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Samantha Who?: The Complete Second and Final Season DVD Review

Samantha Who?: The Complete Second and Final Season

September 2, 2009

Director: Beth McCarthy Miller, Lee Shallat Chemel,
Starring: Christina Applegate, Jean Smart, Jennifer Esposito, Kevin Dunn, Melissa McCarthy, Barry Watson, Tim Russ,

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DVD Review

Sometimes life isn’t fair. How can a clever, genuinely funny show like Samantha Who? get canceled after only two seasons and yet a pedestrian sitcom like Two and a Half Men is still on the air after six years? The show was highly rated during its first season but its ratings slipped in the second season and it was moved from Monday to Thursday nights where it continued to flounder. Despite enthusiastic reviews, the show failed to garner enough fan support to save it and it was canceled over budget cuts by the network.

To quickly recap, Samantha (Applegate) suffers from retrograde amnesia after accidentally being hit by a car. She used to be a bad person but the accident has wiped the slate clean and now she’s trying to be a good person. Over the course of the first season, Sam started to realize just how bad she was before the accident. She goes through a series of bad relationships but she still has feelings for her ex-boyfriend Todd (Watson), who just so happens to be her roommate.

The second season begins with Sam moving back into her own place after staying with her folks for a year after the accident. Cybill Shepherd guest stars in the first episode as the rival of Sam’s mom (Smart) and who are competing against each other in a dance contest. The wrinkle is that Sam is going to be her dance partner – only she has forgotten how to do it and must relearn. Much of the comedy in this episode is derived from Sam trying to remember how to dance with her mom as her teacher but it is really an excuse for the two women to reconnect.

Jennifer Esposito is quite funny as Andrea, Sam’s sarcastic best friend and link to her party girl past. She is always ready with a bitter put-down and is brutally honest with everyone. There’s an episode where she tries to overcome her habit of taking a horrendous photograph which is hilarious, especially once Dena (McCarthy), Sam’s other best friend, tries to help her. In another episode, Sam tries to help Andrea’s relationship with her boyfriend and, in the process, redeem her previous behaviour of sabotaging her best friend’s love life, but does so in her usual awkward, yet endearing way.

Sam finally gets a job giving money to charities with Billy Zane playing her extremely wealthy boss who has feelings for her even though she’s trying to rekindle her romantic feelings for Todd. This season is all about the problems Sam, Dena and Andrea have with various romantic relationships and how the have to figure out who they really love. The experience of watching this season, knowing that it’s the last one is a bittersweet experience and sadly Samantha Who? will join Christina Applegate’s other sitcom Jesse, as a clever show that was canceled before its time.

Special Features:

There are deleted scenes for seven episodes with introductions by executive producer Donald Todd. He puts the footage in context within a specific episode and explains why it was cut.

There is a brief montage of bloopers that are disappointing in the sense that they aren’t all that funny.

“Christina Dance Moment” takes a look at the entire dance sequence from the episode where Sam and her mom compete in a dance contest. Applegate, who is an excellent dancer in real life, had to pretend that she was lousy at it.

Finally, there is “Girl Chat” where Jennifer Esposito, Christina Applegate and Melissa McCarthy answers a few questions and basically joke and goof around with each other.

J.D. is a freelance writer who is currently doing research for a book on the films of Michael Mann. He likes reading anything written by Jack Kerouac, James Ellroy, J.D. Salinger, Harlan Ellison or Thomas Pynchon. J.D. is currently addicted to the T.V. series 24 and enjoys drinking a lot of Sprite. This is not a blatant plug for the beverage but if they ever decided to give him a lifetime supply he certainly wouldn’t turn them down.
view all DVD reviews by JD Lafrance

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Rating: 83%

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