Don’t Trust the B– in Apartment 23 is like my security blanket. It’s weird and immature, but it makes me feel better. When I can’t sleep at night or when something is bothering me, I put on an episode and it soothes me. In case you missed this gone-too-soon comedy, you can catch it on Netflix. Here’s the situation, via my friend Megan’s review: “Sweet, optimistic, Midwestern June (Dreama Walker) moves to New York City to pursue her dream job of working on Wall Street, only to watch that job (and her perfect apartment) collapse within a matter of minutes. Desperate and penniless, she takes a position as a barista and finds herself rooming with Chloe (Krysten Ritter), a swindling, sailor-mouthed lush who tries to take her for those few things she has left. But little does Chloe know that June doesn’t give up too easily, and a very strange, and incredibly delightful, friendship blooms” (Instant Gratification). Also, James Van Der Beek is Chloe’s BFF. Something about June’s Indiana niceness and naivete speaks to me (probably for obvious reasons) and Chloe’s sociopathy makes me laugh more than it should. Plus, I love the literary aspirations of Luther (Ray Ford) and watching James VDB play himself. It was hard to narrow it down, but here are my five…well, six…favorite episodes for five moods that might keep you up at night. Don’t take my word for it. Watch them.
1. Everybody Feels Insecure Sometimes
The Episode: “The Wedding”
The Struggle: You feel insecure.
Best Line: “If you have the right attitude, you can do anything and go anywhere. Now walk up to the front of the line like you have George Clooney between your legs…and when you’re on the dance floor, pretend you’re getting up on Jamie Foxx just enough to make Clooney jealous.” Also, everything June says when drunk after the vodka launch party.
June feels down about herself when she receives a joint invitation to a friend’s wedding, her first big social gathering since breaking up with her fiance. Chloe takes her out on the town to teach her how to be more confident. “New June” gets free drinks, hotdogs, offers to be in a hair commercial, and goes out to parties with James Van Der Beek. Jealous of James and June’s new friendship, Chloe acts out, crashing the wedding with Kevin Sorbo. And there’s more shenanigans from there.
The take away: Confidence can take you a long way, but even cartoonishly confident people like Chloe feel insecure sometimes too.
2. There’s Always Jam Porn
The Episode: “Making Rent”
The Struggle: You’re dead broke.
Best Line: “You’re such a good Korean.” “Christian.” “What am I saying?”
June can’t make her rent. Chloe usually pays her rent by running scams, but June is too wholesome for that. When attending her Korean church, June’s pastor raves that her jam was a big seller at the church sale and she realizes that’s the key: “No one can resist my hot, hot jam.” She and Chloe go into business making the jam to sell at farmer’s markets. At least that’s what June thinks. Actually, Chloe set up a fetish site featuring video of them making the jam. June has it shut down, sticking to her morals but then stumbles into a scam on her own. She learns a lesson about moral gray areas. Chloe learns…something…maybe…
The take away: No matter how poor you are, at least your roommate won’t put you on a fetish site. I hope.
3. Don’t Look Back. Don’t Compare.
The Episode: “A Reunion”
The Struggle: You’re down because it seems like all your friends are doing better than you are.
Best Line: “You have to walk away from the past in slow motion as it explodes behind you like in a John Woo movie.” Also: “Your sweater looks like a pumpkin mated with a turd.”
June’s feeling depressed because of everything she’s lost in the last year (her dream job, apartment, fiance) and because it seems like all her friends are doing better than her. She tries to convince James to do a Dawson’s Creek reunion show so she can have something positive to call her friends about. Unfortunately, the letter James receives from Katie Holmes, Michelle Williams, and Joshua Jackson each year asking to do the reunion is forged by Chloe, who is hell-bent on keeping James from doing the reunion because reunion shows are always lame. With a little help from Mark-Paul Gosselaar, both James and June learn to move forward. Plus, James accosts Frankie Muniz in a grocery store.
The take away: “You have to walk away from the past in slow motion as it explodes behind you like in a John Woo movie.” Also, gauge your life based on your own satisfaction, not on how you compare to others.
4. Fake It Til You Make It
The Episode: “Sexy People”
The Struggle: You need to feel powerful.
Best Line: “I’ve taken over a bunch of companies before…You’ve just gotta walk in like you own the place. Fire the first person to ask you a question. Fire the second person to ask you a question. And then gaze out the window and draw a peen on the board. It’s the traditional Intimidation-Confusion-Submission technique. What, didn’t they teach you that at State University Business Tech College School?”
James is offended when June, a devotee of People Magazine, doesn’t think that he’s Sexiest Man Alive material. Determined to prove to June that she’s a sheep and would think Fozzy Bear was sexy if People put him on the cover, Chloe takes over People and puts James on the cover. Unfortunately, once he’s on the cover, June thinks he’s sexy and it jeopardizes their friendship.
Takeaway: There are so many situations I have jokingly applied this episode to. Job interviews, teaching, conflict resolution. If you need to feel powerful, just walk into the room, fire the first two people who ask a question, then draw a peen on the board. Just do it. Take it over. It’s stupid, but just a fraction of Chloe’s can-do attitude could majorly boost your confidence.
Plus, I learned the term “blue tubes.” And–the Smackwhich was born.
The Episode: “Monday June”
The Struggle: You need to feel vivacious…or something.
Best Line: “June you are ruining brunch, the most fun meal of all the meals and you are completely ignoring your friends who came to visit you all the way from who cares.”
Chloe feels like since June got her Wall Street job, she hasn’t been around enough to listen to her crazy stories. So, naturally, she doses her with a powerful drug over Sunday brunch and the next thing June knows it’s Tuesday. The day after she had a big pitch at work. Fortunately, Monday June had so much charm and wild energy that she pulled off the presentation and a bunch of other stuff. Missing the point of what Chloe did, June continues to do zaney things to prove that she can be Monday June without the drug.
Takeaway: You have everything you need inside of you. You were Monday June all along.
5. Mean Girls
The Episode: “Paris”
The Struggle: You have a nemesis. Or, more likely, someone at work or school is making your life harder with their attitude.
Best Line: “One day you’re making cupcakes, the next you’re stabbing a girl in her Fred Flintstone. Good for you.”
June is trying to get off on the right foot at her new job, but the woman in the next cubicle is out to get her. Chloe sets out to scare off June’s nemesis, but she and the other sociopath have too much fun together and June is left to her own devices. Sometimes killing someone with kindness doesn’t work and June has to find that out the hard way.
The Takeaway: Looking for the best in people is noble, but sometimes you have to go the the mattresses if you want respect.
See Also: “Mean Girls” in which June tries to make friends and ends up in a game of “Murder Chicken” with Chloe.