A month and a half ago, I put out an advance review of Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23, urging you to watch past the second episode and telling you that episode four was absolutely hilarious. Heck, the show as a whole was absolutely hilarious. And it’s true — Apartment 23 has become sort of an undervalued, but quite comedic nonetheless property for ABC. And it did so right out of the gate.
Once again, I reiterate that episode two — which found Chloe setting up June with her dad, badmouthing her disabled mother, and then pushing her father into oncoming traffic — was way, way, way, waaaaay too far with the “B—-” part of the title. But for the most part, the series understood its tone from day one. And it was able to execute that thusly and successfully. These days, we often forget that the number one job a comedy has is to make us laugh. But somehow, Apartment 23 gave that to us effortlessly.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of trope and clichés happening here too. Two unlikely roommates, one’s an introvert, the other’s an extrovert, and somehow, maybe — just maybe — they change each other for good. But the problem with complaining about constant formulas in Hollywood is that sometimes they just work. And nothing has proven that more this year than Don’t Trust the B.
For example, last week’s episode found June exploring the benefits of casual sex, thanks to Chloe. But Chloe finds she can’t enjoy casual sex because she has feelings. They both come to a point of stasis at the end of the episode, like any other, and the formula reigns supreme — but the execution was so impeccable and unorthodox and unique, that it’s a nonfactor. The same is true tonight (and while I’m quite apprehensive about June’s sudden re-energized spark for being popular, which was mastered so perfectly and comedically in episode four and then never referenced again, I’ll still say the following was hilarious): June feels like she’s out of the circle, Chloe is upset once she’s no longer the It Girl, and in the end we find June apologizing (in a sense) and Chloe realizing that she has just made another friend.
I don’t know if James van der Beek being a delusional celebrity, or June being a naive yet levelheaded newcomer, or Chloe being a raging bitch will ever get old, especially given (hopefully!) 22 episodes next season. (And seriously, kudos to Krysten Ritter and the writing team for creating Chloe, but somehow making us fall in love with her.) But I will say that I’m having an insanely fun time watching them be these people and go on these insane journeys. I can watch The Beeker complain about dressing room sizes for a long time. I can have fun seeing June whip out homemade comic books for weeks. I can sit down and watch Chloe act completely apathetic about Tall Girl, No Panties for seasons. Or at least, it feels that way now.
Well, what it feels like is just a fun, hilarious time. And truthfully, that’s what it is. Congrats to the Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 team for creating the best new comedy this season.
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