Don’t trust the b—- in apartment 23

Don’t trust the b—- in apartment 23 is a new sitcom that aired on Thursday night.  “B—-” obviously stands for bitch, but I guess they can’t advertise it like that on TV.  Just like how GCB couldn’t be advertised as Good Christian Bitches.  Maybe one day we’ll all get past the word bitch and they’ll be able to write it as well as say it?  Or not.  At least in this case, b rhymes with 23, so I think they thought their rhyme was super clever.

This show revolves around June, played by Dreama Walker, who’s just moved to New York, landed a great job, is engaged, and right where she feels like she’s supposed to be in her life.  But then the company she’s supposed to work at is shut down before she can even start, and she finds herself with no place to live.  Thus begins her search for a roommate.

And she finds one.  Who seems nice and perfect at first and is great at selling herself.  But then turns out to be a total bitch.  Or should I say b—-.  Turns out Chloe, played by Krysten Ritter is a bit of a con artist, going through roommates fast by scaring them off with her questionable morals and inappropriate behaviour.  She does this so that she can get their deposit for the rent money, only to have them leave right away because they can’t stand to live with her.  Pretty clever actually, however horrible.  Chloe resorts to tactic such as inviting June to join her in a foursome, walking around naked, and walking in on her while she’s in the tub and making inappropriate and awkward conversation.

Thinking her new roommate will soon leave, just like her past roommates have, Chloe is surprised when June, who is super sweet and naive, actually fights back, selling all her furniture to get back at her for stealing from her by taking more money from her than was actually needed to pay the rent.  But then when she says she really needs her ottoman back, June helps her even though she’s been a total bitch.  Chloe has a newfound respect for her after this.

Chloe then discovers that June’s fiance has been cheating on her.  But when she tells her she obviously doesn’t believe her because she knows she can’t trust the bitch.  So naturally, Chloe sets it up so that June walks in on them having sex on her birthday cake.  Because that was the worst case scenario she could come up with to convince her what a cheating bastard he was.

There’s a lot going on here, but the best thing by far about this show is James Van Der Beek playing himself.  He plays Chloe’s friend, who she says is “like her gay bff but straight”.  And he plays himself well.  I never watched Dawson’s Creek, but I love it when actors play themselves and can make fun of themselves which is exactly what he does.  I think I would watch this show just for him.

I’m interested to see what the rest of the series holds, now that the roommates are sort of friends, and Chloe shouldn’t really be conning June or trying to get rid of her anymore.  But I guess she’ll just continue to make her life difficult in order to teach her lessons about the hardships of living in New York.  If I never amount to anything, maybe I’ll end up stooping to something like that, getting rent money off people and then scaring them off.  Although I probably won’t have to try very hard to get a person to not want to live with me.

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The Middle

I didn’t really start watching this show until last year.  I’ve watched every episode this season.  I remember when I first saw commercials for it, it didn’t really look like something I’d want to watch.  It basically looked like they’d married off Debra from Everybody Loves Raymond with the Janitor from Scrubs and then given them three weird kids.

Taking an actor from a successful sitcom that is no longer on who played a well known character on said sitcom, and pairing them with another actor who also played a well known character on different successful sitcom often doesn’t work out so well.  Patricia Heaton had already previously tried it.  Does anyone remember the show Back to You that she did with Kelsey Grammer?  No?  Good, it wasn’t worth remembering.

But this time it worked.  Because The Middle has a great concept which is simple and well written.  When I watch it I’m able to disassociate my automatic connections to Everybody Loves Raymond and Scrubs, both of which I used to watch.  I liked Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn both in their previous sitcom roles as well their current roles now.  In one episode, they showed a flashback to their characters Frankie and Mike Heck, going camping for their honeymoon.  Their trip is interrupted by Mike’s old annoying friend, played by Ray Romano.  At one point he asks Frankie if they’ve met before and she says “no, I think I’d remember meeting you”, which I thought was hilarious.

The show consists of Frankie and Mike trying to survive raising their three kids, Axl, Sue, and Brick, who all struggle through their own problems as well.  Axl, played by Charlie McDermott, is your typical lazy slob of a teenager.  He excels in sports but struggles with school and thinks homework is a waste of time.  He’s also full of himself and thinks he’s awesome.  His sister Sue, played by Eden Cher, is sort of the opposite, and is basically the epitome of the super awkward and neurotic teenage girl.  Despite being a total misfit, she’s optimistic and tries out for all the school activities, and more often than not fails at them.  The youngest, Brick, played by Atticus Shaffer, is a quiet kid who always has his nose in a book.  He might go unnoticed if he wasn’t so weird.  He’s pretty smart for a nine-year-old, but has a bit of social awkwardness as well.

Frankie is often saying how tired she is from trying to stay on top of the kids all the time.  In one episode, she describes their parenting style as relaxed.  In the last episode, the kids complained that she’s too much of nag and that Mike just throws out crazy punishments for them when he gets too annoyed to deal with them.  They all struggle together as a bit of dysfunctional family.  I think the reason the show is a success is because they’re a family you can sort of relate to.  Kids go through awkward phases, and think their parents are unreasonable, and parents want to make sure their kids are alright and wish they would get their act together.  And when things don’t go as we’d like, we can turn to shows like this and see characters who may be slightly more dysfunctional than we are.

The Middle

Happy Endings

This show is in its second season.  I never watched the first season.  For some reason it just didn’t really seem like something I’d want to watch.  But at the time I didn’t really know what it was.  I’d see random commercials and scenes and just brush it off as another random show.  But then it would follow shows like Cougar Town and Modern Family, shows that I had pvred, and so at the end of watching those, I would always catch the first few minutes of Happy Endings.  And those first few minutes made me decide to give it a chance.

I’ve been watching this season and I actually really like it.  It focuses on a group of six friends, two of whom were engaged, but then she left him at the altar.  But they stayed friends.  Normally I hate that story line because I think it’s just been so overdone.  Why wait to leave someone at the altar?  You obviously knew at some point before then that this wasn’t what you wanted.  Fortunately, since I didn’t watch the first season, I missed that first episode.  I didn’t even know about the previous engagement leaving at the altar part when I first starting watching it.  Which is probably a good thing.

Six friends who are really close, two are siblings, one couple is married, one used to be a couple and there is still lingering tension, and the remaining two have their own love escapades with people who aren’t part of the group.  Sound familiar?  In today’s episode, Brad gets high from too many drugs at the dentist, and in his doped up state, points to his friends calling them Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, Monica, and Joey.  I love that they acknowledged the comparisons between the characters and even pointed it out.

Brad

Brad is played by Damon Wayans Jr., who was my favourite character on New Girl, in that one episode he happened to be in.  Happy Endings having a second season is the reason he couldn’t be on New Girl, which I was initially upset about, but I love that this show is continuing and I think he’s better on Happy Endings than he would have been on New Girl anyway.  He would be the “Chandler” of the group, I guess because of his jokes and personality, and also because he’s married to the “Monica” of the group.

Jane

Jane is Brad’s wife, played by Eliza Coupe, who I also love.  She was one of the few new additions to the last seasons of Scrubs who actually fit with the show.  She is definitely the “Monica” of the group, because she is very anal and a control freak.  Her uptight personality can be overbearing and annoying, but it suits her and she makes it funny.

Alex

Elisha Cuthbert plays Jane’s younger sister Alex, who leaves her fiance at the altar.  I grew up watching her on Popular Mechanics for Kids.  You may also remember her from The Girl Next Door.  She is the “Rachel” of the group, because she leaves a man at the altar.  She is sort of dumb at times and doesn’t always understand jokes.  My favourite thing about her character is when there are scenes in which she loves food, like when she gets drunk and eats ribs, or orders like three different plates when they go out for breakfast.

Dave

Zachary Knighton plays Alex’s ex-fiance Dave.  To be honest, I initially thought this guy had a really weird face.  I don’t know what it is, but something about it just wasn’t working for me.  But I got over it.  Dave owns a food truck and is moving on with his life after being left at the altar, but remains good friends with Alex.  He is the “Ross” of the group, since he dated the “Rachel” and because he’s the most depressed character of the guys.

Max

Adam Pally plays Max, Dave’s friend and roommate.  In today’s episode, Brad calls him “fat Joey”.  He’s the “Joey” of the group because he’s kind of dumb and quirky in his own way.  But unlike Joey, he’s gay.  When I first started watching this show, I found him super annoying and thought “How can the gay guy be my least favourite character on a show?  That never happens”.  But I have since changed my mind.  His character is arrogant and whiny at times but that’s just who he is.

Penny

Penny is played by Casey Wilson.  She was Max’s last girlfriend before he came out.  Yeah, there’s all sorts of love complications within the group.  But they make it work.  She is the “Phoebe” of the group because she’s fun and quirky and always an optimist.  She has her own love problems, as she gets a lot of dates, but can never seem to find the right guy for her.  In real life, I would find someone like her incredibly annoying, but on the show, I love her.

So am I saying it’s the new Friends?  No, not at all.  There are many similarities but it’s still unique in its own way.  The random story lines and the relationships and friendships within the group are just really entertaining and I enjoy watching it.  I just wonder if Dave and Alex will get together again at some point and how much of a “Ross and Rachel” type thing this really is.

I hope there's a third season

I was wrong about Work It

About a month ago, the new sitcom Work It premiered on ABC.  It was supposed to replace Man Up, which had been cancelled.  Work It was about two guys who are so desperate for jobs, that they apply to a pharmaceutical company that only hires women.  This results in them having to dress and pose as women in this job and hilarity ensues.  Or is supposed to anyway.

I have seen every episode.  My mom and I guessed that the show would only last for 3 episodes because it was such a terrible concept.  But we were wrong.  It did not last for 3 episodes.  It only lasted 2.  And yes, I saw all 2 of them.  Even though I had extremely low expectations for it, my expectations were apparently still not low enough.  The second episode was slightly better than the first, but that really wasn’t saying much at all.  I’m glad they put an end to it before airing a third one.  Because I probably would have watched it.  Dodged a bullet there.

I think it was pretty much the epitome of bad TV.  One of those shows where you laugh only because you’re baffled by how dumb it is.  There’s a lot of crap on television these days, but I’d like to think we’ve moved passed the point of thinking a man talking in a high-pitched voice and over exaggerating so-called feminine qualities is entertaining.  It seems my thinking was right, since everyone else hated it too.  I enjoy bad TV as much as the next person, but you have to draw the line somewhere.