Created By: Donald Todd, Cecelia Ahern
Starring:Christina Applegate, Jean Smart, Kevin Dunn, Jennifer Esposito, Barry Watson, Melissa McCarthy
Well the worlds most attractive amnesiac is back for a second and final season. It’s been a year since Samantha Newly woke up from a coma with retrograde amnesia. Last year she quit her job, made new friends and discovered just what a bitch she had been pre-coma.
A year ago Samantha, Christina Applegate, was hit by a car and ended up with amnesia. Helping her recover are her parents played by Jean Smart and Kevin Dunn Also giving her a hand is her old friend Andrea, Jennifer Esposito, who just wants her old Sam back, Dena, played Melissa McCarthy, her childhood friend who just wants a friend period and her boyfriend Todd, Barry Watson, who broke up with her right before she got hit by the car. Samantha spent the first season rediscovering herself with the help of her family and friends. Mostly she discovered she was not a nice person.
The second season Samantha continues to rebuild her life. By now she’s comfortable with the gaps in her memory. Nine out of ten of the memories that float to the surface by now are just reminders of what a shallow, cruel, narcissistic bitch she was. Emphasis on was, that’s all in the past. Samantha is genuinely trying to be a better person and has a new if a bit vague mission to help people, which provides plot points for several episodes. Along the way Sam ends up trying to help out a young girl starting down the wrong path that she meets while serving community service, gets a park named after her and ends up running a multi million dollar foundation and even then finds out that it’s not that easy to actually make a difference. As far as her love life goes she gets her heart broken several times and ends up dumping the perfect guy all while Todd is still living in her apartment with her. Will their paths line up and they live happily ever after or is it just not meant to be? Well you’ll just have to watch to find out. The other characters get their little arcs as well. Will Andrea marry the gay guy or fall for the guy that loves her for who she is? Will Dena and Chase stay together? Will Sam’s Mother and Father decide how to spend their time after Sam’s Father retires. Again the end of the series gave the writers freedom to wrap things up like they never would have been able to if the show would have continued.
The cast is wonderful. Jean Smart and Kevin Dunn are wonderful together as Sam’s parents. Jennifer Esposito is as beautiful and funny as ever. The evolution of the friendship between Dena and Andrea is a lot of fun to watch unfold over the season. The writing is sharp and witty and the show has a heart. It really is a bit of a shame that this show got the ax.
The video is presented in wide screen format and the show is shot more like a drama than a sitcom. The lighting is more dramatic with more range than what you would expect in a typical sitcom and it looks good. The blacks are nice and black and there is just a little bit of grain in the darkest scenes. I never noticed any defects or artifacts beyond a little bit of aliasing, with no blooming or moire.
The audio is Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound in English only. There are subtitles in English, French and Spanish. The levels are good with no distortion. The dialog is always clear the score is nice and bouncy and best of all there is no laugh track.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
The DVD comes in the standard Amaray case with a cardboard slipcase. The artwork mimics a set of proof shots of Christina Applegate, basically a variation of the floating head cliché but who can complain about a bunch of glamour shots of Christina Applegate. The menus are a little busy but still easily navigable. The bonus features are a little sparse. There are some deleted scenes, some bloopers, a tour of the set hosted by Christina Applegate and a short interview with Christina, Melissa and Jennifer about their characters. There are three extra episodes on the last disc that don’t really fit in the time line. I don’t know if they are unaired episodes or to count them as extras or what. I short interview with a producer or writer explaining where they fit in and whether the show ended the way they wanted or if they had plans for it continuing would have been nice. There is at least a short recap of the show at the beginning of the first disc to catch you up if you haven’t seen the first season, but having seen the first season even this was slightly confusing as it included things that happen in the second season.
This is a fun show, at least half of the cast is beautiful and the other half is entertaining. If your a fan of the show the fact that this is the final season is a bit of a downer, but it does provide a more satisfying climax to the end of the season than normal.
Overall (Not an Average) 7/10
The Show 7/10
The Video 8/10
The Audio 7/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 6/10
Overall (Not an Average) 7/10