Don't Trust The B—— In Apartment 23 is a Sitcom that aired on ABC. Desperate for a place to stay after finding herself rendered homeless, June agrees to live with Chloe, or The Bitch in Apartment 23, and Hilarity Ensues. The show premiered on April 11, 2012, taking over the timeslot Happy Endings occupies after its second season wrapped.James Van Der Beek announced on twitter on January 22, 2013 that ABC had pulled the series and would not be airing eight episodes already filmed. As he put it, "Translation: We've basically been cancelled."
Tropes used in this series include:
Accidental Marriage: Chloe apparently joke married a guy at a party, read a story about a "thin guy" getting killed by a truck and naturally assumed that she was a widow. Seven years later she meets the "husband" again and finds out that the minister was not a real minister and thus the marriage was never valid. She shrugs it off.
A-Cup Angst: In the second-season première, "A Reunion…", June says (twice) that she's sure she's lost a cup size due to all the stress she's been through since moving to New York. Averted with Chloe; she is indifferent.
A Date with Rosie Palms: Eli has these a lot, much to June's (horrified) discovery. Like June should complain, because in "It's Just Sex...", she was playing her lady harp in the bathtub, which is the same as introducing yourself to your new neighbor by masturbating at her.
Adam Westing: James Van Der Beek, who plays… himself. Many of the guest stars do this as well.
All Men Are Perverts: Averted in "Sexy People...". When June ends up throwing herself at James due to him being (with help from Chloe) People's Sexiest Man Alive, James refuses because they're friends despite his usual attention-whoring ways.
Mark: Okay, what is going on with you? You're ignoring customers, the muffin dome is a disaster, and you didn't even laugh at the new Dilbert I put up on the community board. June: Mark, nobody laughs at that.
Asshole Victim: Trey in "Whatever It Takes..." pissed one too many people off and was bashed in the head, causing brain damage.
Bad Boss: Subverted in "Sexy People..." Chloe walks into the offices of People magazine and takes over the production of the annual "Sexiest Man Alive" issue to get James on the cover in order to prove to June that she's a sheep who follows trends. She does her best Miranda Priestly, firing the first two people who ask her questions, constantly bullying another employee, drawing penises on the whiteboard and trying to throw things through the window to make her points. However, at the end it turns out that one senior editor picks the cover boy every year, completely ignoring the staff's suggestions.
A notable inversion revolves around her Halloween tradition of finding a person who annoys her, and spending a year making them live their worst fears. A director who James had worked with discovers her game, and spends the next year allowing Chloe to think she's manipulating him into reliving the time his mother abandoned him, all the while manipulating her into experiencing her own worst fear: living out chick-flick clichés.
Bavarian Fire Drill: How Chloe took over People magazine in "Sexy People...". She claims to have done it to a number of other companies like Volvo and Fabreeze.
Bigger Is Better in Bed: Subverted in the pilot. Apparently, James and Chloe's brief dating relationship ended because the former is so well-endowed that he and Chloe found lovemaking near impossible. Or, as Chloe put it, "...like trying to fit a cucumber into a coin purse."
Bilingual Bonus: When trying to trade for Dean Cain's partner on dancing with the stars, James offers his timeshare at Tortuga del Cielo. "Sky Turtle".
Censored Title: The show was originally titled Don't Trust The Bitch in Apartment 23, but it was amended to its current state (or sometimes, simply, Apartment 23 - which is its title in Germany) after the censors inevitably complained. Admittedly, the fact that the censored title rhymes is probably good for something.
Dumb Blonde: Averted by June, who did, after all, get to Manhattan by getting a decent-paying job in finance.
Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Chloe, though only because she has actual black hair and June provides a pretty strong visual contrast with her fair skin and blonde hair. How trope appropriate Chloe is depends on your perspective of her behavior.
Expy: Chloe is basically a human, female Roger (it should be noted that the creator of this series was a writer for American Dad). Both characters even used foster children for their own personal gain.
Fetish: Voyeuristic neighbor Eli. In the stinger of "Making Rent…" he takes all June's jam (itself made while Chloe was secretly letting Eli film June making the jam for a fetish-video website), puts it in his bathtub and gets in.
Forged Message: James gets a letter each year from his Dawson's Creek castmates inviting him for a reunion show, which he always rejects. Turns out the letters were actually from Chloe, which she uses as an excuse to get James to do whatever she wanted to cheer him up.
"Freaky Friday" Flip: In-universe in "Parent Trap…", the third episode, where James co-stars with Kiernan Shipka in a film about a father and pubescent daughter who get body-swapped.
Freudian Trio: Id and superego are played with June and Chloe, but James is definitely the ego.
Friends Rent Control: Invoked early in the pilot when June likens the amazing, company-provided apartment that she has for all of one night to those on Friends.
Funny Background Event: Played with. Chloe steals a baguette from a passing shopper and tries to bite into it. The shopper protests before James hands him some money. All this is done without either Chloe or James slowing down or breaking their conversation rhythm. She then swipes a drink from someone sitting at an outdoor cafe, drinks it, and hands the glass to James, saying "Thanks for lunch" at the end of their (unrelated) conversation.
Going Commando: Chloe does this, we learn in "Shitagi Nashi…" The episode title is the supposed Japanese translation of "Tall Slut No Panties", a comic book series based on her exploits.
Gone Horribly Right: Chloe teaches June to be more confident, which results in her becoming a bigger bitch than Chloe.
Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Chloe is an excellent example, down to being almost a professional Trickster. In "Shitagi Nashi…" Robin tells June that Chloe's liver is superhuman.
He Who Must Not Be Seen: The real People's Sexiest Man Alive in "Sexy People..." is never seen and is referred to as "him" or "he". This is likely due to the episode being filmed before the real one was chosen and the producers not wanting to contradict the actual choice for that year, who turned out to be Channing Tatum.
Holiday Volunteering: One episode has James volunteers to join a celebrity soup kitchen in order to get publicity and is unpleasantly surprised when he and Luther actually have to work.
Homage: In "Shitagi Nashi…", June shows Chloe a comic strip she drew (complete with Mary Sue versions of herself and a friend) in high school that seems like an homage to Teen Girl Squad. Also a flashback with June is high school resembling Marni from You Again's high school flashback, complete with stringy hair and wearing a mascot costume.
The pilot begins with the event described in Interrupted Intimacy below, and then flashes back to a week earlier as June arrives in New York.
The second season première does this as well with James' Viking Funeral then flashes back to earlier.
"Whatever it Takes..." works its way back to the Cold Open scene of June accepting her new job.
"Bar Lies..." begins with June telling Blatant Lies on the telephone, then starts with events taking place 1 week earlier.
The Series Finale "Original B——..."note unaired on ABC but screened internationally begins with Chloe telling Charo in a dream that she wants to get her own back on her roommate before flashing back to two days before. It's not June she's after, but her original roommate Trish.
Ironic Echo: June told her mom they didn't have to videochat every day when James walked in and she ended the chat in "Whatever it Takes..." Later her mom says the same thing to her when June walks in and James is chatting with her.
It's All About Me: Chloe really couldn't care less about anyone who isn't her. James is equally self-involved. Maybe why they're such good friends.
Japandering: James did an energy drink commercial in Vietnam. It is shown at the end of the pilot and it is hilariously bad (even more so that your usual Japandering commercial, as it includes Van Der Beek wondering what the hell he just did and asking if they've managed to get his agent on the phone).
Jerk with a Heart of Jerk / Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Chloe jumps back and forth across the line between these two like no one's business. Half the time when she's acting nice, it winds up a ploy to lower someone's defense, but on occasion, she actually does something nice for someone else.
Just Friends: Neither girl is romantically interested in James.
Leitmotif: "Good Good" by Yac-Yan Da Businessman plays every time June sees a man she's heavily attracted to.
Malaproper: In "Making Rent…" we learn that June goes to a Korean Baptist church because it reminds her of her church at home. Chloe confuses "Korean" and "Christian" for the rest of the episode; later June starts doing it too.
Mean Character, Nice Actor: Kristin Ritter. In an interview for People, Ritter said she bought a PA a record player simply because he had records but no player. It's not known if the gift was spontaneous or if it was for a birthday or Christmas or for any other significant reason.
Mr. Fanservice: James, particularly when it's lampshaded so over-the-top in "Sexy People..." when he walks into June's bedroom in the morning with a peach smoothie, spills it on his shirt so he has to take it off, then spills it on his bare chest so he has to take a shower.
Odd Friendship: James and June's mom, to the point where June's mom spends more time video chatting with James than June or her husband and sends him brownies and he goes to her as an advisor and confidante, perhaps more so than with Chloe.
Older than They Look: Chloe's dad, which is part of why June is so shocked when she was about to have sex with him.
Out of Order: Multiple unaired Season 1 episodes were mixed into the airing of Season 2, resulting in a very confusing continuity where one episode June is working on Wall Street, and the next she's back in the coffee shop.
Persona Non Grata: According to Chloe, she has been 'excommunicated' from Denmark for refusing sexual advances from the Danish Queen.
Prison Rape: In the pilot, it is heavily implied that James van der Beek was raped in a Vietnamese prison.
Product Placement: "Sexy People..." promotes the hell out of People magazine, with its plot centering around the annual "Sexiest Man Alive" issue. There was even an ad for People during the episode.
Relationship Reveal: When June discovers that the guy she spent all night talking to (and was about to have sex with) is actually Chloe's father.
At the end of "Whatever it Takes...", we see Trey has a wife and child.
Reset Button Ending: "Whatever It Takes..." June has finally gotten the analyst job she had been trying for since losing her original job in the pilot. Her hiring was contingent on Chloe continuing her affair with the boss's son, left a Manchild after a disgruntled client beat him up. But when June sees he has a wife and child, she quits.
Reunion Show: "A Reunion…", the second season première, deconstructed this trope. James regularly turns down his Dawson's Creek castmates' letters requesting a reunion. June, a fan when she was a teen, tries to suggest that he do it, and succeeds… only for Chloe to let her know that she writes the letters, so James will feel powerful by rejecting them and she can get him to grant any wish of hers. June is undeterred, so Chloe drugs her and then spends six hours showing him video of bad reunion shows from other shows (like The Facts of Life Goes to Paris) and reveals she's been the one writing the letters, initially appearing to talk him out of the idea. James later reconsiders, but finds out from Busy Phillips that his former castmates all still hate him for not paying his share for a final gift to the crew, and won't say no outright but won't do it, either. Undeterred, he corners Frankie Muniz in a supermarket to pitch an idea for a combined reunion show, but Chloe again foils that. At the end, Mark-Paul Gosselaar appears to persuade James to live in the present, and they have a Viking Funeral for Dawson's Creek in the Central Park lake.
Roommate Com: It's the premise with its female protagonist spending most of her time trying to pick up guys and land a nice job despite her famous roomate's meddling.
Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Chloe is able to become a foster mother without many of the usual interviews, inspections and background checks because she knows someone who works at Child Services.
She's later able to get Benjamin deported even though all his papers check out because she knows someone in Immigration.
Shout-Out: Plenty in the first few episodes alone, mostly relating to James. His tenure as Dawson is naturally brought up on numerous occasions, but he also references his appearance in Kesha's "Blow" music video as well.
In "Making Rent…" Mark is going through the tip jar and asks her if she wants a Euro coin or a button. "Give me the button; it might actually be worth something in a couple of years."
In "Shitagi Nashi…", Mark says he knew she was sick when she didn't laugh at the Dilbert he'd posted on the bulletin board. "No one laughs at them", June replies.
Title Drop: Said uncensored by Robin (to June) in the pilot.
Took a Level in Badass: June, in a very quick example of this trope, during the pilot. Right after finding out that Chloe has been overcharging her rent, June goes and sells all of Chloe's furniture. Even Chloe is surprised by this move, and Chloe is never surprised.
Took a Level in Kindness: Chloe, compare her from the beginning of the series to the most recent one. While still being a deviant little Jerk Ass June is slowly rubbing off on her.
Took A Levelin Jerk Ass: On the flip side June is slowly becoming more devious, willing to lie and scheme and adopting Chloe's Manipulative Bastard tendencies... although it could be argued that she showed a few of these traits from the beginning.
Trauma Conga Line: The pilot plays with it. In the span of a week, she loses her job, her apartment, and her fiance, whom she'd apparently been dating for eleven years. Although the last event probably saved her from a far worse fate, as she's sensible enough to relate at the end of the episode.
Undercrank: "Whatever it Takes..." uses this technique to show three repetitive days in June and Chloe's life: Chloe comes in from her nights out, goes to bed, June gets up, watches TV on the couch all day, Chloe gets up, goes out, and the cycle starts again
Unflinching Walk: You don't see one in a comedy that often but the show manages to get one in. In slo-mo.