You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23

The show is charming, but its irreverence and madcap energy disguises a conventional mismatched buddy comedy.

Chloe - Krysten Ritter
June - Dreama Walker
Robin - Liza Lapira
Eli - Michael Blaiklock
Mark - Eric Andre
James Van Der Beek - James Van Der Beek

Beyond its provocative title (and even that trails “GCB” by five weeks), “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23” has a familiar feel, down to the device of an actor, James Van Der Beek, playing a jaundiced version of himself. That isn’t to say the show lacks charm, only that its irreverence and madcap energy disguises a conventional mismatched buddy comedy, which turned out pretty well for CBS’ “2 Broke Girls.” ABC has obligingly given the show its best timeslot, behind “Modern Family,” though as “Happy Endings” can testify, retaining those viewers can be a real bitch.

“B—-” is hardly the first live-action series to attempt to replicate the zany qualities of Fox’s animated comedies, but after a lot of teeth-gnashing exercises, it’s among the more successful. Perhaps that’s because series creator Nahnatchka Khan worked on “American Dad,” and the show exhibits a similar rapid-fire, almost scatter-gun approach to comedy.

Of three episodes previewed, the pilot is the least satisfying, perhaps because it has to go about setting up the series. Wide-eyed Indiana native June (Dreama Walker) arrives in New York to start an exciting new job at a brokerage house, only to have the firm implode (yes, another Madoff-inspired gimmick) on her first day. Desperate to find an apartment, and after meeting a number of freaks and losers, she meets Chloe (Krysten Ritter), who says all the right things.

As played by Ritter, Chloe is part psychopath, part Holly Golightly — a free spirit with a slightly sadistic streak. Her best pal, it turns out, is Van Der Beek, who is certainly game in portraying himself as an egomaniacal star clinging to past glory, both weary of “Dawson’s Creek” chatter and more than willing to exploit its fans’ adulation. In terms of amusing non sequiturs, the closest parallel would be Jennifer Grey’s turn as herself in an ABC comedy of yesteryear, “It’s Like, You Know…”

Khan also punctuates the show with lots of little touches and pop-culture references, some funnier than others. In a subsequent episode, Van Der Beek teaches an adoring acting class using a subtle riff on Indiana Jones, while June refers to 11 years as equating to “600 Nicolas Cage movies.” On the flip side, a peeping-tom neighbor (Michael Blaiklock) in the adjoining building is one of those “Only in New York” cliches this “B—-” could probably do without.

All told, though, there’s a lot to like here, and even an evolution to the Chloe-June relationship that — the former’s eccentricity notwithstanding — borders on a budding friendship.

Although both employ a single-camera format, “B—-” and “Modern Family” don’t necessarily seem all that compatible, but funny is funny. And after a stretch where ABC’s signature half-hour hit has often appeared to be surrounded by Lilliputians, credit the network with putting “The B—- in Apartment 23” where it should have a better than fighting chance of finding a home.

Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23

ABC, Wed., April 11, 9:30 p.m.

Production: Credits: Filmed in New York by Fierce Baby Prods. and Hemingson Entertainment in association with 20th Century Fox Television. Executive producers, Nahnatchka Khan, David Hemingson, Jeff Morton, Jason Winer; producer, Chris Smirnoff; director, Winer; writer, Khan.

Crew: Camera, James R. Bagdonas; production designer, Richard Berg; editor, Ryan Case; music, Daniel Licht, Erica Weis, Michael Cassady; casting, Lisa Miller Katz. 30 MIN.

Cast: Chloe - Krysten Ritter
June - Dreama Walker
Robin - Liza Lapira
Eli - Michael Blaiklock
Mark - Eric Andre
James Van Der Beek - James Van Der Beek

More TV

  • Emmys: Ken Jeong and D'Arcy Carden

    Emmys: Ken Jeong and D'Arcy Carden Set to Announce Nominations

    Two of TV’s busiest comedians, D’Arcy Carden and Ken Jeong, have been tapped by the Television Academy to announce this year’s Emmy nominations. Carden, whose credits include both NBC’s “The Good Place” and HBO’s “Barry,” and Jeong, seen on Fox’s “The Masked Singer” and his Netflix special “Ken Jeong: You Complete Me, Ho,” will present [...]

  • Chile TV: A Fast Emerging International

    ‘Chile TV: A Fast Emerging International Force

    PAMPLONA, Spain  —  In an early and memorable dramatic beat in “Invisible Heroes,” a Original Series of Finnish broadcaster YLE, in partnership with Chilean network Chilevision, the former head of international trade under Chile’s Salvador Allende clambers over the garden wall of the chalet of a Finnish diplomat to seek asylum after Augusto Pinochet’s bloody  [...]

  • El gol mas triste

    Chile TV: Drama Series in the Pipeline

    PAMPLONA, Spain   — Conecta Fiction will see  producers bring the strongest lineup of Chilean drama series in history. Following, just some of the highlights of projects which will be presented or are moving forward in Chile: ‘AZTEC GANGSTA WARRIOR’ Prod: Zona Cinema, Epika Content Penned by Diego Niño with Francisca Fuenzalida Moure on board [...]

  • El Acantilado 9 de abril

    Conecta Fiction: ‘The Cliff,’ ‘Spring,’ ‘Yellow Bird’ Feature at 2019 Pitch CoPro Series

    PAMPLONA. Spain  —  Chile’s “The Cliff,” Argentina’s “In Search of Spring” and Spain’s “The Yellow Bird” feature in a 10-title lineup of drama series projects at the 3rd Pitch CoPro Series, the industry centerpiece of Conecta Fiction, the world’s foremost Europe-Latin American TV co-production and networking forum. “Strong on genre and historical dramas,” observed Conecta [...]

  • Jorge-Franco-and-Adrian-Suar

    Pol-ka Expands Outside Argentina, Optioning ‘El Cielo a Tiros’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    PAMPLONA, Spain  —  Taking a new expansive step as an international content player, top Argentine production house Pol-ka, has optioned small-screen rights to “El cielo a tiros,” the latest novel from “Rosario Tijeras” author, Colombian novelist Jorge Franco. Pacted via Scenic Rights, the deal sees Pol-ka planning to shoot a drama series based on the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content