Oh the Things We Have Seen: First Impressions of ABC's Apartment 23

By Tim Surette

Jul 19, 2011

Just after fall schedules are determined at networks' upfront presentations in late May, major networks send the pilots of their new programs to the media. These previews are not for in-depth review, because many pilots are retooled, recast, and reshot before they officially debut, and the final product might be much different. But that doesn't mean we can't share some basic ideas of what to expect!

The Show: Apartment 23 on ABC; the series is still searching for a home on the network's schedule. In the UK it's already been acquired by freeview channel E4.

The Cast: Dreama Walker, Krysten Ritter, Eric Andre, James Van Der Beek, Michael Blaiklock.

ABC's official logline: "After a naïve Midwestern girl's big city dreams are dashed her first week in New York, she finds herself living with her worst nightmare in this hilarious, contemporary comedy about a female odd couple who are surrounded by an outrageous cast of characters."

Early Intel: The series was originally set up at Fox with the much better name of Don't Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23. But then ABC took over and sanitized/shortened the show's title to plain 'ol Apartment 23. Executive producer and creator Nahnatchka Khan previously worked on American Dad!.

First Thoughts: Apartment 23 is simultaneously goofy and edgy, assaulting viewers with a flurry of sophomoric sight gags, bizarre cutaways, and pop-culture jokes. Khan's past work with Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane is pretty obvious.

What the series has going for it: The comedy has its own appetizing look and feel, and no one is going to complain about it being slow. It also takes full advantage of the single-camera format, hopping from location to location like a hobo on speed. Van Der Beek plays a pretty funny-and-depressing version of himself, and Walker is fine as country girl June who moves into the urban jungle. But the real star here is Ritter, who plays the devilish Chloe with a refreshing cloud of convincing bitchiness. Look out for Eric Andre as the understated Mark; he's great. And in case you were wondering, the show itself can be funny, too.

Room for Improvement: It's hard to tell where the series will go from here here; its raunchy-comedy-movie-plot pilot could easily grow into a show full of the obvious sitcom tropes we're used to. Plus, the budding friendship between Chloe and June is a bit hard to swallow, and the pilot relied too heavily on silly cutaways.

The Coolest Part of the Early Version: Actually, the early version looked pretty polished. I wouldn't be surprised if the version I saw is the one that goes to air.

Last Word: Given the absolute wasteland of quality comedy pilots this season, this one rises near the top by default. At least it has eyeball-magnet Krysten Ritter!

Here's ABC's official trailer for the series:

+ First Impressions of Ringer, Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar
+ First impressions of J.J. Abrams Alcatraz

Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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  • mattgus Aug 19, 2011

    i stopped watching sit-coms. i need something more. i'm not sure what that more is???but more...

  • Whedonrules Aug 12, 2011

    Krysten Ritter was the only good thing about the blink and you missed it "Starz" series "Gravity" and it looks the same on this show. Hopefully this show is better and meets a better fate. Doesn't look half bad.

  • TrevPlatt Jul 24, 2011

    I like the look of this, mainly because of Ritter I will admit, but I'm looking forward to seeing if Dawson really can play a parody of himself! Besides, without The Big Bang Theory, Community or Cougar town on TV there is no good comedy - oh and Archer (brilliant).

  • moneyman1982 Jul 22, 2011

    I was also wondering when Van der beek would be back on Tv. Him and his massive four head

  • mattgus Jul 21, 2011

    i have windered what,when van der beek would return to something. this looks entertaining...not a sit-com watcher,but this looks good...

  • shevekm Jul 20, 2011

    This must take place before breaking bad.

  • pjt Jul 20, 2011

    "The uploader has not made this video available in your country".

    **** YOU...it's a **** promo for god sake and it's on **** YouTube. If the video was on ABC's page...OK, i get it, but It's on youtube you don't spend extra bandwidth god dammit.

    Stupid dinosaurs, they are fracking joke. What do you think, that nobody shared it on YouTube already? A$$faces.

  • Taccado Jul 20, 2011

    Looks like James Van Der Beek is destined to play a parody of himself (or Dawson) the rest of his life.

  • logossun Jul 20, 2011

    Thanks Shikady I'm going to repeat just because:

    The uploader has not made this video available in your country\\".

    **** YOU...it\\\'s a **** promo for god sake and it\\\'s on **** YouTube. If the video was on ABC\\\'s page...OK, i get it, but It\\\'s on youtube you don\\\'t spend extra bandwidth god dammit.

  • juan137946 Jul 20, 2011

    definately checking it out, I feel like it is gonna be really good and I love the pairing of Cougar Town and this show cause this looks like a smart and funny comedy like CT which is my fav.

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