Friday, April 27, 2012

Why 'Don't Trust the B----- in Apt 23' is 100 Times Better Than 'Girls'

Ok here's why. 

Ritter and the Beeks get into all kinds of improbable shenanigans just being themselves.
I can compare the two because both are set in New York, and the main characters of each respective show are ideally the same. Both are young professionals, put down by crippling financial circumstances that force them into situations that make them uncomfortable.
But as much as I enjoy quirky slightly chubby girls bitch and moan about their white-people-problems, after a while, it gets rather old, and by a while, I mean one episode. The rule is if after three episodes, the show is tanking, then it's tanked honey. On the other hand we have a show like Don't Trust the B---- in Apt 23 which after a pilot episode which is usually problematic is already blowing me away.
We've seen this kind of sociopathic anti-heroine character a million times, literally. But Krysten Ritter comes at it with such a feisty-ness and unapologetic fervor that she's akin to a character like Brian Kinney (Gale Harold) on the much understated landmark program Queer as Folk (2000-2005), the hedonistic, opportunistic, vile, yet magnetic main character who is reviled and desired all at once. Of course Chloe (Krysten Ritter) is not the main character, she's the lovable antagonist, but for all of her outlandishness she still seems somewhat tangible and believable.

'OMG do you want to have ironic, misguided, and passive-aggresive conversations about how tough our lives are because none of us have jobs but all along we knew that this day would eventually come where we'd have to actually worry about it?'
 She's learned to use her feminine wiles to survive in an unforgiving place like Manhattan rather than bitching and moaning about it the way that Lena Dunham's character does in her adorable quirky way in Girls. But what Jeffrey Sconce refers to as 'the market in quirk' is getting out of hand in syndicated TV shows, and it's not just the Lena Dunham character with whom we are supposed to identify with that the networks are ramming right up our asses, but are any of her friends interesting? I mean seriously. None of them barely have a personality to speak of. They just wander through life with their individual quirks shitting a nugget of wisdom into the plot every once in a while. They remind me of those really banal roommates I had through college that made the worst part of my day after 4 back to back classes and a work shift until 11:30pm walking past them while they were cooking dinner in the common room together, talking forever about nothing. 
And the writing is just better in Don't Trust the B----... it's wittier, it's of course extravagant and skewed, but it's fun and it's genuinely hilarious, not that awkward kind of hilarious that you get with Girls where you're just waiting for the running joke to mercifully end but it never does. 
'Oh I just love goldfish, you wanna have sex with me?'
Honestly, the best and filthiest part of Don't Trust the B---- in Apt 23 is the Beeks. For those of you not playing the home game, I'm talking of course about Ke$ha video thespian and Katie Holmes' 90's paramour with the five-finger forehead James Van Der Beek who plays basically himself. He's Chloe's best friend and spends his time trying to prove himself a serious actor all the while nailing squeaky undergrads or as he likes to call them 'those fucking NYU students' (represent!) who want nothing more than for him to sing 'I Don't Wanna Wait' by Paula Cole and put on the flannel. He's just as much of a slut as Chloe and she refers to him as her straight gay best friend. Now, that's something that's relevant in today's youth culture, take notes Girls
So basically what I'm saying is, though both shows are skewered towards identifying with a lawless, fragile, and frustrated culture of New York's youth today who are just trying to get by damn it, and not have to live on old bagels for the rest of their 20's, Don't Trust the B---- in Apt 23 seems to have it down much better than far that is. 

Promo below: 

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