'Samantha Who?: The Complete Second Season'
(Christina Applegate, Jennifer Esposito, Kevin Dunn, Melissa McCarthy, et al / 3-Disc DVD / NR / 2009 / ABC)
Overview: Samantha Who? follows the life of a 30-year-old psychiatrist named Sam who has to rediscover her life, her relationships and herself after getting retrograde amnesia following a hit and run accident. After an eight day coma, she wakes up but can't remember anything about her own life. In an attempt to find out who she is (or what her life used to be), she tries to unearth clues but is hindered by her parents and friends, who seem to hae something to conceal from her. Sometimes you have to lose your mind to find yourself.
DVD Verdict: Well, before we get into this, I think the biggest mystery is why ABC did not try to make 'SAMANTHA WHO?' succeed - but seemed to do everything they could to assure that it would fail! Frankly, ABC is a mystery to me. But then again, so is how gello comes to be, so let's move on!
Without Christina Applegate playing the title role, I don't think the show would have been so refreshing and witty. Applegate is a gifted actress. After watching just the very first episode of this second season I was laughing all over again and wanting more. Applegate is amazing in this. Her acting is just so dead on making you laugh at how she exaggerates everything. Jennifer Esposito (who plays Andrea, Samantha's best, and only, friend before her memory loss) is also very funny in this, because she basically plays a friend that is always drunk/hung over and very mean!
Samantha's parents in this are just hysterical because they are the typical mom and dad that are still treating their adult daughter like a child and ignoring her opinions and driving her crazy. But Applegate was the backbone of this little show for sure. As with season one, season 2 is clever, frank, and well-written.
The episodes are shot very much like a film - a romantic comedy broken up into half hour chunks. The dialogue is quite cleverly written and delivered in the same fashion as vintage screwball comedies - fast and furious. 'Samantha Who?' is so well done it makes you wonder how the hell it got on the air on a major network like ABC in the first place? (hence now its cancelation notice, I guess!) There is such a lack of imagination on network television that a show like this is a refreshing breath of air.
The success of a smart and funny show like Ugly Betty - The Complete First Season (also on ABC) paved the way for this show and proved that sitcoms don't always have to pander to the lowest common denominator. The chemistry is evident and Jean Smart is freakin' hilarious! Too bad this show wasn't given a proper send-off but hopefully this gem will become a cult classic one day. I highly recommend it! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Christina Dance Moment
Set Tour with Christina Applegate