ABC half-hour Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 is part of the network’s “inappropriate” comedy line-up, and due to show creator Nahnatchka Khan‘s sharp wit and actors like James Van Der Beek‘s commitment, it manages to take some pretty broad concepts and keep them grounded enough to make the audience wish they could exist in reality.
Van Der Beek, who plays a diva version of himself (“Whatever kernels of a good idea came from me and my life and my work, she’ll go off and twist and warp into something even better,” he said of his fearless leader), has the toughest job to do to make what could be an over-the-top, one-note parody feel not only like a real person but a real person you want to watch week after week, even though he is so not what you dreamed Dawson Leery would be like!
But Van Der Beek shared with LA TV Insider Examiner that he would actually “absolutely” love to take his version of “James” even bigger in season two. To Van Der Beek “big” doesn’t have to imply “broad.”
“The fun thing about it is, unlike jobs I’ve had in the past, I’m not the moral center of the show,” Van Der Beek pointed out. “So I don’t need to be the audience’s access point into the emotional throughline and everything. That’s Dreama’s job! And it’s a tough job on this show to be the moral center, but she does it very well. So it affords me a really long leash to venture into bizarro land as deep as we’re going to go.”
What’s interesting about James, though, is that as “so narcissistic and self-absorbed” as he is (Van Der Beek’s words), he manages to keep two (bordering on three now) very important, long-term relationships in his life. They are platonic ones, but they are still valid and meaningful in their own ways. Perhaps James is more evolved than for which he gets credit to keep such friends around?
But that is not a revelation Van Der Beek feels James himself will be having any time soon, nor should we expect him to “mature” and suddenly find himself in any other long-term relationship.
“I don’t know that we can see this guy with a girl—with a relationship. We can see one-night stands, but right now he’s so narcissistic and self-absorbed, I don’t think a long-term relationship with anyone other than Luther could work.
Instead, in season two, Van Der Beek teased going down a new professional road with James– sort of– and getting more insight into what makes him tick through his interests that are really borderline obsessions.
“I keep him very focused and very serious about the most bizarre stuff,” he shared. “It comes across as tongue-in-cheek, but you can’t play it as tongue-in-cheek. So he’s actually very sincere, but he’s just warped. And [this year] he writes something for himself, on a bender. We’ll see how that plays out!”
Additionally, Van Der Beek wouldn’t rule out the idea that other real life past work of his could find a way to be referenced or parodied on the show– like Varsity Blues, for example. But Dawson’s Creek will continue to be a point of comedy in season two, and he considered the idea of an on-screen reunion by pointing out that he would love to work with “the entire cast” again because “they’re all really funny.”
“Josh would be great; he has a really great sense of humor; he’s hilarious,” he said specifically. “But nobody gets to [play] a bigger a**hole than me, that’s the first rule. So as long as that’s understood!”
Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 returns to ABC on October 23rd 2012 at 9:30 p.m.
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