Friday, April 20, 2012

REVIEW: Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23

ABC - Wednesday 9:30/8:30c

Starring Krysten Ritter (Jane on Breaking Bad, which also led to this fantastic promo), Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23 follows Chloe's misadventures in New York City with her new roommate June (as far as I can tell, the first television character to be named June since June Cleaver.  So that's something).  While at times crass and rude, the show is kinda funny, which is the most accurate review that I could come up.  It really is kinda funny, but not gut-busting funny.

1.  Does it entertain me?
There is a strange dynamic working between the two leads, Chloe and June (Dreama Walker.  That may be a stage name).  They work together, with each feigning some sort of innocence and manipulation.  But that's why the show is kinda funny, because they are both capable of something horrendous, and yet you can feel sorry for them.

But the best thing about the show so far is James Van Der Beek playing an Extras version of himself.  In other words, a slightly crazy and maniacal he’s-sorta-out-there version that relives his Dawson’s Creek life in his conquest of women and fans everywhere.  He gets a lot of laugh out loud moments, in fact the most that came from me were directed at him.

That isn’t to say that Chloe and June don’t have their moments.  Theirs are more genuine and complex, because they need to carry the emotional and the comical elements of the show, where as Dawson only needs to provide comic relief.

So yes, there are times when the show entertains me.  It has the potential to blossom into a full-fledged sitcom, but that might take time.  And it may need time, like FOX’s New Girl, which has become the surprise hit of the 2011-12 season, and is genuinely funny, in a way that I actually can’t wait to see it every week.

2.  Is it realistic?
It’s New York.  I’m sure there are bitchy people who do horrible things to each other all the time.  And Chloe has that weird personality where you could see her being friends with James Van Der Beek.  So I’ll let all the seemingly random things slide in favor of the larger show.

3.  Are immoral actions defended?
June’s boyfriend has just arrived with a youth in his custody and his attractive nurse in tow.  Of course, said boyfriend is cheating on June with that nurse, and Chloe, being the good roommate and friend that she is, needs to tell June.  So she takes it upon herself to seduce the boyfriend and be caught in a compromising position just as June comes home, thereby seeing what a lying rat he really is.

Makes sense, right?

This kind of situation is commonplace in the world of Apartment 23.  It’s not the most moral place in the world, but unfortunately it’s the world we live in.  And this is not me defending it; I wish it didn’t happen, and I can’t even defend the friendship notion of it (although Cicero might).

4.  Are traditional family values upheld?
No, there is sex and cheating and one night stands everywhere.
Don’t Trust the B---- in Apt. 23 is kinda funny.  It’s kinda crass and yet it is creative and seems fresh.  I don’t know if that feeling will last, and I don’t know if it’s worth your time, but at least it’s not a copy cat of another show on tv.  There is creativity out there, we just need to find it and give it a chance.

Grade: B

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