When Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 debuted, I foolishly claimed to find the pilot “unfunny and irritating”… but I gave it a chance to grow on me, and I’m very glad I did. The show took a while to find its groove (or maybe it just took me a while to find the show’s groove?), but eventually it coalesced into a fantastically bizarre, compelling, laugh-out-loud chunk of brain candy… which is why I was so saddened to learn that it had been unceremoniously curbstomped by the network, shortly after it aired arguably the greatest episode in its entire run. Dammit!
In ep 2.8 (aka “Paris”), June went to work at a fancy Wall Street office, and was promptly friended by her cubicle-neighbour ‘Fox Paris’, played by Angelique Cabral. Of course, June being June, she was too naive to consider there might be an ulterior motive lurking behind Fox’s geniality… like the incongruous Flintstones tattoo lurking under her pristine blouse. Chloe being Chloe, she immediately identified Fox as June’s “Nemesis”, urging her to fight fire with fire, and kill her with something other than “kindness”. June was having none of it, insisting that she would be able to disarm the devious Fox with homespun wholesomeness and quirky baked goods… little suspecting that a birthday cake-cutting break for their clueless boss would end with June accidentally/literally stabbing her archenemy in the back! This led to a scene that will live on in my heart and mind for ever more… with Fox dropping her airs and adopting a broad “bridge and tunnel” accent to call for a truce with June, fearing that she might secretly be a bad-ass, mobbed-up bruiser from Queens! As Fox cowered in her cubicle, peeking nervously through the partition, Fannypack’s fantastically catchy “Seven One Eight” started playing on the soundtrack… and I had a little comedy-nerd-gasm. It was just such a sublime moment of sitcom transcendence, where every absurd element combined to create something utterly indelible. Sigh. Now we may never see the likes of it again…
Krysten Ritter and Dreama Walker are (or rather were) two of the funniest women on TV, and this show gave them ample opportunity to work through an impressive array of facial expressions that would put most Looney Tunes characters to shame. I only hope ABC will do right by them and release the full run of episodes on DVD in their original production order, rather than the crazy, confusing, story-arc-shredding-ly random order they were broadcast in.