Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23 Was Done Dirty

Similar to Happy Endings, Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23 was a quirky and unique sitcom that had an all-too short run on ABC. Though I unfortunately didn’t get to watch the show live as it aired (or fortunately, given how much they messed up the order of the episodes), but – due to its cult following – the show has lived on with airings on other networks and a complete series DVD set. Thanks to the local video rental shop in Kingston – one that still exists in 2019, believe it or not – I was able to check out said complete series DVD set for an eight-day rental and managed to get through all twenty-six episodes in a matter of days.

While the premise itself is fairly standard – small-town Indiana girl moves to the Big Apple for a job and apartment that no longer exist – I quickly fell in love with the show and its brand of off-colour humour, juxtaposed with how over-the-top the characters were next to our lead, June. June’s roommate Chloe is the ritual bitch in apartment 23, and her best friend is James Van Der Beek, playing a fictionalized version of himself. James’s manager Luther serves as the foil to Chloe, though he develops a friendly relationship with June.

Unfortunately, when Don’t Trust the B was broadcast originally, its episodes were aired out of order with no regard for continuity (kind of akin to another show I’d just talked about two days ago). Though two seasons of thirteen episodes a piece were produced, only seven were broadcast in the first season and the remaining six were holdover and interspersed with the season two episodes. This means that many plot lines were brought out, disappeared, referenced again, disappeared and were resolved – and not even in that order.

One of the show’s most well-known plot lines is James Van Der Beek’s fictional run on Dancing With the Stars, which took up a bulk of the first season’s intended second half. His ultimate meltdown on set and the aftermath was intended to serve as the first season’s finale; unfortunately, this ultimately was held until the middle of season two, despite references in the episodes produced afterward that aired beforehand.

While the episodes have mostly been restored for home video, the aforementioned episodes still don’t show up until a few episodes into season two. Nonetheless, Don’t Trust the B was clever and I think was perhaps a bit too ahead of its time for sitcom standards. While I’d love to see a reboot, this show is perhaps best left as a short-lived cult classic.

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