Review: “Don’t Trust The B— In Apartment 23″ Shows Some Promise
3:30 pm, April 1st | by Laura Donovan
We’re not crazy about the title of “Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23,” not just because the “b” word makes our stomachs turn, but because the show should own the term if they’re going to use it. We try not to be too unforgiving about innocuous comedies though, and there’s a lot more to the story than its silly name.
The sitcom, which officially premieres next week, paints an accurate portrait of what happens when a bright-eyed, naive small town girl heads to the big city with overly trusting behavior as a result of needing guidance and wanting to start fresh as soon as possible in her new home. Enter the life of June, a young woman who relocates from Indiana to New York City for her dream job, only to lose the position when her company goes up in flames and everyone is left unemployed. Welcome to New York, the only place on earth in which dreams become a reality and go to die. Suddenly she cannot live in that gorgeous apartment she toured, and she finds herself resorting to sites similar to Craigslist to reside with random New Yorkers. That’s how she finds herself moving in with Chloe, the aforementioned “b” who indulges in driving roommates out with obnoxiousness and her toxic personality.
Like many untrustworthy folks, Chloe is an opportunist who loves taking advantage of easy targets and openly jokes about asking June for more rent money than necessary. At first, she’s discreet in her nastiness by waltzing around the apartment naked and throwing out comments such as, “How was moving? I was going to help you, but then I didn’t want to.” It doesn’t take long, though, for June to start employing some of Chloe’s own callous tricks to prove she has a backbone and will not be driven out. She may have lost her job, been the victim of naivety, and wound up working at a coffee shop, but June is determined to make New York work, even if she has to battle her heartless, petulant roomie to do it. Chloe of course admires the push back, but don’t think this means she’s going to go easy on June.
If you’ve ever been walked all over in a new city or in college thanks to growing up in a rather peaceful environment of decent people, “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23″ will resonate with you in some way. In some ways, it was painful for me to watch, as my college dorm mates loved to mess with me in sparkly sorority fashion during freshman year similar to the manner in which Chloe torments June. If anything, you’re relieved June is tough enough to survive in NYC, but concerned that people are going to continue hurting her and almost wish she’d return to the Midwest.
The pilot ends with the two women as friends, as Chloe has just shown June what a womanizer her fiance is. June is overly gracious towards Chloe for sparing her a terrible marriage to a cheating cad, but you don’t necessarily respect Chloe by the conclusion of the first episode. You know you haven’t seen the last of her evil doings, but also that June has earned her respect and that they’ll probably rely on each other from time to time. As a volatile female high school classmate told me after she confessed she hated every single person in our math class aside from me (yeah, right), “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” I’m more than willing to bet that will be the slogan for this program.
Watch the episode at ABC’s website.