One of the most pleasant surprises for me last season was watching the first episode screener for ABC's "Don't Trust The B-- In Apartment 23." I didn't come in with high expectations, but I was howling with laughter at the irreverent universe that was created.
Told from the perspective of a small-town girl (Dreama Walker) who moves to New York, only to find she's lost her dream Wall Street job, apartment and cheating boyfriend all on the same day, she's forced to move in with an absolute insane and self-involved woman, Chloe (Krysten Ritter), in the same apartment building with Chloe's BFF James Van Der Beek, playing a warped, egocentric version of himself.
After watching the pilot, I immediately devoured the only other two episodes ABC had available and became an instant fan. If the secret to comedy really is surprise, then "Don't Trust" manages to surprise me every 30 seconds.
ABC smartly partnered the show with the equally off-the-wall "Happy Endings," a sort of 21st century "Friends" clone. It took me longer to get into this show, and I wasn't sure it would survive as a late-season replacement two years ago.
But the show not only has survived, but it has built its audience, thanks to the antics of its cast of six.
Tonight, both shows have their debut as the gang on "Happy Endings" (ABC, 9 p.m.) deals with some of the changes introduced at the end of least season -- Dave and Alex (Zachary Knighton, Elisha Cuthbert) getting back together (somewhat) while Penny (the always marvelous female comic of her generation Casey Wilson) still ponders her feelings for Dave. Meanwhile, Brad (Damon Wayans Jr.) tries to cope with unemployment and deal with his high-strung wife (Eliza Coupe), with some errant help from Max (Adam Pally).
Meanwhile, June tries to convince James Van Der Beek to take part in a "Dawson's Creek" reunion. Busy Philipps, Frankie Muniz and Mark-Paul Gosselar all have funny cameos as over-the-top versions of themselves.
TUESDAY'S BEST BETS: Fox continues to juggle its schedule to accommodate "X-Factor" after last week's screw-up. After saying it would air the entire two-hour episode, Fox changed its mind. Instead, it will run a one-hour version at 9:30 p.m. (even though the results are already known), which means it will air new episodes of "Raising Hope," "Ben & Kate" and "New Girl" from 8-9:30 p.m.
CBS' lineup of "NCIS," "NCIS: LA" and "Vegas" is all-new, as is NBC's "The Voice," "Go On," "The New Normal" and "Parenthood" from 8-11 p.m. The CW has new episodes of "Hart of Dixie" and "Emily Owens MD" from 8-10 p.m.
ABC's comedies are preceded by "Dancing With The Stars" at 8 p.m. and followed by "Private Practice," which announced it will end its run after its 13-episode season wraps up in January.
On cable, there's a new "Sons of Anarchy" (FX, 10 p.m.) Hopefully, the DVR won't cut off the last six minutes this time around.