You can't escape the B--- in apartment 23. Not in New York, at least. As I was making my way around the city on Wednesday, the striking face of Krysten Ritter (the B---), dangling her apartment key on her finger, behind a sea of Pepsi blue, was plastered all over bus stops, newspapers, and subway stations advertising ABC's much hyped-up comedy, "Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23," which premiered on Wednesday.
You can't escape the B--- in another way, too. The show, which is about an unlikely duo of twentysomethings living in New York, captures the horrors of living in your first post-college apartment, an experience that often involves a roommate you randomly find on a website like Craigslist, speak to for a few minutes as you tour the apartment, and then sign a lease to live with for a few months to a year. A lot of the times, that person--who was sweet, outgoing, and fun when she was showing you around the apartment--turns out to be a total B that you're stuck with for the remainder of your lease. After four sheltered years living in dorms with your closest friends, this is a rude awakening to the real world.
Just ask the show's blond and perky June (Dreama Walker), a recently graduated midwestern girl who comes to New York in search of career and status. The only problem is, moments after she arrives to the big city, she loses her job, and finds her way to Chloe (Ritter), a malicious New Yorker and grifter, who's seeking a roommate for her apartment--that would be Apt. 23. Long story short, June moves in, Chloe steals rent money from June, and June sells all of Chloe's furniture as revenge.
There's one more thing: June is engaged to a man who turns out to be a philanderer, a fact that she discovers after walking in on a half-naked Chloe whipping him with a bouquet of roses--the show's climax, if you will. It turns out that Chloe was acting in kindness, trying to prove to June that her fiancee is a cheater. This is, we are told, the best thing that has ever happened to June--the nicest thing anyone has done for her--and so the two roomies end up getting drinks, as friends, as the show is ending. It's a bit of an awkward start to their friendship--but, who knows, maybe they'll grow into besties as the show develops. I think that's the point, anyway.
Lucky for me, when I moved to New York City about two years ago, I already had plans to live with friends from college. No "randos"--random people--from Craigslist for us. Two years later, four of us still live in a nicely sized apartment on a tree-lined street in New York. Everyone pays their share of the rent on time. No one walks around the apartment naked. No one sells my furniture when I'm not home. Even better, I enjoy spending time with these girls. Living with them is easy.
But my very first year out of college, three years ago, it wasn't so easy. I had to find housing quickly in Washington, D.C. That meant resorting to the dreaded Craigslist. I found a townhouse in my budget that was already inhabited by three girls, who seemed nice and fun when I came by for the open house. We hit it off and I moved in. Of course, as we learn in "Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23," nothing is ever as it seems.
Two of the three girls who lived with me in the townhouse hated each other, and took their anger toward each other out on the thermostat dial (one girl always wanted the house really cold; the other always wanted it really hot; the house alternated between arctic chill and savannah heat). More generally, there always seemed to be disagreements about who was drinking whose milk, who was using whose towel, whose turn it was to do the dishes--etc. I got along with each girl on a personal basis, but there was no escaping the negative vibe that these unnecessary, manufactured conflicts created. For the most part, the problems were all pretty petty, so I tried to stay out of the inter-roommate squabbling as best as I could, but some of the problems were a bit more serious than others, and made me vow never ever--EVER--to live with randos again. Like when I found a used condom on the couch. Or when one of my roommates was smoking pot with a bunch of friends in the living room when my parents came over that afternoon (as I warned my roommates they would).
"Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23" may not be the funniest or most compelling show on television--far from it--but it has a certain charm to it in capturing the pains and perils of living, post-college, with an obnoxious, self-centered roommate. The moral of the story, I guess, is to live with friends or risk living with sociopaths. Happy apartment hunting!