Monday, October 15, 2007

Applegate Who? or How I prefer 'Bad Sam'

Monday 9:30pm
Samantha Who? (ABC)
Continuing my devotion to writing up short and helpful reviews of new fall shows (really, just a way to past time here...) I watched ABC's new comedy 'Samantha Who?'
Before I say anything more I'll just say this: I like Christina Applegate. I loved her in Married with Children, loved her emmy-winning turn for arguably one of Friends' best episodes ever! (The One With Rache's Other Sister) and she is one of those actresses that just makes me smile whenever I see her in anything (be it a Will Ferrel movie, or a Cameron Diaz comedy, a Gwyneth (crashing) vehicle...) cause she seems so genuinely funny - the kind of actress I'd invite for drinks cause I know we'd have a good time.
And yet, I can see her struggling in this: it sounds like a good enough premise - 'bad' Sam loses her memory and is now finding out who she is and wanting to make better to choices (like tell her boyfriend she was cheating on him, and apparently, moving in with her parents...). And true enough that does offer some moments of laughter - her antics during an AA meeting are actually a highlight of the episode even if it is a bit over the top. But Applegate is better when she's by herself and works the comedy alone. And I say struggling because the entire episode kept trying to find humour in the situation more than in Sam herself, so that by the end of the episode her mom and dad had already annoyed me, her best friend had irritated, her 'lover' struck me as sleazy and I was left with only two characters (other than Sam) that I wish I had seen more of: the hottie Barry Watson from 7th Heaven fame as the boyfriend, and Melissa McCarthy of Gilmore Girls fame as her estranged 'school' friend who lies her way back into Sam's life: "We stopped being friends when you became more popular and I became less and less... and less" she tells Sam [this may just mean I have a soft spot for WB alumni...]
But yes, over all quite disappointing. In a way it left me wanting to see what a sitcom with just 'Bad Sam' could be like - the flashback to the coffee place where Sam and Todd meet was also a highlight - who doesn't like Christina Applegate playing bitchy? I know I'm not alone when I say 'Bring on the bad Sam!'

Favourite part of the show:

Todd in a biker jacket.

"I know you're in a hurry to get to work, but your street corner will still be there when you get there!" - our first glimpse at the 'bad Sam' underneath 'good Sam'

"If people could still change, would you still be you?" I don't know Ms Jennifer [I still know what you did last summer] Esposito... I don't know, would you?

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