Thursday, May 17, 2012

Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23

I'm loving this show. It's not the most unique concept I've seen. But I'm not aware of many shows like it on tv. It's a sitcom about late 20s to early 30s people who live in NY. But it's got a different tone and the jokes come fast but without force. Each episode has a fairly set plot with a certain theme. But it seems fresh. And I think that's because of the aforementioned pace and also the writing and the actors.

The leads are Krysten Ritter and Dreama Walker. Dreama plays June, who had moved to NY to take a job on Wall Street. She meets Ritter's character, Chloe, who is renting out a room in her apartment. Despite being scammed out of deposit money by Chloe, losing her job, and being cheated on by her fiance, June decides to stick it out and stay with Chloe. That's the setup. And the general episode thus far has been about how the two very different roommates affect each other's lives. Ritter is fantastic as the bitch, as is Walker as the slightly naive optimist. It doesn't hurt that Ritter is unbelievably sexy and Walker is extremely adorable.

What caps it all off is James Van Der Beek, who plays himself and also Chloe's best friend. Other than just being awesome and hilarious, James's stories usually revolve around him trying to further his career while trying to move out of the shadow of the famous character he played on Dawson's Creek. I actually like this angle as more than just a play for laughs, which it does well. It helps that he has great chemistry with Ritter.

While the show is generally fairly light-hearted I don't think that prevents it from telling meaningful stories. Tonight's latest episode was about casual sex. June says she can't have sex with someone without caring about them while Chloe says she loves to, that it clears her head.

On the advice of Chloe, June tries it out with a regular customer at the coffee shop she works at. She enjoys it and is ready to move on until the guy's pet parrot flies away and he calls her for emotional support. Not wanting to be a not-good person, she helps him out instead of just dumping him. Meanwhile, Chloe is asked by James to reshoot a scene from a sex tap they made five years ago. But she can't do it because she cares about him too much, as does James about her.

Ideally, they would have addressed some safety concerns about casual sex. But I like the fact that they present young women as enjoying casual sex as a natural thing that they shouldn't feel ashamed to partake in. June didn't worry that it was morally wrong per se. She just knew that sex could be complicated and she didn't want to play with someone's emotions. And she helps Chloe learn that those emotions can come up when it's someone you care about. I hope they continue to find subjects like these and address them in a funny and mature way.

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