“Samantha Who?”

Samantha Who? Season One
ABC Studios/ Donald Todd Productions/ Brillstein Entertainment
Starring Christina Applegate, Barry Watson, Jean Smart, Kevin Dunn, and Jennifer Esposito
322 minutes (15 episodes on 2 discs)

The cast of "Samantha Who?"
The cast of

Remember Kelly Bundy from Married…with Children? She was the quintessential clueless-airhead-slut daughter of Al and Peg Bundy for eleven seasons on FOX. Played hilariously by Christina Applegate, Applegate returns to TV again (yes, I know about Jesse, but let’s not talk about that) in Samantha Who? And, I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but, my mother was right! It’s a cute and funny show.

After eights days in a coma following a car accident, Samantha Newly awakes only to discover that she has retrograde amnesia. She has no clue who her parents, boyfriend, or friends are; and worst of all, she has no real clue who she is or once was.

And so begins Samantha’s journey or re-discovery. The problem is, she doesn’t like what she finds out about her past when she does recall something or is told by someone about how she used to be. Samantha comes to the realization that she has the chance to change who she is now that she knows who she was.

Taking a clichéd sitcom situation (character loses memory, hilarity ensues), and stretching over the course of a series is a risky idea. But in the case of Samantha Who? It works. Primarily because we only get small flashes of how she used to be, so our interest and curiosity is on the same level as the main character: she finds out as we find out.

We like the amnesiac Samantha. Her life prior to the coma was dysfunctional, erratic, and filled with self-centeredness. Samantha desires a change to these things, even if it means attempting to re-connect with those she screwed over before the accident, coma, and amnesia.

Jean Smart (Designing Women, Frasier) and Kevin Dunn (Tranformers, Vicky Christina Barcelona) play Samantha’s quirky and overbearing parents Regina and Howard to great comic effect. It becomes quite clear from the get-go why Samantha hadn’t spoken to her mom in two years before the accident. Mom is nuts!

Barry Watson and Christina Applegate
Barry Watson and Christina Applegate

Barry Watson (7th Heaven) is delightful as the befuddled ex-boyfriend, Todd, who can’t seem to get the new version of Samantha out of his life no matter how hard he tries. Hell, she moves in with him, he kicks her out, and she still comes by to hang out with him.

Jennifer Esposito (Spin City) plays Samantha’s party-girl best friend Andrea. She wants desperately for Samantha to return to her old self, which includes Samantha as an alcoholic, having an affair with a married man, and being a total bitch. Aren’t best friends awesome!

Each episode moves Samantha one step closer to discovering who she used to be and in the process her attempting to change herself for the better. It’s a fun, silly, and, yes, cute, show.
Special features include a Blooper Reel, Deleted Scenes, and Audio Commentary on selected episodes.

Samantha Who? Season One gets an A. Gotta love Christina Applegate!

SEASON PREMIERE NOTICE: Season Two begins Monday, October 6 at 9:30pm on ABC. Please, I beg you to watch this instead of the abysmal Worst Week on CBS. You have been warned.

To watch Season One online on the ABC website, click on this link: ABC.com.

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