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ABC's new 'Apt. 23' leaves viewers unsatisfied

By Deanna Shilkus
On April 20, 2012

It's all too often that we see the same old classic sitcoms that portray the life of girls living together in an apartment, who are looking for a new life, often running away from an old boyfriend to come to a big city to follow their dreams.

This storyline is often typical and overdone. So yet again, "Don't Trust the B-in Apt. 23" is just the same.

Except that June, a naïve blonde girl from Indiana, moves to New York because her current job at Buchwald pays to relocate her and Steven, her new fiancé, who is still finishing up his Master's degree.

June comes to New York to be successful and independent, at least that's what it seems like when she says she is "turning 26 next week and my life plan is right on schedule!"

Well, then she hasn't met the B-in Apt. 23.

June, played by Dreama Walker, soon learns that Buchwald has been taken over by the government because the head of the company was arrested for embezzling investors out of millions of dollars. Now that she has no place to work and is without the apartment that was provided for her, she is forced to find a new job and a new place to live.

June's parents put a lot of stress on her to do well in New York. Their video phone calls through the Web suggest that they are the type of parents who pressure their daughter to do better than they ever did.

Loving and supportive, they remind June how much money they have put into her education in grad school, so if she failed, she would be a disappointment.

So she sets out on a hunt for a new roommate. In her search June comes across Chloe, played by Krysten Ritter, known for her role in "Confessions of a Shopaholic," a brunette who plays up her girly side when she meets June.

She loves Chicken Satay and Brazilian music and is apparently friends with James Van Der Beek from "Dawson's Creek."

Of course, June and Chloe decide to move in together and life is not so fun and on track after all.

As if girls weren't more predictable, the roommates start having problems getting along. Chloe's evil plot is to take June's money and drive her crazy so that she will want to move out.

However, Chloe's budding relationship with James Van Der Beek is unclear and irrelevant to the show. Van Der Beek plays himself and he is the sidekick to Chloe's evil plot.

Perhaps he is just there in case the girls start to go crazy. But his status as a well-known celebrity doesn't explain why he would be friends with just an average girl from the city.

June soon learns from the girl down the hall that Chloe is a notorious B-and she can't be trusted.

While this character's personality is often found in many modern comedies, Chloe's character is somewhat refreshing.

She is spunky and has an edgy style, but there is something that is likeable about her cruel behavior. Perhaps it is the way she can control everyone around her.

But not without payback from June. As June learns that she has been cheated out of paying extra money on rent, she comes up with a plan to strike back.

June is the innocent and sweet one, yet fearless when it comes to being fair, and therefore relatable.

Clearly, these two aren't compatible and the show portrays the negative side of having to live with another girl who always gets what she wants.

There is a recurring theme of revenge and power over owning material possessions and simply surviving with a New York City attitude.

However, the show does not offer anything new or appealing. These two characters are likeable and can be somewhat memorable, but the plot is more like a reality show than a sophisticated drama.

"The Real Housewives" have just as much revenge and drama in their life, and trying to tie this into a half-hour sitcom is far from engaging.

The overall message of the show is not compelling. Although the characters struggle to get what they want, at times reminiscent of "Mean Girls," there is no realistic value of the extremes that the girls go through.

For example, Chloe ends up cheating on June's fiancé and doesn't feel any regret for it. She was only trying to teach June a lesson that Steven has been cheating on other people.

In the end, June and Chloe find closure in their friendship; they compromise to make things work and find a way to always have each other's back.

The show is a creative idea and has imaginative potential, but the characters stick to their stereotypes of good and evil.

Overall, it lacks satisfaction and entertainment value, just like the element of surprise in the B-'s way of getting back.

"Don't Trust the B-in Apt. 23" airs Wednesdays at 8:30 Central time on ABC.

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