Dont Trust the B in Apartment 23 Recap: James Van Der Beek Has No Idea What Girls Eat

Last week our favorite absurdest network show, Don't Trust the B__ In Apartment 23 came back. Slate called the show’s two roommates Chloe (Krysten Ritter), the bitch, and June (Dreama Walker), the Midwest transplant, our generation’s version of the ’70s Odd Couple — mismatched and emblematic of the social upheaval of their era.

In the season two premier, the two explore the common millennial crisis of, “all of my friends are doing better than me,” and another standard for Little Lebowski Urban Achievers in their late twenties; “my life was better ten years ago.” Also James Van Der Beek (as James Van Der Beek) has a Viking funeral.

The episode begins en media res at the Beek’s fiery funeral in Central Park. Flashback to JVDB sauntering in the girls' apartment with a letter from the cast of Dawson’s Creek proposing a ten year reunion, which he gleefully crumples.

Drunk on the power of blowing off actors who are way more successful than him, Beek and Chloe head to a fashion show to kick an Anna Wintour look-alike out of front row and trip models with marbles. “Bring on the tall and skinny!” is Chloe’s rallying cry, and also exactly what I think every time I see Krysten Ritter.

Meanwhile, June is still in her crappy barista gig as the poster girl of the underemployed and overeducated where she “gets all crazy eyes” over yellow raisins. Since Dreama Walker has ridiculous alien eyes all the time, “Crazy Eyes” is her new name. She also has her panties in a twist about James refusing to do the reunion. Chloe, for bonkers Chloe reasons, takes the anti-reunion stance. 

Crazy Eyes champions clinging to the past, while Chloe teaches us that, “You need to walk away from the past in slow motion as it explodes behind you like a John Woo movie.” Cultural subtext alert: there is no going back to the way it was. The ’90s prosperity is really over. Your childhood is over, and looking back will only hold you back.

The two duke it out for the remainder of the episode trying to win James over to their side. Chloe, armed with a tranquilizer gun full of tryptophan, and Crazy Eyes with her un-faded pre-teen Dawson’s Creek ardor. 

Subsequent guest spots from Busy Philipps, Frankie Muniz, and Mark-Paul Gosselaar, all playing themselves, highlight one of the best parts of the show—Van Der Beek’s ability to laugh at himself and his former teen-dream status without turning into a snide James Franco type meta-parody. 

June's important lesson this episoide boils down to: it doesn’t do any good to compare yourself to other people. Not in this economy. Not when you’re still young and figuring it out. Chloe, in one of her moments of insightfulness tells her very un-bitchily, “Their stories are already written. Your story is still being written.” 

"Don't Trust the B" airs Tuesdays on ABC at 9/8 Central.

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Marni Chan

Marni has a M.A. from NYU's Arthur Carter Journalism Institute's Cultural Reporting and Criticism Program, where she studied under Susie Linfield, Katie Roiphe, and Dennis Lim. She also has a B.A. in history and politics from Pomona College. Marni has previously written for Forbes, AOL, and Conde Nast Traveler.

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