Netflix Summer Binge: Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23

Now that it’s summer, you might find yourself with some extra time to catch up on older shows you’ve wanted to watch, seasons you missed entirely, or newly released shows. Or maybe you’re like me and watch a lot of television year-round. Either way, I’ll be binge-watching shows on Netflix throughout the summer and giving my recommendations for the ones that pique my interest.

To kick off my summer of binge watching, I started with Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 (2012-2013): a show I’ve heard great things about, but from a very small audience.

Show: Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23 IMDB Rating: 7.2/10
Total Watch Time: 9.5 hours Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 75%
Ongoing: No Shayna’s Binge Rating: 9/10

Maybe it never got popular because it had such a short run or a poor timeslot while it was airing on ABC, or the fact that the network messed up the ordering of the episodes. Don’t be dissuaded, though: all episodes are ordered correctly on Netflix, are packed with a lot of great comedy, and actually made me laugh. Which is pretty tough; I’m usually not much for sitcoms.

Chloe and June

Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23 stars Krysten Ritter, Dreama Walker, and James Van Der Beek as the main cast. I’ve always been a huge fan of Krysten Ritter (Breaking Bad, She’s Out of My League) and she is witty, brutally honest, and incredibly funny in this show. I was impressed with her acting – and if you don’t know her well, you’ll probably see a lot more of her – she was cast as Jessica Jones in the new AKA Jessica Jones series that will be released later this year. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Dreama Walker in anything before and I think she was completely overshadowed by Krysten Ritter in this show. I’ve never been too big on James Van Der Beek, but after a couple of episodes of this show he really started to grow on me – he was a great complement to Chloe (Krysten Ritter) and they had a ton of on-air chemistry.

Anyway, on to the plot.

June (played by Walker) leaves her small hometown to move to New York City, where she has everything planned out: she’s finished grad school, has a fiancé she loves, accepted a new job, and found an apartment of her own. Upon arriving in New York, she finds out her apartment building has been condemned and the company she accepted a job with is getting shut down due to illegal activity. She finds a roommate, Chloe (Ritter), on Craigslist who she instantly likes and feels a connection with. After moving in she is warned that Chloe is basically a bitch that can’t be trusted. Turns out, Chloe scams roommates into moving in, paying a security deposit and rent, and then making their lives miserable until they move out willingly and she keeps their money. But June isn’t going to let Chloe get to her.

Chloe

After the first episode, Chloe becomes a lot more likeable. She’s crazy, a huge partier, unemployed, has no female friends, and is painfully honest with everyone. But, you start to realize she has her reasons for being a complete brat, and sometimes she’s even trying to do the right thing. Her best friend, James Van Der Beek (yes, he plays the real version of himself, owning up to the whole Dawson’s Creek thing and all) has a pretty interesting storyline as well, as he prepares to be a celebrity participant on Dancing with the Stars. Chloe and June start to become friends, and together go through experiences with trying to make rent, meeting new people, and dating/sex.

My Thoughts

The first episode is weird, a little dark, and doesn’t have the same feel as the rest of the show. But it did pull me into a binge watching frenzy. As it goes on, it has more of a classic sitcom feel, but it’s still a little odd. Sometimes, it had the same weirdness that later seasons of Community had. When I say weird, I just mean they stretched outside of the norm, got a little unrealistic, and maybe uncomfortable at times – but it all added to the humor. The acting is phenomenal – I loved the supporting cast, like Mark (June’s coworker and friend), the perverted neighbor Eli, and the crazy girl, Robin, who’s in love with Chloe. I loved that the show brought in some reality like Van Der Beek portraying himself, ABC throwing in the Dancing with the Stars bit, and a lot of jokes about Dawson’s Creek. Also, the episodes are so short (20 min) that it’s completely easy to watch 10 episodes in a row without realizing it.

James Van Der Beek DWTS
James Van Der Beek on Dancing with the Stars. But not really.

Cancellation

After watching the first season I went to IMDB to check how many seasons there were. There were only two on Netflix, it’s a new show, I figured there had to be more that just hadn’t been released to Netflix yet. Nope, turns out the show got cancelled. This is a tragedy. After watching the show, I’m heartbroken that there won’t be more. I feel like this show got cut way too short, and I wish I had heard of it while it was airing… it deserved more viewership.

If you like comedies/sitcoms you should give this show a chance. If you dislike the first episode, keep watching since it changes quite a bit after that. If for any reason at all, at least watch it for Ritter: her performance is undeniably outstanding and I can’t wait to see how she portrays Jessica Jones later this year.

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