“He called you boring? That’s, like, the worst thing you can say to someone.” Chloe’s got that right. The fourth episode of Don’t Trust The B---- In Apartment 23 was finished long before a good number of viewers declared June unsalvageably boring, but it feels almost as if the writers anticipated the complaints and made “The Wedding” as a response.
In “The Wedding… ,” the roommates cross-pollinate their most defining traits as Chloe tutors June on how to be confident (or cool, or mean, whichever), then gets upset and outraged when June picks it up a little too well. So it’s opposite day, with Dreama Walker getting to toss off a dead-eyed “whatever” that made my inner 14-year-old wither up and Krysten Ritter throwing about a billion discrete outraged facial expressions (all very funny). We’ll see next episode whether this is a progression of the characters, or whether Chloe will revert to being a negligent/homicidal maniac and June to yelling “What is WRONG with you?!” all the time.
But here, June is likeable, and funny. Her behavior in this episode suggests that she’s getting acclimated to the weirdness of her living space and new friends — her reaction to opening the door to find Robin creepily standing there with Chloe’s mail is now a mere eye-rolling “Oh, hi,” and she’s similarly blasé when JVDB emerges from behind the coat racks after performing his duty as a freebie with her friend the bride. She’s also picked up some of Chloe’s self-centered nature here, as bringing a novelty celebrity date to a wedding is the equivalent of showing up in a red sequined dress cut down to your navel. It helps with June’s likeability that Walker kills it at playing adorable happy-drunk — her delight over complimentary magnets and huge shrimp is incredibly endearing.
The characters’ interactions are more fun and interesting when they’re recognizable human beings instead of titans of Fun and Unfun pitted against one another. Chloe seems (slightly) more like a real person here—June seems to be having as much of an effect on the dark-haired beauty and self-proclaimed California Raisin heiress as vice versa. Chloe’s cool-mentoring of June is legitimately sweet, particularly in her pleased squeal when June masters dancing with two dudes at once (a funny sequence) and her grinning “That little hooker!” when she realizes June’s stayed out late. Her worry about being displaced is also well done: When you consider the many other less interesting ways Ritter could have played lines like “But we’re going to Derek Jeter’s barbecue; I was going to convince him to leave his girlfriend for, like, 20 minutes” or “HOW DARE YOU TALK ABOUT ME LIKE I’M NOT HERE,” it’s even more impressive how much weird, freak-out emotion she packs in there.
You’d expect this to end with June realizing that she can’t be New June, she has to be herself. But it doesn’t, and yay! First, she, Chloe, and JVDB stage a huge, ridiculous scene at the wedding, then saunter out without seeming to feel bad about interrupting both Kevin Sorbo’s heartfelt speech about MS and someone else’s wedding. Then, in the tag, the three of them are back cuddled up on the couch with weird blue drinks watching JVDB’s supposed performance in a Guy Ritchie movie. The three leads seem to be coming together now that June and JVDB have become friends, which is promising. I’d like to see some more of that rather than more Old June.
- Speaking of, those Guy Ritchie parodies are just golden.
- Guest star Kevin Sorbo plays it almost completely straight as the celebrity with the most credulous publicist in New York. He’s gloriously earnest about his poor Aunt Bonnie, whose death has inspired him to speak out about MS. He even has a button with her face on it for you. Poor Kevin Sorbo.
- Eli’s back, and he looks… thinner? Better looking? Less creepy? Maybe it’s just because we finally get to see his legs. (And he’s wearing pants, too.) His expositional therapist-esque “let me tell you what you’re feeling” speech is annoyingly lazy or patronizing on the part of the writers, but Eli does immediately redeem himself by making a very funny face when Kevin Sorbo catches on that he’s at a wedding, not a fundraiser, and gets still more points for quickly cutting off June’s cringe-inducing stab at “You Oughta Know.” (And also for officially recognizing the moniker “JVDB.”)
- Robin’s stalker shtick gets older and older with every episode. Oddly, Liza Lapira just looks cuter and cuter.
- “Oh, is my tambo bothering you?” Can’t quite decide whether I like that line or not, but it’s kind of stuck in my head.
- Someone clearly needed to crank up the pickup volume on the Stevie Nicks stand-in’s autoharp. I was weirdly mad at not being able to hear it until their last song.
- “New June isn’t even wearing a bra! Just those weird cups that stick on with tape!”
- JVDB’s acting warmup is doing Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon.
- “Oh don’t bother, I already ate all the pills under the couch.”
- Being a freebie is the greatest responsibility that comes with being a celebrity.
- The groom only had that one line, but the blazing Peri Gilpin lust in “She’s so… dry” (his own freebie) was fantastic.
- Today’s Thing Not To Trust In Apartment 23: Bacon.