Farewell to the B in Apt. 23

Confession: I don’t own a television. Before you start throwing things, I’m not self-righteous about it. (I don’t think anyone with an affinity for The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills can be. Camille forever!) I regularly have TV nights with friends (at their apartments, of course) and I think Hulu is one of the greatest inventions known to humanity. In fact, it’s how I discovered Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23.


Haven’t heard of it? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. And now, in everything-I-love-goes-away news, it’s been canceled.

Cast of Don't Trust the B----- in Apartment 23 - Krysten Ritter, James van der Beek, and Dreama Walker
RIP. Image: blog.newsok.com

The plot: June Colburn (Dreama Walker) is a sweet, smart girl from Indiana who’s just landed her dream job on Wall Street. The firm puts her up in a swank apartment, and her fiance will be joining her. Everything’s rosy, until June’s first day of work when the firm shuts down due to a sketchy CEO. Her fiance? A cheater. And June finds herself living with Chloe (Krysten Ritter), a party girl with night owl hours, twisted morals and a best friend named James van der Beek (himself) who’s intent on reviving his career. Adding to the fun are James’ loyal, snarky assistant Luther (Ray Ford), June’s Wall Street colleague turned coffee shop boss Mark (Eric Andre) and nutty neighbors Eli (Michael Blaiklock) and Robin (Liza Lapira). Eli’s a pervert, Robin’s a nurse, and both are obsessed with Chloe.

There was so much I loved about this show. The sharp, quotable dialogue. The twist on the small-town-girl-makes-good-in-the-big-city trope. The fact that Mark is not a Nice Guy, but is truly nice. June’s naive optimism – that alternately served her well and bit her in the derriere – coupled with her Midwestern way of cutting through the BS. Chloe’s surprising complexity as a character. Sometimes she’s a complete terror, others, she’s likable and funny, and you often can’t predict which. For a traditional sitcom to have a multi-layered female character at its center, let alone two, is huge.

Oh, did I mention the creator and showrunner, Nahnatchka Khan, is a woman of color? That the writing staff was half female, which is almost unheard of in Hollywood? That the cast, for a network sitcom, was pretty diverse in race and sexuality but subverted and parodied stereotypes?

Despite Chloe’s outrageous, often consequence-free antics, Don’t Trust the B had a lot of realism too. June wore a dress from Target (that I own) in the season opener. One episode centered around the women possibly not making rent (June works at a coffee shop, while Chloe has no steady income). And in the last aired episode, June and Mark had a weekly ritual of watching a Bachelorette-like reality show while noshing on burritos. They had TV nights too! (For me, this moment was right up there with the season 1 Community episode where the gang got together to eat popcorn and make fun of B-movies.)

Let’s also talk about James van der Beek. This guy is a national treasure. Truth be told, though Dawson’s Creek was a huge part of my late adolescence, I was never a big Beek fan. (Pacey and Jen, however – yes! I still wish they’d get together.) Since Creek was canceled, he’s willing to lampoon his whiny late-’90s self at every opportunity. He’s got excellent comic timing and dry wit. As the Dancing With the Stars plot proved, he is also an excellent hoofer. And wow. Dawson has aged quite well.

So it is with ugly tears that I bid adieu to the B. I wish more people could have witnessed its awesomeness. I want a DVD set that includes the eight unaired episodes. And ABC, you’re on notice. You better not take away Happy Endings.

As of right now, you can still watch several episodes of Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 on Hulu.

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The Unprofessional Critic

Lauren Whalen is a freelance writer living in Chicago. She reviews plays for Chicago Theater Beat (http://www.chicagotheaterbeat.com) and talks about movies on The Film Yap (http://www.thefilmyap.com). Lauren's young adult novel is represented by Chalberg & Sussman Literary Agency. Say hi to her at maybeimamazed02(at)gmail(dot)com. (Photo by Greg Inda)

15 thoughts on “Farewell to the B in Apt. 23”

  1. I found this via Hulu too and fell in love. I’m sad/disappointed it wont be on anymore. I watch like 90% of my shows online now as do most people I know. I mean do they even look at those numbers or is it all when it airs on tv? Like get it together network running people, shit changes so should your tracking methods.

  2. I am sad to see this show go! It’s just like Pushing Daisies all over again. Mainly, I thought last year was awesome tv-wise in that there were four new comedies centered around women: Girls, New Girl, Don’t Trust the B_ , and Two Broke Girls. While I wasn’t necessarily a fan of all of them, it was nice to see a whole bunch of funny women, instead of just Steve Carrell…

  3. I think it suffered from some misconceptions. I only tuned in by accident, not interested in watching a show called ‘Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apt 23’ (they changed the name, obviously). I even really like KR, but I couldn’t get past the title.

    And I was wrong! The show was surprisingly strong and not as woman-hatey as I first suspected. But I know an awful lot of people who were turned off by the title and never turned in because of it.

    1. Slay, I agree that the title was a little weird. My BFF was turned off by it as well, even though the few times he watched he thought James van der Beek was hilarious. I know at times it was called “Apartment 23”, but I’m not sure I’m in love with that title either. It seems kind of vague.

      The problem is, the title DOES sort of fit the show. Many times Chloe can’t be trusted – she does a lot of questionable things. I think the word “bitch” fits in a positive way too: Chloe is very frank, doesn’t hesitate to speak her mind and (in sitcom fashion) is often the unexpected voice of reason. But yeah, “bitch” has very negative connotations too.

      It just sucks that for those of us who were fans, there was never an opportunity for an effort to save the show (like there was with Friday Night Lights). Sigh.

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