Monday, October 15, 2007

TV premiering tonight: Samantha Who?

It's been a pretty bleak few years for the sitcom, and this year is no exception. There seems to be at least one bright spot each season, and this fall's is Samantha Who?, an entertaining single-camera show with a premise that seems fairly indebted to My Name is Earl. Earl wins the lottery and learns about karma, and then tries to atone for all the bad things he's done in his life; Samantha awakes with amnesia from an eight-day coma after a car accident, and then tries to become a better person. The humor in the first episode largely stems from Samantha discovering what a mean, lying, cheating, inconsiderate person she was, and trying to remedy that while figuring out what kind of person she really is. Obviously the basic lost-memory jokes will only last for so long, but for now this is a genuinely funny show with entertaining characters (Christina Applegate is completely charming as Samantha), and it's got plenty of heart without being sappy - just like Earl when it first started. I suspect the premise might be a better fit for a feature film, but as long as the jokes keep working, I'll keep watching. ABC, Mondays, 9 :30 p.m.

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