Even My TV’s Elite: Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apt. 23 Edition
Our Newest Contributor Makes his Debut – Anyone Wanna Get Weird And Play Mario Kart?
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.