After a strong pilot last week, Don’t Trust the B in Apt 23‘s second episode “Daddy’s Girl” is an equally quirky, witty follow up – and for the most part, manages to avoid the tropes of second episodes too many sitcoms rely on. It’s not as laugh out loud funny as the first episode, but it does well to develop the relationship between the two main characters and flesh out their personalities. More importantly, “Daddy’s Girl” explores their friendship dynamics by playing on familiar sitcom story arcs in a fun, witty fashion.
Most comedies are too fixated on trying to reiterate the points of the pilot in their second half hour, but thankfully, the writers of Apt 23 are confident enough in their abilities to throw us right into an origin-type episode, introducing us to Chloe’s highly dysfunctional parents (and her relationship with them) very early into the show’s run.
(note: the show does open with a recap of the pilot, so it’s not as confident as say… James Franco auditioning to be Harvey Milk’s lover.)
She does this by setting June up with her father, not fully realizing what that could do to both her family structure, and her friend’s sanity. It’s a funny twist on the common sitcom practice of introducing the families of main characters, and the always-off kilter relationships between them. By incorporating June into the family plot, we both get a lot of insight into why Chloe is a little off sometimes, and also about the values June finds important in life.
Things of course, get weird, but thankfully, doesn’t try to resolve itself and turn it into some kind of emotional family moment. It’s really just a vehicle for June to realize that the life she planned out for herself isn’t going to happen, simply because life is just too weird sometimes to plan ahead for.
In reality, the plot does remind us what the show is about, but in a subtler way than most do early in their runs – save for a couple of Chloe’s lines, including “It’s a movie, where stuff happens… clearly I have issues”. It also reminds us that the show does have a few problems, most notably, the “kooky neighbor” placeholders of Eli and Robin, the latter of which really has no reason for existence through the first hour of the series. Eli had a great little moment where he picks apart Chloe’s psyche (something not many people would be able to do, or get her to listen to), but it’s drowned out by the stupid pervert jokes before and after his one useful scene.
But as a young show, this room has time to develop its characters a bit more – I’m sure we’re going to see more of Mark (a possible love match for June?) as the show begins to gather momentum through its first season. I did think the B-plot with Van Der Beek did a good job of moving a bit beyond the whole “he can get laid because he was a teen star” star, and tap into a Party Downish type story of how sometimes having the one famous role can be annoying. Unlike Henry Pollard, James uses his to get laid, so hopefully they give him something else to do besides shtick on his own fame. It’s funny through two episodes, but won’t work forever.
All in all, a pretty solid second episode, avoiding many of the flaws comedies fall into early on. It’s not the funniest the show can be, and the secondary cast desperately needs something useful to do, but now that Chloe and June’s relationship feels a little more lived-in, there is a lot of room for this comedy to grow.
- Chloe has some great lines about nether regions: lady cave and bottom beards come to mind first.
- “We were together for 11 years… that’s 600 Nicholas Cage movies.” Enough to drive anyone insane.
- “I touched it through bike shorts,” “we dry rubbed for hours”… June’s somewhat restrained, somewhat awkward sexuality is hilarious, and she’s confident enough that it’s not the typical “I’ve only slept with one guy, so I have no sexual confidence” blonde girl on TV… let’s hope they don’t go there anytime soon.
- Who doesn’t wish they could duck behind a chubbo when they screw up?
- Indiana Jones as a professor… nailed it.
- I think the writers watch a little Community? The slo-mo and song were exactly the same as a Chang/Britta joke earlier this season. Whoopsies.
what did you think of “Daddy’s Girl”? Liking the show so far, or hating it? Feel free to leave your thoughts below!