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Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23

December 27, 2013

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As I am wont to do, I recently discovered a gem of a TV show that was canceled before I ever saw it.  And this is definitely one Iwish was still around because it is dangerously funny.  I’m talking about Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23.  This show. Is. ReDICulous.  And I mean that in the best way.

The premise is (sort of) simple.  Naive June (Dreama Walker) moves to New York City from the Midwest and on her first day at her new job, the job falls through and she loses her apartment.  After a brief and pathetic search, she finds what seems like the perfect apartment with the perfect roommate.  But little does she know that her new roommate is a total and utter bitch.

Krysten Ritter plays Chloe, a twenty-something con artist whose entire life revolves around drinking, sex with strangers, not working, and her best friend, James Van Der Beek.  Yes, that’s right. James Van Der Beek. The Beek from the Creek.  But more on that later. Chloe is conniving, selfish, out of touch, hedonistic and over the top.  And it totally works.  Every minute facial expression is comic gold and she and June play wonderfully off of each other. It’s like a modern day female Odd Couple. From situations like setting June up with her father (who is still married), to making her look fun in front of her ex by slapping her at a wedding, to adopting a foster child just so she can have a live-in assistant, Chloe runs rampant all over June’s life, with hilarious and unexpected results.

As a partner in crime, Chloe has James Van Der Beek, playing an egotistical, over the top version of himself.  He is a total enabler to Chloe, too obsessed with his own career and image to care about the acts of human depravity she commits on an hourly basis.  For most of the series as it was, he’s preparing to be on Dancing with the Stars, an enterprise that ends in total humiliation…humiliation that is pure joy to watch.  Plus he really plays into the fact that Dawson’s Creek is his real claim to fame.

Rounding out the cast are Liza Lapira as Robin, the next door neighbor who is obsessed with Chloe; Michael Blaiklock as Eli, the pervert in the building across the alley – a very very narrow alley; Eric Andre and Mark, June’s friend from work who is in love with her; and Ray Ford as Luther, James’ assistant and rival for James’ affection with Chloe.  Each bring an element of hilarity and joy to each scene that they are in, though Lapira and Ford steal their scenes almost every time.

But Krystin Ritter is what really makes the series work, at least for the brief time that it did.  She is quirky in a way that is completely original and inspired and I’ve never seen a character like Chloe before on TV. Ritter has a comedic sense that can’t be beat and while it could be really easy for a personality like that to dominate a half hour sitcom, the others are right on board with her the whole way, stride for stride. She leads, they follow, and it’s a beautiful parade of happy that can’t be beat.  I’m quite disappointed that the show did not last.  I could watch it over and over again for ages.

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