'Don't Trust the B----' holding up so far

Wednesday, 25 April 2012 12:00 AM Written by 

apt_23_1PASADENA, Calif. -- I had my doubts that ABC's "Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23" (9:30 tonight, WTAE) could hang onto much of the "Modern Family" audience. I find the show entertaining but the humor is quite dark compared to the sunnier "Modern Family," which may lead some viewers to click off the show quickly.

But so far, "Apt. 23" is hanging in there ratings-wise.

"Don't Trust" is a funny show for a lot of reasons, but James Van Der Beeks' send-up of himself is especially amusing. But it wasn't necessarily going to be him, despite the claims of series creator/writer Nahnatchka Khan.

"I can't imagine anybody else in this part except for James," she said at an ABC press conference in January. "He is fantastic, super funny, totally gets it."

Except, she did imagine someone else in the part: Lance Bass of 'N Sync was in the initial script.

Read more after the jump. ...

beekI asked Khan about his after the press conference.

"Yes, it was [Lance Bass] in the original script. He hadn't committed to it, it was just me writing in my pajamas and I was trying to think of somebody," she said.

Regardless of how it came about, Van Der Beek is completely game to mock his image and his past. ("Dawson's Creek" references included, although those will diminish going forward.)

"I think once the residual money ran out is really when it became okay to make fun of it," Van Der Beek said at that ABC press conference. "This has been the most fun I think I've ever had doing anything.  We came up with this character. By Episode 3, I thought it bore, you know, less and less resemblance to me, which just made it even more fun."

Van Der Beek said he watched Showtime's "Episodes," which is built around Matt LeBlanc playing a version of himself, whereas in "Don't Trust," Van Der Beek is part of the ensemble.

"This character is just kind of crazy," Van Der Beek said of his same-named alter ego on "Don't Trust." "He's really sweet, but he's completely narcissistic. ... He's got so many blind spots, and so it was really fun to kind of exploit those blind spots and see what they were and just go as far as we possibly could and into the land of ridiculous but still keep it grounded somehow, which is what the writing allows us to do."

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