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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The B in Apt 23 still deliciously untrustworthy

ABC's Don't Trust the B---- in Apt 23 returned for a second go-round last week with "A Reunion..." James (James Van Der Beek) is happy to once more blow off his former Dawson's Creek co-stars' request for a reunion show. That is, until June (Dreama Walker) tells him how much it will mean to millions of girls, and probably bring him new, young female fans. The problem is, as James soon finds out, Chloe (Krysten Ritter) is the one who has been sending the letters to manipulate her pal into giving her things, and James' cast mates want nothing to do with him. What is a washed up television actor to do?

It's a shame that more Dawson's Creek stars aren't available to appear in "A Reunion..." Busy Philipps (Cougar Town, returning on TBS in January) drops by to break the bad news to James about why he is hated, which is great, but as she says, she was only on the show for two seasons. There would be a little more weight to the story if we got to see Joshua Jackson or Michelle Williams or Katie Holmes, even just in a quick cut-scene.

Alas, Don't Trust the B---- is just starting what will hopefully be a many-year run. It's a little too early to bring in those types of cameos, especially considering the success that they have found post-DC. Which means, this plot may have just been done too early in the series' run to fully live up to its potential.

That being said, "A Reunion..." is pretty darn funny. James Van Der Beek is as excellent as he has been in every episode so far, and focusing on him is a good idea. We get a bit of Chloe being ridiculously mean and self-absorbed, shooting people with a tranq gun, and a bit of June being starry eyed and naive, and then the meat of the episode falls onto James' shoulders, with nary a peep from the other side characters, save some gold from Luther (Ray Ford). This is the winning formula the show should stick with.

The guest stars they do have are well used, too. Besides Busy, Frankie Muniz (Malcolm in the Middle) gets to do a JVDB-style version of himself when a reunion-obsessed James tries to force his way into a Malcolm special, and Mark-Paul Gosselaar is fantastic in setting James on the right course, though I do wish some mention had been made of Gosselaar's more recent TV effort, Franklin & Bash. Stars playing unflattering versions of themselves has become the new chic (see Showtime's Episodes), and when talented people are allowed to act in this manner, leaving their pride at the door, they can really shine, both because of the delightful results, and because it shows they are people who aren't afraid of being the butt of a joke, a wonderful quality.

Don't Trust the B---- in Apt 23 may still be trying to find its audience. But if any of the above sounds appealing to you, and it should, check out the show Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

If you like my reviews, please follow me on Twitter! Check out my website, JeromeWetzel.com! First posted on TheTVKing

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