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Old 08-21-2009, 01:49 AM   #1
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Default Samantha Who? - The Complete Second and Final Season DVD REview

Christina Applegate is back for another season of Samantha Who. She is fun, flirty, and unforgettable all in an innocent way. She leaves her past behind thanks to her amnesia, but that is a good thing as she continues to find out. This season she gets a new job, a new guy or two, and a new appreciation of old Samís taste in clothes and dance moves. Relive this hilarious second (and quite unfortunate the final) season on DVD from ABC Studios.

Samantha Who? stars Christina Applegate as Samantha Newly, Jennifer Esposito as Andrea, Kevin Dunn as Howard Newly, Melissa McCarthy as Deena, Tim Russ as Frank the doorman, with Barry Watson as Todd Deepler and Jean Smart as Regina Newly.

Read our review by Pavan here:

Please post any questions or comments about the set.
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:23 PM   #2
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As a supplement to our review, here are interviews with Christina Applegate and Jean Smart!


Christina Applegate has garnered critical praise for her strength and versatility as an actress in theater, film and television. She has appeared in a string of successful movies including The Sweetest Thing, Wonderland, Surviving Christmas and Anchorman. However, it’s her role as Samantha Newly in the hit comedy Samantha Who? that has returned Christina to the spotlight.

Here, the actress reveals her thoughts on the second season of the show and her character. She also talks about being an inspiration to women around the world after her battle with breast cancer…

Is it fun to play a mean girl like Samantha Newly?
CHRISTINA APPLEGATE: It definitely is fun to play a mean girl. Samantha gets away with so much because of her confidence and the way she looks. I get very exhausted playing her because she has so many different sides to her character, but it's also very fun. I really enjoy working on the show.

How are things changing for Samantha in the second season?
CHRISTINA APPLEGATE: The first season explored the idea of someone trying to find out who she really was. We take our past, our history and our experiences with us wherever we go, but this character didn’t know anything about her life before the accident. She had a lot of exploring to do in the first season – but now she's two years old. She's had enough experiences to see what her interests are on the surface level, but we delve a little deeper in season two.

What does Samantha discover in season two?
CHRISTINA APPLEGATE: We look into how she feels about love. We also look into what kind of friendships and career she wants. There are also parts of her that are now becoming a little jaded, too. It’s a very interesting and fun season.

What happens to Samantha’s love life?
CHRISTINA APPLEGATE: During the second season, her love life is going in many different directions – but that's part of her trying to figure out who she is. She is trying to work out which person she wants and not which person is best for her because of what someone else says. Who’s that person? I don’t know. Todd is always there. There's so much comfort in her relationship with Todd, but I guess we’ll have to see what happens.

Is there any time for improvisation on set or do you always stick to the script?
CHRISTINA APPLEGATE: This depends on the writer of the episode we’re working on and how finicky they are. There's a lot more freedom to improvise when [creator and writer] Don Todd is there. Not that the others don't let you improvise – but you don't want to step on their toes because that's their work. We usually stick to the script for a couple of takes and then they allow us to do what we want to do. But in the end edit, some of our improvisations make it in, but some just don’t work.

The show is very funny… How often do you crack up and laugh in the middle of a scene?
CHRISTINA APPLEGATE: I try not to laugh. I try to stay as professional as I possibly can – but sometimes you can't help it. Melissa McCarthy [who plays Dena on the show] is a very funny person and there are things that she does that tickle me, so I've definitely been known to lose it and ruin her takes. I try not to, though.

Do you have a favorite episode?
CHRISTINA APPLEGATE: The show that was the most enjoyable for me was the episode where everything was told in a flashback. We got to see that Samantha’s not all bad, which was interesting. There was part of her that was deeply hurt and that's why she's been so mean to Todd. A lot was revealed in that episode, which is why it was one of my favorites.

Are you envious of the way Samantha can reinvent herself?
CHRISTINA APPLEGATE: Definitely. You get to say, "I wasn't there." You get away with a lot. Who wouldn’t be envious of that?

Do you think viewers of the show would like the chance to reinvent themselves?
CHRISTINA APPLEGATE: Definitely – and I honestly think you can do it if you want to do it. Scientists say that you shed your skin every day, so you are literally brand new every morning. You have the opportunity to change your life right now because the past is gone and every day is a new day. The future doesn't exist and it's only what we have right now that's tangible. Saying that, I don't think I'd want to be someone with retrograde amnesia because that's very frightening. It's a very scary place to be.

Is it your philosophy in life to live every day as it comes?
CHRISTINA APPLEGATE: I strive for that; although the past creeps its ugly head every once in a while. There's nothing we can really do about it. It defines who we are, but I try not to live from that or because of it.

You are an inspiration to many women because you are a fighter – especially when it comes to the problems you’ve faced in your private life. How does it feel to inspire other women around the world?
CHRISTINA APPLEGATE: Well, sometimes I have to be the inspirer for myself, too, which can be hard – but sometimes things happen like this. I don't believe that things happen for a reason. I don't believe in a God that would punish you and then make you have to deal with that. I think that you make reasons out of the things that happen and there were two choices that I could make in what happened to me.

What were those two choices?
CHRISTINA APPLEGATE: I could either fall and succumb to it or I could help people – and I chose the latter. We needed a younger face to a disease that is mostly connected with mothers and grandmothers – and that’s not the case. Around 25 per cent of women under the age of 45 have breast cancer. The statistic is quite high.

How important has your relationship with your mother – another survivor of breast cancer – been during this time?
CHRISTINA APPLEGATE: She's been wonderful. I don’t want to talk about this too much, but when you go through something like this, the people that you need around you the most are the ones who have been through it. As much as everybody else in my life has been fantastic, they'll never get what it feels like. They will never fully understand that.

We talk about Samantha always learning things about herself, but what have you personally learned about yourself in the last year?
CHRISTINA APPLEGATE: I've always been a ‘push-through’ kind of person and this has become more apparent to me recently. It’s in my nature. I broke my foot a couple years on Broadway and I pushed through. I never think anything is going to take me down, so it was natural for me to push through and continue working and doing what I love to do when I faced this new challenge. I’m happy I’m a ‘push-through’ kind of person – and I’ll continue to push through.



A versatile and gifted actress, Jean Smart is well known for her work in television, theater and film. She is an Emmy Award-winner with notable appearances on successful television shows including Frasier and 24. However, with the season two DVD of Samantha Who? about to be released, we chat to the actress about motherhood, second chances and her character – Regina – in the hit ABC comedy…

Why did you sign up for Samantha Who?
JEAN SMART: After working on 24 for a year, I thought it would be fun to get back to a comedy for a while. I thought that Samantha Who? was so cleverly written and I was a fan of Christina Applegate, so it seemed like the ideal project for me.

How would you describe your character in the show?
JEAN SMART: I play Samantha’s mother and she is a wonderfully self-obsessed character. It’s so fun to play someone who does not live the Zen of life at all. It's very interesting because you meet people like her sometimes and they just don't think in the same way as other people. They don't examine themselves at all. They don't question their motives ever – and it’s almost like there's something missing from them. They don't mean to be selfish; that’s just the way they are. That’s just the way they're wired.

What kind of mother is Regina?
JEAN SMART: Well, my character has been given this great second chance to be the mother that she thinks she should be. She’s having a second go in trying to wipe the slate clean from her past and she’s trying to be the mother of the year. She's just a little hammer-handed.

Do you believe in second chances?
JEAN SMART: I do – and I think that's one reason why the show appeals to people. We all fantasize about a relationship we'd like to do over or something we'd like to change about our past. I think there are a lot more opportunities for second chances in our lives than we think.

What makes you say that?
JEAN SMART: I think that people get to a certain point in their life and they think that nothing can change. They think, ‘Well, this is the way my life is. I don't particularly like it, but I can’t do anything about it.’ Personally, I think life offers us the opportunity to take chances and make changes all the time. These chances scare us and people think, ‘I can't do that.’ Or they think, ‘My life is too settled and that would be too disruptive.’ But everyone’s got the opportunity to make these changes. I'm not talking about dumping your wife and running off with an 18-year-old. No, I’m not saying anything like that – but I don’t think it’s too late to change certain things in your life, such as your career and your relationships.

Is there anything you’d like a second chance with?
JEAN SMART: I was thinking about this the other day. My husband and I don't eat dinner together with my son very much anymore. We used to eat together all the time – especially when my son was little – and it was very important to me because that’s the way I grew up. I always used to enjoy the evening meal where I could listen to my parents talk about something they’d read in the papers or hear about anything from their day. So last night, I forced my husband and my son to sit down and have dinner – and it was nice. I just thought to myself, ‘Darn it, we're just going to do that again.’ It’s a tiny thing, but people get stuck in their ways and they think that's just the way it is. They think that nothing can change, but things can always change.

How does your outlook on motherhood compare with your character’s?
JEAN SMART: I hope it’s not too similar to Regina’s past mothering skills. I have a wonderful relationship with my son. When he was little, he liked to cook with me and he would go to antique stores with me – but now he's 19 years old and he doesn't want to do any of that. It breaks my heart. He was 11 or 12 the first time he said he didn’t want to go to the store with me and I remember feeling so crushed. A daughter would probably say yes, but not a son. He still holds my hand sometimes – when nobody is looking. We have little arguments every now and then, but we have a great relationship. It’s funny. He's 6'3" now, so I have to look up at him if I want to yell at him. He’s still very cuddly, which is nice.

How does it feel to have a daughter on screen?
JEAN SMART: It's very nice. I feel very maternal towards Christina, which is lovely for me. In fact, I called her ‘mini-me’ one time.

How did she feel about being called ‘mini-me’?
JEAN SMART: I'm not sure. I'll have to try it one more time and see what she does. It's funny because Christina and I are very, very different in a lot of ways, but we have some very similar things in our life experiences that we share.

Does Christina ask you for advice?
JEAN SMART: She does. For example, the other day she asked me for advice about a business thing. I hope I give her good advice. I’m always there with advice for her if she needs it.

How does the mother-daughter relationship change in the second season of the show?
JEAN SMART: We start to work together, which is a lot of fun. This season, I wanted to make sure that our relationship doesn't get too healthy too soon. I had to keep nudging the writers on that one. It was like when my character on 24 went off her pills. I started to say to the writers, “She's not as much fun off the pills.” They said, “You're right. Let's get her back on the meds.” It sometimes works when you nudge them lightly.

Do you enjoy playing characters with addictions? Your character in Samantha Who? boozes a lot and in 24 you were popping pills…
JEAN SMART: It can be a lot of fun to play these roles, but I certainly hope I don't get typecast in this way. That would be rather limiting. But yes, it's always fun to have these props. And I do like a glass of wine every now and then.

Before we go, can we ask what it’s like to work with Tim Russ [who plays Frank in the show]?
JEAN SMART: Tim Russ is hilarious. I actually did a movie with him years ago, but I hadn’t seen him in 20 years so it was really fun to get together again. We did a movie with Virginia Madison called Fire With Fire where I played a nun and Tim played the local deputy – and we got along really well.

What do you think of his character, Frank the doorman?
JEAN SMART: I pitched an idea to the producers of Samantha Who?, which we might see happen towards the end of the second season. I want to see Regina look at Frank as a bit of a challenge, but a good source of information about her daughter – so I think she should always be trying to wheedle stuff out of him. I hope to see her come by the apartment building and bring him treats or try to trick him into telling her something, but constantly being foiled because he's so inscrutable. I hope it makes it into the show.
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