A few weeks ago I started re-watching Breaking Bad. As was the case when I watched it the first time, I squeed with delight when I saw Krysten Ritter appear at the end of Season Two as Jane. I fell in love with Krysten from her portrayal of Chloe in Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23. I have been enamoured with her ever since.
So here is my Season One review of Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23 as published on AMH Network some years ago…
Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23 – Season 1
Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23 is one of the latest sitcoms to be imported from the United States to pay TV in Australia. And it’s one of the better ones.
The series follows the story of June Colburn (Dreama Walker) who has travelled from Indiana to start a new life in New York with her fiancé. Things, however, don’t quite go according to plan. By the conclusion of the first episode June no longer has a job, or an apartment, or a fiancé. She has been forced, by necessity, to move into apartment 23 with Chloe McGruff (Krysten Ritter), a party girl, con artist and bitch. Chloe’s best friend is James Van Der Beek (Dawson’s Creek) starring as James Van Der Beek (yes, you read correctly) who is attempting to resurrect his flailing career.
Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23 centres around the escapades of June, Chloe and James and neighbours Robin (Liza Lapira) and Eli (Michael Blaiklock) and if you’re not hooked by the conclusion of episode one don’t even bother continuing to watch because the remaining 6 episodes follow exactly the same formula.
Walker’s portrayal of June is appropriate but lacklustre in comparison to those of Ritter and Van Der Beek. Ritter absolutely shines as Chloe while Van Der Beek is exceptional in his portrayal of his fictionalised self. It is evident immediately that he is simply taking the piss out of himself and it is genuinely hilarious. The three together however, have such a wonderful rapport that it adds to the show’s quality and to its watchability. The casting is suitable with each character, including the minor ones, being believable despite their world being less than believable at times.
One charming element of Don’t Trust the Bitch… is its writing. This is primarily due to its reminiscence of films scripts from Hollywood’s golden era, specifically the wonderful Melodramas. The dialogue is fast paced, witty, intelligent and successfully keeps you on your toes while allowing you to remain interested in what is occurring. It is not in depth or meaningful but it is extremely funny with multiple laugh out loud moments guaranteed in every episode. Given the myriad of credited writers in 7 episodes, the consistency in the script writing is impressive.
The storylines themselves range from the ordinary such as episode 1, Pilot, which is a standard introduction to the characters and the overall concept of the show, to the absurd such as episode 5, Making Rent…, which sees June make and sell jam in an attempt to raise that month’s rent while Chloe secretly films her linking the footage to a fetish website created in order to achieve the same goal. Regardless of the storylines themselves they are consistently funny.
Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23 is the perfect 22 minute escape from reality. It’s light hearted, at times ridiculous, but always funny. It has been renewed for a second season and is due to air in the United States at the end of October 2012.
Season 1 is currently airing in Australia on Arena.
4 stars / 5