Guest Author - Amy Ralston Young
Christina Applegate returns to network television in ABC’s newest comedy, “Samantha Who?”
The show is about a 30-year-old real estate lawyer who develops amnesia after a hit and run accident. Samantha Newly (Applegate) must now try to remember her life, her relationships, and if she really was as bad as everyone says.
Just three episodes in, it is starting to feel a little like NBC’s “My Name is Earl.” Sam was once a mean, self-centered, abusive cheat, but after being hit by a car (and not remembering those other things), she has decided to right the wrongs she once did.
Because Sam can’t remember her misdeeds though, it often lands her in humorous situations. In the third episode, Sam receives a bridesmaid’s dress from the cleaners. She can’t remember whose wedding it is for, but after finding an invitation in her room, she decides to go. When she shows up at the wedding, people start asking her, “What are you doing here?” It turns out Sam was un-invited from the nuptials after she started a betting pool on how quickly the marriage would end. Some friend she was!
In each episode, Sam finds a way to make things right, but it always leaves those closest to her (i.e. her boyfriend Todd that she used and cheated on, yet he still lives with her) wondering if this new Sam is really changed or if it’s just an act.
Applegate receives support from an outstanding cast. Jennifer Esposito brilliantly plays Sam’s best friend Andrea. The narcissistic social climber is trying her best to bring the mean Sam back. Melissa McCarthy (“Gilmore Girls”) plays Sam’s neighbor and childhood friend Dena. Although Sam has ignored her for the last 14 years or so, Dena returns to her side like a faithful puppy dog. She is one of the few who thinks the new Sam could actually stick around.
Jean Smart (“24,” “Designing Women”) plays Sam’s mother Regina. You don’t have to wonder where the old Sam got her attitude. They had not spoken in two years before the accident, but now Regina is back and Sam’s life and the details of their fight remains a mystery.
Barry Watson plays Todd, Sam’s semi-boyfriend (they broke up before the accident, but now he’s too nice to kick her out of the apartment they shared). Kevin Dunn plays Sam’s dad Howard – the opposite of Regina, and Tim Russ plays Frank, Sam’s straight-shooting doorman.
The show is actually quite charming and I for one am happy to see Christina Applegate back on television. Jean Smart is a welcome addition as well. Bottom line, if you don’t tune in at least once, you’re really missing out on great TV.
Watch it: ABC, Mondays, 9:30 p.m. EST
Stars: Christina Applegate, Jennifer Esposito, Melissa, McCarthy, Jean Smart, Barry Watson, Kevin Dunn, and Tim Russ