TITLE: SAMANTHA WHO? - THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON
DVD Release Date: September 23, 2008 (ABC Studios/Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 15
Running Time: approx. 322 minutes
Total Running Time of Special Features: approx. 13 minutes (not counting commentary track)
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English language; English, Spanish & French subtitles; Closed Captioned
• Audio Commentary on “Pilot”
• 7 Deleted Scenes with Optional Intro by Creator Donald Todd
• Samantha Whoops? - Blooper Reel
The irresistible Christina Applegate is back in another sitcom that sees her character trying to find herself in ABC’s Samantha Who? A hit-and-run accident leaves Samantha Newly (Applegate) in a coma for eight days; when she wakes up she has retrograde amnesia. She begins to remember bits and pieces of her lost memory but she still needs her friends and family to remind her of key events in her life that she has forgotten...but it always comes out hilariously. Relive or discover this sitcom’s first season on DVD from ABC Studios, just in time for the second season premiere on Monday, October 13 at 9:30pm ET/PT on ABC.
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.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
Due to the strike, only 15 episodes were done this season than the normal 22. The sitcom started very strong doing 13-15 million and over a 4.5 18-49 rating. Hopefully the momentum returns this fall as people will tune in to see Christina Applegate who is recovering from breast cancer. She is 100% free! We are so glad. Anyway, some memorable episodes from the first season are, the series’ first episode, “Pilot,” wretched with amnesia after an accident, Samantha attempts to discover her life again. After being the victim of a hit and run, Sam awakens to the shock of everyone that she doesn't remember any of them, not even her parents who were standing over her bedside. In a very funny (and touching) episode, “The Wedding,” Sam attends the wedding of one of her so called friends, as a bridesmaid, only to realize that she forgot that she had been uninvited by the bride earlier. She does everything she can to try and patch things up before it's too late. In “The Restraining Order,” Sam learns that one of her ex-boyfriends has a restraining order out against her, while she is on a walk with Todd. She then wonders if her poor relationship with her father is the cause of her need for constant attention. In “The Hockey Date,” Regina sets Samantha up on a blind date with the man who is refinishing her floors. She turns to Todd for advice when she leads the guy to think she is an avid hockey fan. In “The Girlfriend,” Sam is forced to move back in with Todd and his new girlfriend, Chloe after she finds out she could face an eviction because she sublet her apartment to Todd. In “The Gallery Show,” Sam is going to Todd's photo exhibit, but doesn't want to go alone, so she asks Craig, whom she thinks is a complete stranger, to join her. Sam soon gets the hint that they've met before and things doing go smoothly. In the season finale, “The Birthday,” Samantha is beginning to think that Chloe is using the sympathy card by saying her aunt is sick, just so Todd won't break up with her like he promised Samantha. Andrea and Regina are having several disagreements over how to plan Samantha's birthday party.
Guest stars include Joy Osmanski as Tracy (Sam’s assistant), Kiele Sanchez as Chloe, Rick Hoffman as Chase Chapman, Eddie Cibrian as Kevin, Timothy Olyphant as Winston Funk, Jerry O’Connell as Craig, and William Abadie as Rene.
Packaging has a thin outer box that you can remove from the top or bottom (just like the Eli Stone set, if you have seen that). The outer box has the same cover and back as the case inside...I hate when they give us an outer thin box that is pointless. The outer box’s cover is brighter though! On the front cover we have a nice light blue background with six different fun head shots of Samantha and the show logo above that...the back cover has information on the series & set and has three screen shots from episodes and a nice full body shot Samantha in a nice yellow dress (she wears the same dress on the cover). There is also a section detailing the special features with technical specifications also. When we open the case, we have to open two buttons rather than just open it. I guess this is good, but it has some faults. Inside, on the left side we get three inserts. We get a booklet that is basically Sam’s Survival Guide! It has advice on love, life and career and is written by Sam, Andrea and Dena! It’s very colorful and funny and has a lot of nice photos. The back of the booklet lists the episodes and the bonus features. The other inserts are for ABC Studios DVDs and one for Blue-ray DVDs. Then on the right side are the discs. Disc one is on a holder of its own, and you can flip the holder like a book, and when you do you get disc two on the right panel itself. Disc one has episodes 1-8 with a nice pink background and artwork of a nice black dress on a hanger. Disc two has episodes 9-15 plus the bonus features with a nice beige background and has artwork the hockey jersey Kevin gave Sam (“Smartass” 4). There are no images on the panels itself, just a black background, strange for an ABC Studios release...but not a big deal.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menu screen is very good. It has that nice light blue background, like the set color scheme. The theme is playing in the background with nice rotating images. Before that though on disc one, we get auto trailers for DVDs of Private Practice, Ugly Betty, Grey’s Anatomy, and Dirty Sexy Money. The options are: Play All, Episode Selection, Bonus Features, Set Up, Sneak Peeks (Disc 2 only). Sneak peaks is on disc two only and has sneak peeks of Desperate Housewives S4, Brothers & Sisters S2, Miramax Films, Narnia, Wall E, and ABC promos for Ugly Betty and Samantha Who. Set Up menu takes us to a screen where we can have subtitles in English, French or Spanish and how to register your DVD. Bonus Features list the features for each disc. And Episode Selection gives us a screenshot from each episode in a rectangle with episode # and title. Each of these sub-menus has different background music from the show playing.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video is in widescreen of course and the audio is in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound...both as it should be. It looks great and sounds great, but it isn’t perfect like it would be for like Lost or something. There are chapter stops for each episode, about 4-5 stops per episode. Each episode is of course unedited and runs about 21:30, give or take a few seconds (see runtimes below). Since it is a recent series, all the music is intact.
1. Pilot (22:26)
2. The Job (21:23)
3. The Wedding (21:31)
4. The Virgin (21:31)
5. The Restraining Order (21:32)
6. The Hypnotherapist (21:31)
7. The Hockey Date (21:32)
8. The Car (21:31)
9. The Break-Up (21:26)
10: The Girlfriend (21:31)
11: The Boss (21:31)
12: The Butterflies (21:30)
13: The Gallery Show (21:31)
14: The Affair (21:14)
15: The Birthday (21:25)
The special features are not much but it is something. The first extra is on disc one, as we have an audio commentary track on the first episode “Pilot” from Christina Applegate, creator Donald Todd and executive producer Peter Traugott. This was a very fun track to listen to as Applegate is always charming. The remaining extras are on disc two. We have “Samantha Whoops?” a blooper reel running just 1:08. Strange it was that short, they should have shown full bloopers. The final extra is Deleted Scenes. We get seven deleted scenes, but that is not all! We have the option to have intros to each of these from creator Donald Todd. I recommend you turn on this and watch the intro before watching the deleted scenes. Most of the deleted scenes were removed because of time. Deleted scene runtimes are as follows: 0:38, 0:52, 1:09, 0:46, 0:20, 1:23, and 0:40. The intros for each are about anywhere between 0:20 to a 1:00 or so.
I love this show! It is very funny and was one of my favorite sitcoms of this past season. There were only three that were standouts to me, and this was one of them (the other two being Big Bang Theory and Miss Guided). This was the highest rated new sitcom and was the highest rated sitcom before the strike. This coming season we will get more than 15 episodes, and we will see what Christina Applegate and company can do. I have no doubt it will continue to deliver in quality and ratings.
As for the set itself, I’m a bit disappointed in the extras. What they had was great, well except the bloopers. They were way too short. I would have liked a featurette or two. Hopefully we will for season two as that will likely be a full season. I think the set should have been three discs rather than two, as well. At least we have the episodes, and that is what counts the most. Go out and buy this set so you can re-live, catch-up or discover this show just in time for the second season premiering Monday, October 13 at 9:30pm on ABC. I have seen the season premiere in advance and it is well done and funny. It is dancing themed and has guest stars Cybill Shepherd and Dancing with the Stars professional dancer Mark Ballas. Anyhow, buy this set first because I know you don’t have retrograde amnesia like Sam does! Don’t give me that excuse!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 2/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
-- Reviewed by pavanbadal
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