Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Don’t Trust The B---- In Apartment 23: “Ocupado...”/“Original Bitch...”

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What a sweet way to end the show—friendship, Charo and double Luther on roller skates. Even though they’re probably not intended as such, I thought these two episode worked really well as a pair. You’ve got some common elements, like flashbacks to June’s and then Chloe’s teenage years (Dreama Walker continues to be a much more plausible teenager, though it’s fun to see that an innocent-looking teenage Chloe in pink can whip out the funny intimidation squint and a line about Steven Seagal’s ponytail.

Another repeating element is Aaron DeMayo—whom I believed June has mentioned in passing before, right? It was very sweet that he comes back as an answer in the last episode’s How Well Do You Know Your Roommate? competition, as despite her protests Chloe was clearly actually paying attention to June's jibber-jabber.

And then there's the heart of the two episodes, which is a satisfying note to end the show on. Throughout the show, there’s been several situations from June’s point of view where she actively chooses Apartment 23 and her friendship with Chloe; the plots of the last two episodes focus on Chloe choosing Apartment 23 and her friendship with June.

"Ocupado…" is charming, though I couldn’t quite buy into the central concept that Ben’s speech about bathrooms was super-sexy. though Ritter sold it with that happy little noise after prodding Ben to tell June that bathrooms are sexy in the Australian accent and the throatiness of “Get in or get out!” (June no longer bats an eyelash about being casually invited into a threesome, other than being irritated that they knocked over her prep station—nor does she care earlier when Chloe butts into the bathroom to propose giving her a Brazilian.)

Even without quite believing that bathrooms are indeed sexy or being very interested in this week's JVDB-is-shallow-and-petty subplot, I was so into the ending, which cleared the path for the next season in an unexpected way that was very reminiscent of how they put June-and-Mark (Jark? Moon?) out of the picture in “Using People…” (Not that it matters now.) I liked Ben as a character and I don’t generally approve of having people deported for personal reasons, but in a certain selfish way, tranq-gun Chloe is way more fun than “Ugh I’m jealous and conflicted about a guy!” Chloe. In the previous episode where Ben and Chloe become an item for real, I mentioned that even a long-term relationship with someone who also had a rotation felt a little off for her character. This seems to be an answer to that.

The way Chloe reclaimed herself and her freedom in the end, subverting the traditional romance narrative, felt very like their first meeting in “Love And Monsters…” Even though Ben appears to be the perfect dude for her, Chloe just… kind of doesn’t need the complication of a boyfriend at this point in her life. And the show clearly regards this as OK rather than tragic. They do this without ever setting Ben up with some obvious flaw that would disqualify him as the perfect dude for her, too. It's not a viewpoint you see represented very much, though in my experience it’s reasonably common for both men and women in their mid-20s.


And then there’s “Original Bitch…” I’m an absolute sucker for dream and fantasy sequences; give me an eerie white room, some fabulous sparkly outfits and Charo (Charo!!!) in the first 30 seconds and I’m utterly sold. At this point the in media res opening fakeouts have been getting old, but… Charo! And it’s the last episode, whatever.

The final episode spends more than half its time in either flashback, with Spirit Guide Charo, or on the dream-sequence set of The Crank (which isn’t canceled in your dreams, slut). Yay! It’s exceptionally fun, in particular roller-skating double Luther. Flashbacks to Chloe hanging out with the titular original bitch are also great both in that it’s fun to see Chloe and Trish being bitches together, especially when screaming at Eli’s predecessor Doris, and to contrast past Chloe with present Chloe.


The episode’s half silly and half sappy, as if everybody involved suspected they wouldn’t be getting a third season. (How would they have ever guessed?) All of the people in present Chloe’s dream are there because she wants them there, as Luther explains; it’s hard to imagine past Chloe caring enough about anybody but herself for her subconscious to include them in her dreams.

At the end, Chloe makes a legit decision to invest in her friendship with June (although she suffers instant regret when June gets all cheesy). It’s pretty sweet, verging on sappy; it’s not too much for me knowing it’s the last episode ever, because sad! But I wonder how I’d have experienced it differently if I’d been expecting the writers to take this situation into a third season.  It makes me wonder how the writers would have pulled off using Chloe as a more human character rather than a cartoon down the line. But it’s something I’d really liked to have seen. Oh well. Screw the B-grade gimmick—this last one gets an A. I really liked this show, and I'm bummed that its voice is no longer around.


Stray Observations:

  • “I injured myself during sex.” “Yeah you did!”
  • In America, it’s a rotation, in Australia it’s a cycle, in Canada it’s a loop.
  • Of course June has “Linger” constantly cued up. "Donald! Do not almost say God in anger!"
  • "Two number twos in a tub—I bought that DVD in Germany. Weird country!"
  • Again with props to the wardrobe department—please oh please mail me that tarantula shirt.
  • A reminder of these writers’ knack for coming up with fake corporate names: Beweave It Or Not! and Bodies Bodies Bodies Bodies.
  • A reminder of how physically funny Krysten Ritter is: Her frustrated tearing at the package for way too long.
  • In addition to Double Luther Squeaking On Roller Skates, we also got Luther’s Tense Family Dinner.
  • The last thing we see is JVDB being weird with a celebrity guest star. That’s appropriate enough, though he didn't have much super-fun stuff to do in these last two episodes. Farewell, The Beek!
  • Later, guys! It’s been fun! I’ll be back at AVC whenever Legend of Korra comes back on—if you’re into gender-roles-subverting television and are not ashamed to watch Nickelodeon cartoons as an adult, that show completely rules and I recommend it highly.