Pilot Review: Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt 23

As you may know, the pilot of this new show is available for early viewing, and I recommend you check it out. For a while, when this show started running, I thought it would get canceled a few episodes in because the premise (or what we’d been told) was so…boring. I thought it sounded worse than Whitney, and, well, I guess I don’t have a lot to say about that (I try not to talk about that show).

However, I took one for the team today and watched the pilot of Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt 23. Though I’ll never understand why we couldn’t just stick with this name from the beginning, I’ll say that I did enjoy the pilot and I would recommend watching it.

The premise: June (Dreama Walker) is a Midwestern girl, engaged to love-of-her-life research student Steven, moved to New York City to work for a company that is literally going up in flames the minute she walks in the door. Suddenly she finds herself with no job, no apartment, and a whole lot of baggage, literally and in the form of a parental guilt-trip about money. After touring some harrowing sublets (been there, girl, I feel you), she finds an apartment with Chloe (Krysten Ritter), who happens to be besties with James van der Beek (yes, as himself). Hijinks ensue and a short fight goes on between the two, but once June “proves herself” to Chloe and once Chloe proves to June that she isn’t a total jerk, they decide that they can live together.

For a half hour comedy, it was pretty good. I mean, it’s no Happy Endings or Community (shows with a probable similar target demographic), but it was pretty good. I mean, Parks’ first season was just mediocre, so I’m not going to give it the kiss of death after the pilot. Pilots are always kind of rough anyway, right?

I really thought Chloe (Ritter) was the lead, so I was actually very surprised to learn that June (Walker) is the apparent lead. IMDB says Chloe is the main character, but since the story is all basically from June’s POV, I am…confused, at best. Come on, show, help me out here.

Ritter is doing her best biting wit, no less than I’ve come to expect from her. I’ve never seen Walker in a starring role before – I think her most consistent role that comes to mind is one of Blair’s minions on Gossip Girl, though I see she’s had quite a stint on The Good Wife – but she seemed fairly up to the task. If it were just up to her, I don’t think it would work, but since it appears she’ll be leaning on Ritter, I think it’s going to be a nice dichotomy. And, naturally, we have a regular presence of the Beek from the Creek, playing (as always) himself. It must be nice to be so famous for your teenage role that you can ride its coattails into middle age. I have to say, though, JVDB is still looking pretty fine.

One bone I always feel like I have to pick is this discrimination against people from the Midwest. Yes, it’s a different place, but it’s not like people from the Midwest are stupid or can’t make it in New York. I mean, I know I’ve only been here six months (what?!), but, um, newsflash, it’s not that hard. It’s different, sure, but whatever. Back to the show – there’s this attitude toward June’s character that assumes she can’t hack it in The Big City, so I found myself rooting for her on a personal note. If it were just a small part of the show, I wouldn’t care, but it seems to be the entire premise of the show, and ugh, it was both frustrating and offensive. And I don’t know if that’s going to carry the character. Walker does the Bright Lights Big City act quite well, but I hope they’ve cooked up an actual plot for her that doesn’t involve her working at a coffee shop and getting into messes with Chloe and JVDB.

All in all, though, I enjoyed watching the episode. Will I devote myself to regular watching of DTTBIA23? Nah. I mean, I’ll probably watch at least a few on Hulu just to see how it shakes out, but it’s nothing mindblowing. All the same, I wouldn’t totally dismiss it – I’ve seen some great reviews of it lately, so maybe my lukewarm feelings aren’t the norm. Have you watched the pilot? What did you think? Will you be tuning in?

Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt 23 airs its first episode April 11 on ABC, at 9:30 after Modern Family (taking the spot of the finished run of Happy Endings). All photos property of ABC.

About Bailey

I'm a writer and a feminist. I read a lot of books and I watch a lot of television.

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