I don’t love using the term “underrated.” (Generally speaking, I think we rate things just fine.) But when it comes to Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23, I’m happy to make an exception. This show is indeed an underrated treasure, one that you need to watch ASAP.
Lasting only two short seasons, Don’t Trust the B never really stood the chance it deserved. Saddled with an unfortunate title and an ill-fitting home network, the surrealist ABC Family comedy started with a bang that quickly fizzled into a before-its-time squelch. Six years later, however, it can and should find a place in your heart and queue.
At its core, the story of June (Dreama Walker), a good-natured Indianan with dreams of making it on Wall Street, and her roommate Chloe (Krysten Ritter), a deranged con artist with an affinity for Mario Kart and French diplomats, is an ode to unlikely friendships.
From James Van Der Beek portraying himself to the multi-level battle of the Foot Ho, the comedic beats of Don’t Trust the B sizzle with sparkling finesse. With each passing episode, you will laugh until your face hearts. Then, when it’s all over, you’ll probably cry until your heart hurts.
Here are 23 (wink) reasons you should be bingeing all of Don’t Trust the B, a show too good for this world, right now.
1. It’s ludicrously quotable.
2. Dreama Walker is an American treasure.
Adorably dressed and unceasingly positive, June Colburn was 2012’s Kimmy Schmidt. (You know, minus the bunker.) Walker is consistently likable and even in the saddest of times keeps giving you reasons to root for her success.
3. Krysten Ritter is having the best time.
Unquestionably less depressing than her roles in Jessica Jones and Breaking Bad, Ritter takes on the titular role of “the B in Apartment 23” with explosive fun. When she’s having a good time, you’re having a good time. So that’s… all the time.
4. James Van Der Beek stars in the role he was born to play.
James Van Der Beek playing James Van Der Beek is even more amazing than it sounds. Capitalizing on all that his perceived fame has to offer, fictitious Van Der Beek has a beer in Denmark, a line of designer “Beek Jeans,” and a visiting lecturer position at NYU. All of it? Sensationally cringey.
5. Same with Dean Cain.
Far from Superman, evil Dean Cain doesn’t arrive until Season 2, but he is the perfect nemesis for Van Der Beek. Remember: always count the ceiling tiles in your dressing room.
6. The Kiernan Shipka episode is a delight.
In the height of her Mad Men days, Shipka joined Van Der Beek for an episode of Don’t Trust the B, in which the two co-star in a father-daughter body swap movie. It is as side-splitting as it is horrifying.
7. Busy Philips is also a brief, but shining guest star.
Coming back to explain the great “row boat incident” of Dawson’s Creek, Philips plays herself breaking it down for former co-star Van Der Beek.
8. Don’t Trust the B is a masterclass in self-confidence.
9. It’s at its strongest at its weirdest.
Surprise tranq gun takedowns, bizarre dating game challenges, haunting murder mysteries: Don’t Trust the B has it all.
10. These characters know how to persevere.
Things aren’t always easy for the characters of Don’t Trust the B, but they never give up when it comes to helping their friends. Even if that means sleeping with your new roommate’s fiancé to prove a point. (Yeah, that’s the pilot episode. Bucke up.)
11. Creator Nahnatchka Khan knows how to craft one fabulous villain.
“That girl has it out for you. Did she ask you questions about your family? Did she compliment your jewelry? Does she have a back tattoo? Does she wear a wig?”
When it comes to Don’t Trust the B’s villain Fox Paris, the answer to all of those questions is a resounding yes.
12. Eric Andre is himself, but not all the way himself.
If like me you love the comedic stylings of Eric Andre, but can’t quite stomach the regularly nauseating Eric Andre Show, then this is the middle ground made for you.
13. Luther is one character who deserved his own spinoff series from the beginning.
“Bitch, please. Bitch.”
A defensive if not slightly obsessive assistant to Van Der Beek, Luther is a character you’ll likely never forget. He’s loyal, dedicated, and a big fan of plum cobbler.
14. Eli is a sex-positive icon.
Sure, they call him a “pervert.” But Eli is really just out to a have a good, consensual time. Who doesn’t enjoy a quick soak in a bathtub full of strawberry jam while chattin’ it up on the phone with grandma?
15. Robin is a super supportive neighbor.
Sure, they call her a stalker. But Robin is really just looking to protect her “little bird-boned friend” Chloe. Who doesn’t make a life-size replica of their former roommate and talk to it when they’re lonely?
16. It perfectly roasts Dawson’s Creek.
19. And Japanese graphic novels.
20. It introduced the sweet angel that is Monday The Pig.
Season 2, Episode 14, starting at minute 11. You’re welcome. He’s precious.
21. And a lot of really spectacular outfits.
Yes, many of them are very 2012. But they’re also reasonably timeless enough for you to appreciate in 2018. Particularly, that sexy bus driver Halloween costume. Sign me up—anywhere, anytime.
22. These lovable weirdos will make you feel like part of the gang.
23. And all of their shenanigans are on Hulu right now.