TV reviews: Happy Endings & Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23

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From the October 18, 2012 edition

Both “Happy Endings” and “Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23” made their premieres after ratings (and Emmys) juggernaut “Modern Family.” It was designed to give each a chance of building an audience, but “Modern Family” is completely different tonally and neither were able get big ratings.

Now “Happy Endings” and “Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23” will move to a new night and form a perfectly paired comedy hour. Both series are slightly off-kilter comedies that trade in absurd humor and offer big laughs, but in different ways.

“Happy Endings” is an ensemble about six friends trying to navigate various misadventures. Yes, this sounds like and has similarities to “Friends,” but it’s a smarter take on the pretty, young people do silly things. The cast is the main strength here — elevating occasionally over-the-top writing — and Elisha Cuthbert, Adam Pally and Casey Wilson have incredible comedic skill and timing.

“Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23” is also about young, attractive types trying to make it all work, but carries a sharper, snarkier sense of humor. When idealistic June (Dreama Walker) moves in with Chloe (Krysten Ritter), she quickly learns her roommate is awful and self-centered. Of course, each learns from the other and the odd couple finds common ground. James Van Der Beek, playing a satirical version of himself as the girls’ neighbor, is finding a career resurgence as a comedic wunderkind here.

Jumping in midway to both series is quite easy, and if audiences do they’ll be hooked to two of the funniest network comedies on air instantly.