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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 still not trusthworthy

Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 brings its super short, seven episode, freshman run to an end this week with "Shitagi Nashi." It's an interesting end to the initial arc, with June (Dreama Walker) finally finding her new, hard-hitting lifestyle catching up to her. See, since she has befriended Chloe (Krysten Ritter), she has taken to doing what the cool kids do, which involves a lot of drinking. And poor June's liver isn't equipped to handle such copious amounts of alcohol. In a surprisingly realistic development, this lands June in the hospital, where she has to get her stomach pumped.

Many shows would not take the time to do this plot. At first, it may seem strange that Don't Trust The B---- is the type of series that would pay attention to what would really happen, when plenty of others let their characters do whatever they want without consequence. Then again, a large part of the draw of Chloe's character is her outrageousness. Seeing June go down trying to follow in her footsteps makes total sense, from that perspective, and helps play up who Chloe is.

Even better, Chloe and James (James Van Der Beek) continue throughout the episode to think June is faking her illness. Of course they do; that is a scheme they would totally use to trick someone. They don't care about others. It's a little odd they even care about June, but apparently, she has managed to get inside of their exclusive bubble. So, while taking the path of June being hospitalized may be realistic, the reaction that comes after doesn't quite gel with everything else shown about the characters thus far.

Don't Trust The B---- is a study of contradiction in its characters. It's about a girl with good morals who goes wild, struggling with two opposing sides of herself. It's about an actor, working desperately to stay relevant and escape his past. And it's about another girl who has major insecurities, and lives loudly to try to overcome that uncertainty be being as large a personality as possible.

Insecure, Chloe definitely is. "Shitagi Nashi" finds her grow jealous after June replaces her as the subject of a comic. June, true to her homey charm, does her best to make Chloe feel better, cementing the friendship they have developed. Believe it or not, it actually feels strange to see Chloe laid bare a little bit. Obviously, something is behind the front she puts up. But her cover is so effective that it's only in retrospect when one begins to truly wonder what makes her the way she is. This episode is the first true attempt to delve into this matter.

While there are more than three main characters, only a trio of players are essential to the plot of the show, while the rest are more in a supporting role. Rounding out this threesome is James, who in "Shitagi Nashi" feuds with Dean Cain (himself) when he realizes Dean's Dancing With the Stars dressing room is six inches bigger. The DWTS arc has been quite amusing, really giving James a chance to play with his arrogance and narcissism. It's one of the most ridiculous, and funny, stories he's been given yet, and he nails it, as usual! Hopefully, it will continue into next season, and parts of the competition shown.

It's hard to judge Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 yet, as it still isn't clear where it's going. However, many series stumble a bit in the first season, and with the way the three main actors really sell their schtick week after week, there is definitely something here. Cartoonish, yes, but in an amusing way. It'll be interesting to see what they do with the second season.

Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 will return to ABC next fall. Article first published as Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 still not trusthworthy on TheTVKing.com

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