TV has been in a zone for the last few years where shows focus on a main character that’s incredibly flawed, perhaps even a jerk. Or, in the case of the Alphabet Net’s newest sitcom, something that rhymes with “witch.”
The premise is quite simple, as most sitcom premises are – circumstances cause sweet, Midwestern June (Dreama Walker – THE GOOD WIFE, GOSSIP GIRL) to move in with Chloe (Krysten Ritter – BREAKING BAD, VERONICA MARS), who specializes in driving new roomies away and keeping their deposits. Ritter manages to walk that razor-thin line that keeps such a self-centered character entertaining without being completely hateable. It’s a skill that many in the same position lack. Walker exhibits a similar savviness and gives depth to an archetype that can come off flat.
That being said, this show is really all about James Van Der Beek for me. Like Neil Patrick Harris in the HAROLD & KUMAR films, The Beeks plays a fictionalized version of himself who’s smarmy, constantly uses his fame to his advantage, and is an utter joy to watch. Based on the storylines I’ve been hearing about in the future, Van Der Fake has the potential of becoming one of my favorite characters on TV. Yeah. I said it.
Another stand-out is Liza Lapira (NCIS, DOLLHOUSE, TRAFFIC LIGHT) as Robin, down-the-hall neighbor and former roommate of Chloe who still a bit…attached to her. She’s not in the first episode much but she makes the most out of every scene.
The pilot for APT 23 does a good job at setting up the trajectory of the series. Admittedly I had concerns that I’d hate the show but it won me over by the mid-episode mark. My fear is that the writers will fall into the conventional traps of the boiled-down-to-its-simplest-form concept (i.e. “Mean Girl and Good Girl live and learn together!”). They have a great cast in place and the show could go far so here’s hoping it lives up to its potential.
“Don’t Trust The B In Apt 23” premieres on ABC Wednesday, April 11th at 9:30 PM Eastern/Pacific.