TV Series Review
Believe it or not, we don't like being overly cruel to the entertainment we review.
Sure, we strive to be honest and, of course, cautionary. But we also try to find the kernels of goodness in whatever we watch: "Yes, he's a mad scientist determined to take over the world by use of vampire zombies," we might say, "but he does seem to love his cat."
Alas, some television shows these days force us to talk about their inflammatory content before we're even done reading their titles. CBS' $#*! My Dad Says (now cancelled) implies profanity in its first word. ABC's GCB (which stands for "Good Christian B‑‑ches," and was also, perhaps tellingly, cancelled), turns it into an acronym.
Should we then make a positive note out of the fact that Don't Trust the B‑‑‑‑ in Apt 23 waits nearly a half-sentence before hitting us with vulgarity?
Well … before we start slapping backs and chortling, "Yay, ABC! The first three words in your sitcom title were family friendly!" let us offer this caution: While $#*! My Dad Says was less problematic than its title suggested, Don't Trust the B‑‑‑‑ in Apt 23 is actually far more.
The series centers around two young women living in New York City. June is a naive 26-year-old transplant from Indiana who hopes to take Sinatra's advice and make it in the Big Apple. Chloe is the stereotypically cynical, slimy and slightly psychotic New Yorker who, despite her lack of ethics or morals or human decency, still sometimes means well. Or at least sometimes doesn't mean ill.
And that's about the best we can say of the (ahem) not nice woman in Apt. 23.
Her series, meanwhile, rarely has a problem-free minute of airtime. If Chloe's not walking around the apartment completely naked, then we've got to deal with Eli, who masturbates as he watches the girls from a nearby window. If Eli's not in the picture, chances are Luther—the homosexual fashion guru of Chloe's "straight gay BFF" James Van Der Beek—is reciting some ooky double entendre.
But, really, Chloe would be an issue even if she was the only character behaving badly here. She drinks and sleeps around and lies and sells illicit Chinese sexual energy pills and steals money and absconds with flowers meant for cancer survivors. Obviously viewers aren't supposed to applaud her for any of this bad behavior: She is, of course, the title character. No one is likely to mistake her for a role model.
That's hardly enough to salvage the show, though, centered as it is on one of television's most shallow, carnal, self-absorbed and plain ol' wicked characters.
In this case, the end just doesn't justify the mean.
Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
Other Belief Systems
Readability Age Range
Krysten Ritter as Chloe; Dreama Walker as June Colburn; Liza Lapira as Robin; James Van Der Beek as Himself; Eric André as Mark Reynolds; Michael Blaiklock as Eli
Paul Asay Paul Asay