I really wanted to like Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 because the premise, while not the most original concept, is really fun, and I've been a fan of Kristen Ritter since Veronica Mars. The commercials for the show looked somewhat lame, but after the Breaking Bad reference in one of them, I was willing to give the show a shot. Unfortunately, it blew that shot.
One of the strangest things about Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 is its marking strategy. Most of the commercials try to portray the show as a super-edgy and scandalous. However, I found that the pilot just came off as trying way too hard to be this and failing. I think the show might fare better if it didn't try so hard to be shocking and embraced that it's a network show being paired with Modern Family. I'd enjoy if it more if it focused on being witty rather than being scandalous.
In addition to trying to be something its not, Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23's pilot was terribly paced, moving much too quickly. So much time is devoted to June and Chloe's antics against each other that I didn't get much insight into the characters beyond what I already knew from the minute-and-half long trailer. June in particular made so little of an impression on me that I kept calling her Jill in this review until I looked up the show's air date and learned that I had her name wrong. In the span of less than half an hour, Chloe and June go from being strangers to enemies to tentative friends. Their eventual tentative friendship felt false as a result of this, and if Chloe's truly such a "B," I feel like her and June's bonding shouldn't have come so early into the series. I understand that the show wanted to set up its entire premise, but it really suffered from cramming so much into the pilot.
The only good thing about Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 cramming so much into its pilot is that I am kind of curious to know where the show is headed. I'm assuming the show's going to use a frenemy dynamic, and if done right, that could be interesting. There are several directions the show could go plotwise, and I do wonder which they'll choose.
I also liked that James Van Der Beek plays a fictional version of himself that's friends with Chloe. It's a funny idea, and I enjoyed some of the Dawson's Creek jokes. However, even in the pilot, I started to get slightly tired of the gag, and I fear that it won't take long for the show to wear it out.
As you can probably tell, I wasn't a huge fan of Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23. It's a show that desperately wants to be cool but really isn't. I won't say that it doesn't have any potential, but I'm not planning to watch again unless I heard great things.
For those of you who want to check out Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 for yourself, you can watch the pilot online now or check it on ABC Wednesday April 11 at 9:30/8:30c.