In the first 4 minutes, we're given riffs on the naive Midwestern go-getter (Dreama Walker as June), over-the-top sex scenes, attentive and self-effacing black doormen, the perilous instability of the financial market, and the unsuitable suitors montage. It's all funny enough (eh, except for the montage - I'm really tapped out on that trope at this point), but it's a lot.
At the center of this maelstrom is Krysten Ritter, a woman who you can tell has spent a lot of time playing the Sardonic Best Friend. As Chloe, she's very funny and almost fearless (I always love a woman who's willing to do anything and go anywhere for a laugh), but so far there's not a lot of "character" there. She's just a handful of diabolical lunacy at this point, and I sincerely hope Apt. 23 will take the time to flash her out into a real person sooner rather than later.
|I cannot wait for the story behind this picture, though.|
Somehow, it feels like there are already too many recurring characters. For what it's worth, Community didn't introduce people like Star-Burns and Professor/Student/Officer Chang until the second episode - the pilot focused on the core characters that comprised our favourite study group. Apt. 23 has already shown us the crazy woman down the hall who's obsessed with Chloe, the perverted restaurant inspector who seems to masturbate to everything Chloe and June do (hilarious...?), and June's would-be mentor-turned-barista in the local coffee shop. It's all very breathless and busy, and not necessarily inviting.
Diving into all of this with the relish he brought to James Van Der Memes is one James Van Der Beek. The Beek is all too ready to satirize himself, but while that's the bulk of his performance so far, it isn't all of it (thank god). There's a character behind all of the Dawson's Creek-and-subsequent-drop-off jokes, and weirdly enough that character rather grounds the whole episode. He's the amused voice of reason for both Chloe and June, steering them away from their more madcap sitcommery and towards something resembling a real female friendship. I'm interested I see how this will play out, since I imagine I'll tire quickly of Chloe being fiendish and untrustworthy. Actually, I'm not ruling out that I'll tire quickly of the whole show regardless, unless they calm down a touch and stop trying so hard. But I guess we'll see!
Also, I'm awarding myself 10 points for going this long without even commenting on that title.