Samantha Who?: ABC

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"The comedy’s premise is far-fetched to the point of absurdity, and the central character is off-putting, although Christina Applegate uses all her skills to make her almost bearable." (Orlando Sun-Sentinel) "The risk is that the show will quickly turn into a running variation of a single joke. Still, for tonight at least, Applegate seems to be keeping the joke afloat. Convincing both as the terrible woman she used to be and the nicer woman she’s trying to be, Applegate holds the character together even when she’s yelping or collapsing in a dither — though in the long run, less of that would be more." (USA Today) "The talented Applegate attacks the material, thin as it is, with verve. But unfortunately her energy can’t make the jokes any fresher." (Chicago Tribune) "So Monday ABC gives us "Samantha Who?" which is not nearly as cool a title, but still a sparkling comedy that treats its viewers as - gasp! - actual grown-ups." (Newsday) "As the debut episode reaffirms, Ms. Applegate is as close to a sure thing as you can get. She’s like the Roger Federer of comedic acting: There’s seemingly no situation you can throw at her that she won’t return beautifully while making it look easy. Throw in Jean Smart as her sweetly self-centered mom, and you’ve got a doubles team for the ages. The problem is the show they’ve been stuck in, or perhaps that should be stuck with." (Dallas Morning News) "The show always seems to be on the verge of a guffaw but never risks being naughty enough to get there, leaving the viewer with a pleasant snicker-filled half-hour." (Baltimore Sun) "Poor us. Wait a minute - not poor us. We can watch "Samantha Who?" and be very mildly entertained and irritated, or we can turn our attention elsewhere. We have a number of comedy options during the week, including "The Office," "30 Rock," "How I Met Your Mother," "The Daily Show," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," and, on Oct. 25, "Scrubs." We get to walk away from "Samantha Who?" and forget all about it." (Boston Globe) "The show works because Ms. Applegate is the kind of comic actress who could never be completely believable as a goody-two-shoes. She puts a healthy ironic distance between herself and that dreaded entity, the better person her character must become. You look in her eyes, and, happily, you see a recidivist." (NY Times) "Applegate could be the show’s saving — well, "grace" would be inappropriate here, but she’d be the show’s salvation if she could play at least one of the two Samantha’s as a human being rather than a steroidal parody of sitcomics from yesteryear. Comedy depends on timing, as all the world knows, and somehow the timing seems all wrong for a new diva of ditz to be running riot across the airwaves." (Washington Post)

To see a clip from Samantha Who? check out B&C’s fall preview section.