Jun 28, 2013

TV Recap: Don't Trust the B in Apt. 23 - "Monday June..."

Eric Andre
Welcome to the TV Recap column for the ABC comedy Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23. Every Wednesday, I will be bringing you a recap of the most recent episode as well as personal insight into why I find the characters to be an infectious version of what 2 Broke Girls wishes it was. So please join me for a fun season as we deal with the bitch, the Beek, and June as they get into wacky adventures. Also, make sure to check out my columns for Maron (Tuesdays) and Family Tree (Thursdays) right here on Optigrab.

Left to right: James Van Der Beek, Nora Kirkpatrick, Michael Croner,
Krysten Ritter, and Dreama Walker
As we kick into the final stretch of the out of order recap series on Don't Trust the B in Apt. 23, we see something akin to "A Reunion...": a meta commentary on the show through satirizing a popular film. Where Dawson's Creek allowed for a lot of commentary in "A Reunion...," here we see what I am pretty sure is a parody of the Hangover, with June (Dreama Walker) forgetting everything she did on Monday. While it leaves room for inspiration, what the episode ends up coming away with is an element that the show has learned to succeed at: heart.
The episode begins with June running out of Apt. 23 in order to get to work. Chloe (Krysten Ritter) is in the middle of a great story. However, when June cuts her off, she follows her to work, where she continues the story while June is taking a call from her boss, Mr. Harkin (Tom Amandes). She is forced to do research on an account in order to land a deal for Monday. This stresses her out, as she prepares for a weekend long work session, which is much to Chloe's dismay. 
During this time, June's friends Robert (Michael Croner) and Crissy (Nora Kirkpatrick) arrive to spend the weekend with June. Their big plan is to hold up signs for Good Morning America in order to get on TV. It is also revealed that Crissy had sex with James Van Der Beek on their wedding night, and neither of the married couple seems to care. This carries on into brunch, which sees June continuing to work furiously on the deal and Chloe upset. Crissy also reveals that she's pregnant, to which Luther (Ray Ford) insists that it isn't Van Der Beek's. 
After heading into the bathroom, June goes through a weird period. Somehow Monday has come and gone. She is considered the fun and lively person who succeeded at the account, played a violin in the park, rolled down a hill, and even danced with some transsexuals. She doesn't remember a thing, but everyone is excited for her. She goes about her day trying to figure out why everyone thinks it is Tuesday.
Running out of options, she turns to Chloe, who reveals that she put some drug in her drink that caused her to blackout for two days. During this time, she also somehow got hooked up with Mark (Eric Andre). On her phone, she notices that his name is the Booty, suggesting that Mark is now a booty call. Chloe seems fine with it, pointing out how careless it was of her to put something in her drink. June would want to be mad, but decides that since everyone seems to love Monday June, that she will be more like Monday June.
Left to right: Van Der Beek
and Ray Ford
Van Der Beek begins to worry about his relationship with Crissy. He is somewhat upset that he isn't the father. As a celebrity, he has shame in not ever having a sex scandal. He wants to test the sperm, but has to wait until the baby is born. He calls up Crissy and Robert to discuss it, but all he could say was that Crissy would make a terrible mother. He is unsure why himself why he is saying it, but he can never get around to claiming to want to be the father.
Everyone at work is excited with June landing the account and are hoping that she can pull through again. With not remembering a thing, she forgets how she did it. She also forgets the raunchy joke she told and just why everyone loved Monday June. After messing with Mr. Harkin, she discovers that the best way to be like Monday June was to be a jerk. She decides to spend the day doing just that. She goes on Good Morning America, where she flashes her breasts in a method called "fried eggs" by pressing them against glass. She then tells Mark, who has rented a hotel, to get naked. Because of her stunt with fried eggs, she lost the account.
Chloe reveals that the entire reasoning behind this was because she wanted June to spend more time with her. She was sad to see her always going to work and never getting to hear her weird stories. That is why she drugged her. Van Der Beek finally comes clean with the married couple, though it leaves very little resolution other than that he doesn't know how sperm works. Mark also shows up to reveal that the reason that he was called the Booty was based on a chat they had over wanting to make a crime show where the stars are Cutie and the Booty. Also, Mark likes regular June better, which relieves her.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Maybe it is the novelty of getting to review the final stretch of episodes, but I have sincerely felt the show come into its form within the past batch of episodes. In this one particularly, we get a stronger sense of who Chloe is as a person. While I will admit that her insistence on saying something along the lines of "It sure was bad of me to drug you" several times throughout. However, unlike Chloe's previous stunts to get June to act more like herself, this one almost feels sweet. Sure, it was a dumb move on her part, but it did get June to open up and become a more free spirited person. In a way, it is probably the most considerate thing that Chloe has done, especially as she feels like a background character for most of the episode.
June was really good in this case. I must admit that I have no idea how most of the things in the episode were supposed to go down. The blackout did leave a lot of the plot feeling like it was going to be inevitable with holes. Still, to see her just going crazy was a great moment. It was all ridiculous and even the simple image of her rolling down a hill suggested something endearing about her. She has grown up so much in the series that to see her regress to childlike behavior was excellent.
Also, to see her recover from it in the manner that she did says a lot about her. Most of it didn't make sense, but that wasn't the point. It may have felt like the Hangover in a sitcom environment, but it was more about the dynamic between June and a preposterous deed done by Chloe that in almost any other circumstance would be seen as foolish. Here, it works because while Chloe is still somewhat of a meanie, she does look out for June. I feel like that is the show's biggest breakthrough and provides it to move beyond the stock characters that hurt it early on.
James Van Der Beek continues to amaze as he takes down one celebrity taboo at a time. This week, it is a sex scandal. He is insistent on it being his kid, even though there isn't much logic to it. It may be one of the show's more ridiculous moments, but to see him grasp the idea of starting a scandal is just great. He cannot wrap his head around it. Also, the flashback with Luther was pretty great, if just for the hair-do that he sported. I feel like what makes the satire great here is that Van Der Beek is technically a star, but not big enough that making fun of his ego can be seen as self-involved. The fact that he believes that sperm fights sperm is just brilliant. It also helps that Luther does have a lot of great chemistry with him.
I am surprised by how little Mark has been used in the show. While early on, it was a little weird, he has grown to be pretty endearing. In this episode in particular, he isn't required to do much. Even if all he does is mug to the camera as he's told to get naked, it works because Eric Andre is fine at making weird faces and shrugging through activities. Also, I just want to believe that the Mark/June relationship didn't stop sometime awhile ago. I feel like they get time to interact, but it only teases why they're great together. I feel like the show has been building to something with them, but I haven't figured out what yet. Maybe that is the curse of doing these out of order.

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