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Arts and Entertainment

Video: Fascinating New BBC Show Dissects Los Angeles For Brits

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You would think a three-part BBC documentary series on the nitty gritty of Los Angeles would cover the most stereotypical things on our city. You know—tan Hollywood actors, ridiculous traffic or juice cleanses.

However, in BBC Two's TV series, Louis Theroux’s LA Stories, which premiered (only in Britain, unfortunately) on Sunday, we actually get a raw glimpse into the dark side of our city of angels from an outside perspective. It draws you in the moment you begin watching it. The series covers some pretty interesting topics including the first episode, "City of Dogs," on the sad state of stray dogs in South L.A.

"L.A. is well known for its population of pampered pooches but its high crime areas are home to a community of street dogs—neglected and sometimes aggressive," Louis Theroux says in the clip.

According to Theroux, we have six city-run dog pounds with 35,000 pups that go through the institutions each year—and South L.A. has one of the busiest ones. He takes us through the area where dogs (especially pit bulls) get sent to shelters to await their deaths. One woman who works at a shelter (and also acts with aggression toward the dogs so they know she's the alpha) tells him: "It’s really hard to choose—for lack of a better term—who gets to die today."

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He shows how some dogs in South L.A. are also trained to become aggressive pets that owners treat as weapons. One man says if he carries a gun while he's driving, he risks getting arrested by police, but if he "weaponizes" his dog, "he's just like my pistol on my side."

A zen-master Theroux refers to as Dog Man, who cares for the abandoned dogs in South L.A., sadly tells him that dogs end up on the streets because of foreclosures, thus causing folks to ditch their canine companions.

While Theroux tries to talk to local residents, he also faces some aggressive confrontations. One woman tells Theroux to get his "bitch-ass back to London."

London-native Louis Theroux moved out to L.A. (Los Feliz specifically) with his family in late 2012 to focus on this documentary, which would be "immersive examinations of life at its most raw and emotional, explorations of crime, mental illness, life and death, but unfolding in this sprawling megalopolis, which embodies all the best and some of the worst of life at the beginning of the 21st Century," according to a column he penned on BBC News.

His next two episodes will focus on our health care system and patients with serious illnesses at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in West Hollywood, and how sex offenders are treated in California.

You can watch the first episode in its entirety here: