Magazine article Variety

Score an 'A' for This 'B____'

Magazine article Variety

Score an 'A' for This 'B____'

Article excerpt


Series: Wed, April 11.9:30 p.m.

Director: Jason Winer; Cast: Kiysten Ritter, Dreama Walker, Ua Upha

Score an 'A' for this 'B____'

Beyond its provocative title (and even that trails "GCB" by five weeks), "Dont Trust the B - in Apartment 23" has a familiar feel, down to the device of an actor, James Van Der Beek, playing a jaundiced version of himself. That lent to say the show lacks charm, only that its irreverence and madcap energy disguises a conventional mismatched buddy comedy, which turned out pretty well for CBS* "2 Broke Girls." ABC has obligingly given the show its best timeslot, behind "Modern Family," though as "Happy Endings" can testify, retaining those viewers can be a real bitch.

"B - n is hardly the first live-action series to attempt to replicate the zany qualities of Fox's animated comedies, but after a lot of teeth-gnashing exercises, it's among the more successful. Perhaps that's because series creator Nahnatchka Khan worked on "American Dad," and the show exhibits a similar rapid-fire, almost scatter-gun approach to comedy.

Of three episodes previewed, the pilot is the least satisfying, perhaps because it has to go about setting up the series, wide-eyed Indiana native June (Dreama Walker) arrives in New York to start an exciting new job at a brokerage house, only to have the firm implode (yes, another Madoff-inspired gimmick) on her first day. Desperate to find an apartment, and after meeting a number of freaks and losers, she meets Chloe (Krysten Ritter), who says all the right things.

Except Chloe is really ninning a kind of scam, finding unsuspecting roomies, taking their deposits and then chasing them away. June learns to be wary of her from a neighbor (Liza Lapira) who is obsessed with Chloe, uttering the show's title in the form of a warning.

As played by Ritter, Chloe is part psychopath, part Holly Golightly - a free spirit with a slightly sadistic streak. Her best pal, it turns out, is Van Der Beek, who is certainly game in portraying himself as an egomaniacal star clinging to past glory, both weary of "Dawson's Creek" chatter and more than willing to exploit its fans' adulation. …

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