I like the premise of the show – a wide-eyed small town girl moves to New York and moves in with a salty roommate with the morals of a pirate. Yeah, there’s a lot of new roommate comedies this year (New Girl, 2 Broke Girls), but I like what this one has to offer. I’m a fan of Krysten Ritter, who stars as the titular “b—-” from her work on Veronica Mars and Gilmore Girls, and I was drawn in by the fact that James Van Der Beek would be playing an asshole version of himself.
And after watching the pilot last night, I think there’s definitely potential.
I see way more in this show than I saw in 2 Broke Girls, purely because it’s funnier. Krysten Ritter’s character isn’t exactly like Kat Dennings’ on 2 Broke Girls, but they’re both playing the pricklier roommate and I think Ritter pulls it off. And Dreama Walker as her sweet, blond foil has enough edge to hold her own in the relationship.
Here’s the premise: June moves to New York after graduating with an MBA to work for some fancy banking company. Soon after being set up in a big fancy apartment and thinking she’s achieved all her big, Friends, Sex and the City dreams, the company goes under because the CEO has been embezzling money. After interviewing with a bunch of terrible potential roommates she meets Chloe. Perky, pink-martini drinking Chloe, who is friends with The Beek From The Creek.
Obviously, June wants to move in and eagerly offers up two months rent and a damage deposit. But this is Chloe’s scam – taking large amounts of rent from people and then driving them out of the apartment with crazy behavior. It’s kind of genius.
I think Apartment 23 manages to successfully walk the fine line of why June would stay. First of all, she doesn’t have a lot of options. She gave Chloe all her rent money and doesn’t want to return to Indiana in shame, so she needs to stay. When she finds out that Chloe ripped her off on the rent, she fires back by selling Chloe’s furniture to a nutjob down the hall. (There’s also a thing about an ottoman that, while funny, isn’t worth rehashing.) Chloe is more impressed than mad, which is an important step in solidifying the friendship.
The bonding moment is also good, and something that I always thought should have come earlier and been stronger on 2 Broke Girls. Chloe finds out that June’s fiancee is cheating on her (by getting a thirteen year old boy drunk!) but can’t convince June she’s telling the truth. This is why the furniture thing was important – Chloe was impressed enough by June’s spunk that she actually cares about her marrying a cheating douchebag. So she screws the fiancee, on top of June’s birthday cake, right when she knows June will walk in on them.
I definitely think this show is worth watching – based on the trajectory of New Girl this season from OK-first-few-episodes to consistently-hilarious, I have hopes that Apartment 23 will follow suit. I don’t think it’s a great followup to Modern Family, but if successful I think Cougar Town, Happy Endings and Apartment 23 could make for a great, quirky, fun comedy block on ABC. So watch!
What’d y’all think?