all of that
means nothing. Dirt. Dust. Debris. Broken stuff. In a
phrase: "Holy schnikeys!" And if you needed further
motivation to get your butts in gear? You'll be living
in... this. The other places... don't look any better.
The roommates can't even get into Apartment 4 without
pushing really hard.
But there is hope. If you
walk out in the deck, you're going to see some tools and
other accessories from our good friends at Sears
($PLUG$). So what do you do with all those? Lay waste to
the place... You know, more so than usual. Seriously,
the first task involves cleaning the place from top to
bottom, getting rid of years worth of dust and grime in
a single afternoon. Steve himself probably made 20 trips
up the Complex stairs, meanwhile Apartment 3 heads down
to Apartment 4 to help clean up, since they are
teammates. Although Kim doesn't feel that Ana and Rose
are pulling their weight. Rose is waiting to start
cleaning, as she had no problem going down the stairs,
but did so coming up. "I thought I was going to die."
Yeah, maybe you should put out the cigarette so you
won't feel that way later.
Back in #2, Sam doesn't
clean. She puts Scotty and Jayna to do that. She says
she gets along with her, even as they don't know each
other that well. In #1, Sanyika sweats a lot, so it only
looks like he's doing a lot of work. And the dust helps,
At Lower Complex, Rose
hasn't done jack since her first trip back up the
stairs, so she gets to cook. "I was very pissed off."
Rose sure gets feisty a lot, so much so that she swears
off cooking for the rest of her time here.
Upper Complex starts
talking about features to make the place pop. Jayna
can't stress enough: no crown moulding. Sam disagrees.
So we have ritzy vs. middle class. Who'll win out this
one? Time will tell. Nicole hopes that this clash
doesn't affect team standing. At Lower Complex, Kim
rallies the team in solidarity... except for Rose.
"Somebody that talks so much can't really be trusted.
When it comes down to the big bucks, nobody's your
friend." And so ends the first day.
Morning comes on day 1
after a "very dusty" night. Lower Complex is full of
energy, with the exception (again) of Rose, who wants to
go home. Meanwhile, we get tree-mail... without the
tree. It's blueprints to your first challenge: the
CHALLENGE #1: THE MASTER BEDROOMS
2. TOTAL BUDGET: $10,000 ($7,000 cash, $3,000 Sears
3. PROPERTY MANAGERS: Before work begins, choose a
"property manager" to oversee this week's
assignment. The Property Manager is your team's
leader. He or she can make all the decisions
themselves or he or she can choose to be democratic,
but the final say on all matters will be theirs, so
4. TRANSPORTATION: One car per team, one pickup
truck to be shared by both teams. Each team gets the
pickup for four shifts to be designated by both
And your have 120
hours... starting NOW. Lower Complex nominates Kim as
PM, which is good for her little power trips. Upper
Complex nominates Monique as PM. The two meet for truck
negotiations, as Monique leaves Kim with shifts that,
for all intensive purposes, are crap to drive in LA.
UC1 try to strategize
the bedroom, ending up with a divider. UC2 talk goldfish
bowls, as Sam tries to get everyone on the same page of
music. The Rednecks & the Artists don't agree on many
things, among them floor boards. UC has a design meeting
with 115 hours to go. Surprisingly, they're all in
agreement on open-shelf bookcases, and by "all", I mean
"UC1", as Scotty & Sam try to butt heads with their
idea. Monique steps in and lays down Robert's Rules of
Order hard. "I'm not two, man! I don't think I need a
marker to speak!" Then stop acting it, you yutz!
Carl & Kim decide to
keep Brad & Lew around as long as they have to. Rose
likes wood for LC4, while Dave & Ana don't really see
the point of relating this experience to previous ones,
once again prompting Rose to scream out "I want to go
home." Can Kim play the team savior? Their design
meeting boils down to putting a bed in a cubby hole,
which irks Rose, who is so type-A that she makes Colin
and Christie look namby-pamby in comparison.
110 hours to go, and
Scotty likes to sleep with the ceiling fan on and
centered to the bed (Sam: "Because you're a redneck.").
Jayna say that they're your typical hot-blooded Southern
couple. Dave, on the other hand, says that he may have
to be completely plastic to win this game... whatever
74 hours to go in UC2,
and Jayna and Sam are out to put aside differences to
"get things accomplished". LC4 manages to snag floating
shells. Nice. Along with flowers and a lamp looking...
thing. Not so nice. UC's Monique senses a lot of
ideas, but not a lot of structure. Basically, Darth
Monique puts UC2 on notice to "spare me the
pleasantries, I've come to get you back on schedule".
Erik is concerned with "wow", and Sam's concerned with
"not that much wow". Steve, in UC1, gets to work on a
shelf, saying that "time is our worst enemy." LC3,
though, has already finished painting, as they talk
about Rose & Barney's constant arguing (or potential
thereof) and team dynamics. Barney, seeing that gay men
have a better sense of decorating, asks the Guys for
assistance downstairs. Which is cool with them. They get
along well - "That's you in ten years! Twenty years!"
They click on birch cabinets, talking about spending the
day on it tomorrow, while Barney talks about how to get
rid of these guys when the time comes.
UC1 gets their stuff
from the wonder-truck. Meanwhile, UC2 is heading to the
competition sponsor to check out.. stereos? Well,
they're arguing in stereo, and so far, it's getting
nothing done... except determining that they're on the
same page. Back at the Complex, Erik and Scotty get the
ceiling fixtures in. Coming from the exits, Sam and
Jayna have paint! Well... HAD paint, as it's now running
on the ground after the trolley spill. Needless to say,
they have to clean up that mess. While Sam trucks the
rest of the paint to the car, Jayna is stuck with the
hazmat team. They return to the Complex and "I don't
want to talk about our (^_^)ing afternoon." Okay. Let's
move on, then.
More complaining ensues
at LC4 with Barney and Rose. Meanwhile, Kim "asks for
the truck keys" while visiting UC's kitchen, knowing
full well that the kitchen is in the back of the flat
and you have to pass the bedroom to get to it. Kim
reports back to LC, and LC's in agreement that they have
the better setup, while UC is in agreement that Kim went
a little too far. Nicole's solution: a sign that says
"Do Not Enter!"
LC4 has more woes, as
the furniture that is delivered... isn't the one that
Ana wanted. And the delivery guy isn't taking it back.
Barney thinks that there's no way that the room is going
to get finished. Meanwhile, Steve thinks that Sanyika is
the weakest link of UC1, so he tries to point him in the
right direction. In this case, the right direction is
totally wrong, as Sanyika buys two different floor
In UC2, Erik never
finishes his projects, including the sheetrock and the
ceiling. Other than that, nothing accomplished. And both
the Artists and the Rednecks are mentally at each
other's throats. So it's time for Monique to mediate.
But it's not helping matters much as Erik says "That's
not going to get done" about the walls. Scotty and
Sam... pissed. This will plunge Monique into
"micro-management" mode: "Scotty... this is YOUR wall."
This brings Monique to a new low, as she seeks solace
On the other side of the
coin, Carl focuses on the floors of LC3. And it shows.
29 to go, and we're sanding in UC1, steering in UC2,
cabinet building in LC4, cabinet botching in LC4,
cabinet complaining in LC4, and driving on the street
with Sanyika... with no money thanks to his initial
blast out the door. They rush out to catch him in the
pickup. And all of this while moving at a frenzied pace.
Enter Tyler with the
24-hour warning. "Your room must be completed by noon
tomorrow." But there's more, because now there is the
vote for which team will be evicted from the Complex.
Here's the score: eight people, seven ballots, because
"with power comes accountability". The PM will not get a
vote. If your team loses, the couple with the most votes
So the strategy now?
Eliminate the dead weight. Kim, not having a vote,
decides to take matters into her own hands (again) and
talk up voting Rose & Barney off the Complex. We're at
15 hours now, as Scotty and Steve talk about maybe
voting the Artists out. Scotty's still iffy about the
"alliance". However, NYC talks to the Seniors about what
Kim said. Their response... cut off by the sudden
appearance of Kim.
Crunch time, as we're
heading into the final night. 88 minutes to go, and
we're heading to the finishing touches. UC1 is far
behind. 39 minutes, and UC2 is still pushing for
finality despite Sam's control freak tendencies. No
floorboards somewhere, and the team of experts are on
their way. Final cleaning, and (*air horn*) that's it!
The renovation's done, the master bedroom battle is
OVER! It's time for inspection, as the PM is the only
one to enter the Complex with the panel. The rest of the
teams must wait on deck. The appraisers are real estate
broker David Kessler, designer Lourdes Marie Barros, and
architect Jason Marshall.
UC1: Quite a
turnaround. David notes the use of color. Lourdes loves
the spacing with the divider and the bed. But Jason
plays flaw-finder and notes that the dividers aren't
really finished and that the mouldings need a total
macroscopic impressive turnaround. the judges think the
room is too busy. Jason faults the team on the haphazard
job with the edging.
LC3: David thinks
the space in front of the bed is empty, while Lourdes
likes the interior design (except for the base moulding).
LC4: Very nice.
Almost. In the end, they went with plywood, and that
does not sit well with David. Lourdes thinks the
suspension lighting isn't functional at all. Jason likes
the idea of the floating bed, but thinks that the tables
needed to come closer.
All in all, it looks as
if Upper Complex will take this one, as Lower Complex
begins to plot putting the Seniors out of their misery.
Brad and Lew think that Kim & Carl are their strongest -
and weakest - ally. Back at UC, Steve tells Sam that he
doesn't trade his character away for a game as he
debates who's the bigger liability - the Rednecks or the
It's off to the
Lumberyard as the Complex casts their votes to evict.
This is where we find out who wins of the two teams, and
which couple is evicted. To run down vitals:
UC1 spent $9525.93,
leaving them with $474.07.
UC2 spent $9002.86, leaving them with $997.14.
LC3 spent $7942.75, leaving them with $2057.25.
LC4 spent $9311.46, leaving them with $688.54.
The money leftover will
carry over to the next project. Now the results: the
most valuable bedroom goes to LC3 this week. The least
valuable... will be revealed after we serve eviction
notices to two teams:
UC: Sanyika & Monique
LC: Carl & Kim
Sanyika and Monique are shocked for one, the work ethic
put forth, and two, the strategy to put up Erik and
Jayna. Carl and Kim aren't surprised in the latest,
spawning an argument between them and the Seniors.
And now, the results of
the appraisal. If the least valuable room is in Upper
Complex, Sanyika & Monique will go. If it's in Lower
Complex, then Carl & Kim will go. That room is in...
UC1. Sanyika & Monique, you've been evicted. Please make
your way to the exit, and thank you. "It burns," Monique
says. "It does sting. Life happens," Sanyika says. Well,
at least they get to sleep in a real bed.
Some info to pass along,
if you would like to bid on the Complex Malibu and
decide the winner, you can call 1 877 3 ESTATE (1 877
337 8283) or log onto complexonfox.com.
My take: It's "The Amazing
Race"... without the Race... or the Amazing. But still,
it's a cute, quirky little show that unfortunately will
have the uphill climb of being placed in the dead-end
Friday 8pm slot. Worth catching if you have the time,
though. And besides, any show with "Burning Down the
House" as its theme can't be that bad, right?
Back on Friday with another
room, another eviction, and more hammers of mass
destruction. Boom, baby.