Chloe looks like a dissolute runway Cleopatra. Unfortunately for June, she's also a heartless and ruthless pathological liar - one who makes the Borgias look like the Waltons.
This isn't The Odd Couple, folks. It's more like the Betty-Veronica dynamic from the Archie comic books - if, that is, Veronica were a savagely cynical scam artist.
It's also quick, quippy, and quite funny. It has an antic, absurdist sense of humor that recalls Better Off Ted, a promising spring replacement show from three years ago that never found an audience. Just so you can't say I didn't warn you, it's also blatantly risqué, as are many of the female-based sitcoms this season.
Don't Trust, however, has an extraordinary secret weapon. In a slick casting stunt, the comedy features James van der Beek playing a rather jaded version of himself as Chloe's best friend. The running gag is that the public still excitedly remembers van der Beek from Dawson's Creek, the late '90s teen melodrama that launched the WB network - and Katie Holmes. (One of Chloe's sardonic nicknames for him is "the Beek from the Creek.")
But van der Beek is sick of being an eternal teen idol. He wants to be taken as a serious actor. So he has a habit of launching into stories that reveal just how marginal his career has become, as in "I was in Vietnam, shooting an energy drink commercial. ..."
Van der Beek's role? Genius. But the show also offers a fresh take on the clash between an eternal optimist and an unrepentant pessimist. It just needs to avoid an early tendency toward the sitcom crutch of moralizing. That way lies sappiness.
Be sure to watch Wednesday's crackerjack pilot. It's nearly note-perfect. Don't Trust the B- in Apt 23 may never be that riotous again because in subsequent episodes it has to pull Chloe back from pure-evil mode. Otherwise, June would run screaming from the building. But Chloe is left with plenty enough venom to stop you in your tracks.
Contact David Hiltbrand at 215-854-4552 or email@example.com, or follow on Twitter @daveondemand_tv. Read his blog, "Dave on Demand," at www.philly.com/dod.
Television?Don't Trust the B- in Apt 23?9:30 p.m. Wednesday on 6ABC