Sep 23, 2016

[TV] Don't Trust the B---- In Apartment 23: Season 2

So the first partial season of Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 wasn't exactly the most amazing piece of television out there, but it was certainly interesting. And it was enough to get me to at least finish the season and be curious enough to watch the second one. Plus man, this is a very different Jessica Jones, if you catch my drift.

Given I got into this show because of a seemingly random Netflix recommendation, it was an interesting coincidence that we also fell in love with Fresh Off the Boat, which I had stumbled upon thanks to iFlix.. The real kicker here is that both shows have the same creator / executive producer - Nahnatchka Khan, although the two shows can be pretty different. It was just interesting to note that they had this in common.

This second season is much longer but is rather reliant on the first season since it's really a Frankenstein creation that is still part Season 1 and somewhat Season 2. But the beast was not enough to see it through to a third season.

Synopsis: Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 is a sitcom created by Nahnatchka Khan for ABC. The second season consists of 6 episodes originally meant for Season 1 and 13 episodes of Season 2 as it was originally a mid-season replacement. The final 8 episodes of the show were not broadcast on ABC itself as the show was cancelled but eventually made it to various streaming services.

The second season has a few major arcs beyond the craziness of the week format. The one that gets mentioned the most, of course, is James Van Der Beek's coming appearance on Dancing with the Stars, which is repeatedly referenced episode after episode. There's also June (Dreama Walker) finally getting a job but immediately getting into office drama. And for our titular bitch we have Chloe (Krysten Ritter) sort of having a romantic interest, although this arc is spread out very thinly across the season.

What I Liked: There were some great moments where Chloe's brand of crazy was made very effective, with favorites like the episode "Sexy People..." where Chloe manages to take control of People Magazine just to make James Van Der Beek the Sexiest Man Alive. And Van Der Beek's continued portrayal of a fictionalized version of himself was just way crazy funny, especially in that same episode when he tries to milk his newfound sexiness of a sort by tormenting June.

I wasn't expecting Luther (Ray Ford), James' assistant, to become a series regular, but they certainly found great use for him more often than not. And I was surprised how much I enjoyed the cameos of June's mom, Connie (Eve Gordon).

What Could Have Been Better: I don't think they ever fully figured out what to do with June as a character and she only became marginally interesting when at work or when they tried the whole Moonlighting style will-they-or-won't they relationship with Mark (Eric André), but it didn't quite pan out well. Heck, the peeping Tom neighbor Eli (Michael Blaiklock) had more of a story than Mark.

There was a recurring attempt to somehow give the story value in the form of June appreciating who she has become in New York versus who she was before Indiana, but it never quite carried any emotional weight. And maybe that's because Chloe is such a distracting character that any revelation ends up feeling rather silly and contrived.

TL;DR: On a lazy afternoon with not much else to watch, it wouldn't kill you to watch Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23. The show has some great moments that make some of the messy relationship not so meaningless in the long run. Thus the second season gets 3 insane Chloe ideas out of a possible 5.


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