Friday, March 30, 2012

TV Review: Don't Trust the B--- in Apt. 23


Is it weird that the TV network owned by Disney currently has two shows in its prime time programming with expletives in the title? Kind of, but since the Mouse House has conveniently tip-toed around all out profanity (by smudging out the long-form title of Apt. 23 and utilizing the convenient acronym GCB for Good Christian Bitches) the only question that matters is whether or not the shows are any good.

I can't speak to GCB (haven't seen it and despite how beutiful Leslie Bibb is I probably never will Sidenote* I love Kristen Chenowith's singing voice but when she's just talking it's like nails on a chalkboard for me) but as for Apt 23, it's essentially a continuation of the girl-power comedy trend that has permeated TV this year and a rip-off of 2 Broke Girls, only better.

Why is it better? Because where 2 Broke Girls has a horse, Apt 23 has James Van Der Beek. That really is the only difference, right down to the blonde-brunette casting combination and Asian supporting player (without the blatant culturally insensitive stereotypes...so far).

Van Der Beek, though, is pure genius, playing a slightly fictionalized d-bag version of himself (think NPH in the Harold and Kumar movies, only sober or Jennifer Grey in the short-lived It's Like You Know). Fully aware that his only claim to pop culture relevance is his starring role in Dawson's Creek (sigh, where did the 90's go?) the Apt 23 Van Der Beek is a mildly self-obsessed former starlet who gives sage advice like "Don't be the blond guy in a Vietnamese Prison," using flannel shirts to seduce women "You have pretty eyes. Why are your eyes so pretty?" and cutting people off who try to sing Paula Cole's "I Don't Want To Wait."

I loved Der Beek's short guest role in last summer's Franklin and Bash (darned cable schedule, I Don't Want To Wait for that show to be back on) and I'm happy to see him with a regular job and if Apt 23 makes it, it will be because of him. Like every girly show on this season, it takes a funny man to have staying power (i.e. New Girl's Schmidt).

Still, is the Beek good enough to make up for the two unlikable stars? No, but maybe they'll grow on us. Grade: A B for Apt. 23.

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