Even My TV’s Elite: Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apt. 23 Edition

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It’s not a closely-guarded secret that the vast majority of broadcast comedy is drivel that targets the absolute lowest common denominator. One needn’t look much further past the fact that Two And A Half Men is still a ratings beast sans the High Priest Vatican Assassin Warlock to see evidence of this. Jon Cryer and Ashton Kutcher are the undoubted and unrivaled comedic nectar of the ‘tards.

I know there are some pockets of adequacy in the network comedic landscape, but these vestiges are few and far between. ABC’s Happy Endings is a prime example of one: hilarious, real, heartfelt and a group of 30-something city-dwellers you actually give two shits about. NBC’s Community showed a lot of early promise with one of TV’s most entertaining ensembles, but it too has seemed to dumb itself down just to stay on the air (whoring out for syndication’s sake perhaps?). Modern Family is decent, however I am of the opinion that some of its popularity stems from people watching it to prove they’re not homophobic much in the same way some people watched The Cosby Show back in the day to prove they weren’t racist.

However, in the otherwise desolate wasteland there is a small but glimmering gem of hope that goes by the name of Don’t Trust The Bitch in Apartment 23. Starring my future wife Krysten Ritter – the last of whom many saw was her drowning in her own vomitus in Breaking Bad – it may be a surprise to first-time viewers that such a raunchy comedy made it on network television, let alone Mouse-owned ABC.

Ritter plays Chloe, a (seemingly?) conniving, self-involved bitch who quickly welcomes her fresh NYC-transplant roommate June by fucking the ever-loving shit out of June’s fiancé on her birthday… cake. Sure they have to start out with the tired cliché of Midwestern girl moving to a big city having a tougher than expected time transitioning, but bear with it. Trust me. They have to start somewhere right?

Chloe’s “straight gay BFF” James Van Der Beek (played brilliantly by… James Van Der Beek) is a deep comedy well to which they go regularly and hilariously. While many of these early gags have to do with Dawson’s Creek (and a hysterical decade and a half-old callback to whipped cream bikinis and blue football helmets), more and more he becomes a fiercely comical parody of himself and other used-to-be-super-famous-now-just-sorta-famous personalities. His Vietnamese energy drink commercial is not to be missed. You’ll thank me later.

Like any new show, there are some growing pains in terms of storyline and character development, but the sexed-up booze-soaked Don’t Trust The Bitch in Apartment 23 is a rare breed. Sure there are some cornball moments, but the writers clearly know what they have and they have no qualms about pushing the limits of network television.

Do yourself a favor and give The Bitch a shot, won’t you? In a world of Mike & Molly’s and whatever piece of shit Tim Allen is doing now, it truly is a refreshing bukkake of smart and funny.

Airs Wednesdays at 9:30 on ABC.

About the Author

Maximillian Archimedes Stoneburner

Darius Schwarz, aka Maximillian Archimedes Stoneburner, is a Contributing Editor at The Donnybrook Writing Academy. Conceived under a baccarat table on a train to Monte Carlo and born during an ill-fated museum heist, Maximilian won the World Snooker Championship at 5, sings Frank Sinatra's My Way in every known language and spends his off hours officiating the weddings of various celebrities and foreign dignitaries. Follow Darius on Twitter and Facebook.

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3 Comments on "Even My TV’s Elite: Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apt. 23 Edition"

  1. Marshall Eriksen May 8, 2012 at 5:51 pm · Reply

    Max, you seem kinda snarky. Do you really hold Charlie Sheen in such high regard? Yes, I can agree that the man who starred in such deep-thinking comedic gems as Hot Shots and Money Talks, stands above the remaining nectar of the tards left on Two and a Half Men… Good call… His stability and intellect are unparalleled….

    Modern Family is one of the better prime time sitcoms on television, not due to the gay couple, but do to the wonderfully charming and usually awkward stylings of Ty Burrell (Phil Dunphy). Many people can also relate well to the disfunctional facets of the extended family interactions, while maintaining throughout that they will “get through it” because they are family. The fact that Maximillian brings homophobia into the discussion only makes me think of some deep seeded issues within the author. Ironically enough, in Happy Endings there is also a gay character, and his name is Max (Freudian?). While so busy condemning Modern Family to a pigeon hole of homophobic acceptance, he forgot to mention this about his beloved Happy Endings. Could this not also be the case with this show? All jabbing aside, I too think that Happy Endings is a remarkable (and underrated) show. With its amazing cast of characters and constantly developing story lines, it is a must watch.

    Community was pulled from the air once and, unfortunately, made a return. What started out as a strong show with a good collection of characters, remains as undeveloped in its third season as it did in its pilot. Max is spot on wih this one.

    As for the B in apartment 23…. 4 episodes in, I felt the same way about community. Before I go singing any praises about the next great thing, I’ll see what sort of character development we get. I’m personally already getting a little tired of the Dawson and Moxon related Beek gags, as well as the odd neighbors who seem obsessed with Chloe (Ritter). Viewers can only stomach an antagonist as the protagonist for so long, so we will have to see where Ritter’s character begins to soften and begin to develop in future episodes.

    All in all, I mostly agree with Max’s sentiments. However, the tone of the article was set with an arrogance and pretentiousness that was difficult to take seriously. Maybe tone down the snarkiness in future posts to alienate less readers.

    • Alistair Blake Arabella
      Alistair Blake Arabella May 9, 2012 at 7:54 am · Reply

      “The tone of the article was set with an arrogance and pretentiousness that was difficult to take seriously.” Obviously, dear sir, you know nothing of Donnybrook’s fabled halls, and our charitable and immense concern over the welfare of others in relation to their entertainment choices. Being poor is just so utterly… boring. It’s the very least we can do to ensure their sad, broken lives are filled with the sunlight of our unparalleled and superior opinions. We’re magnanimous that way and shit.

  2. Alistair Blake Arabella
    Alistair Blake Arabella May 9, 2012 at 7:48 am · Reply

    “a refreshing bukkake of smart and funny” – BRILLIANT.

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