TITLE: SAMANTHA WHO? - THE COMPLETE SECOND AND FINAL SEASON
DVD Release Date: August 25, 2009 (ABC Studios/Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 20
Running Time: approx. 430 minutes
Total Running Time of Special Features: approx. 19 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English language; English, Spanish & French subtitles; Closed Captioned
• 6 Deleted Scenes with Intro by Creator Donald Todd
• Set Tour with Christina Applegate
• Christina Dance Moment
• Girl Chat
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 Sam’s 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.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
This second season had 20 outstanding and hilarious episodes. Originally ABC was only going to air 17 of the 20 with three episodes that didn’t have much to do with the plot being held until season three, but then ABC canceled the show and they ended up airing after all this summer. So yes all 20 did air this season. The series started the season in its Monday at 9:30pm timeslot after Dancing with the Stars, but it didn’t return with Dancing in March as it was supposed to (ABC went with Bob Saget’s Surviving Suburbia instead). ABC tried Samantha Who? instead on Thursdays at 8:30pm paired with In the Motherhood and it didn’t work and lasted only four weeks instead of the planned six. The series was supposed to return for another season anyway, but ABC abruptly canceled it to much surprise. Finally, ABC burned off the remaining episodes this summer.
I’ll pick out my favorites of the 20 and tell you a bit about them. In the season premiere “So I Think I Can Dance,” Regina's old enemy is in a dance competition, and Regina desperately wants to beat her, but she needs Sam's help...but there is a problem. In the episode “The Pill,” desperate to regain her memory, Sam opts to join a clinical trial and starts taking pills for her memory and Sam's memories start coming back, but she doesn't like what she learns about her former self. In “Help!,” after being given community service for her altercation with a cop, Sam tries to help out Natalie (guest star Mary-Kate Olsen) a wayward young woman, despite pleas from her friends not to. In “The Amazing Racist,” Sam tries to become friends with Frank, after a real estate client spreads allegations that she's racist. In “The Dream Job,” Winston hires Sam to head his charity foundation while Samantha then hires Andrea to be her vice president of legal affairs. In the finale, “With This Ring,” on Andrea's wedding day to gay pro-basketball player Tony Dane, Sam finds herself at a crossroads and must choose between being with Winston Funk or Todd.
Guest stars include Rick Hoffman as Chase Chapman, Billy Zane as Winston Funk, Stephen Rannazzisi as Seth, James Tupper as Owen, McKinley Freeman as Tony Dane, Mark Ballas, Cybill Shepherd, Anthony Anderson, Mary-Kate Olsen, Eliza Coupe, John Taylor, Christine Ebersol, Florence Henderson, and Angie Harmon.
Packaging has a thin outer box that you can remove from the top or bottom, as we could on season one’s set. The outer box has the same cover and back as the case inside once again. The outer box’s cover is brighter than the case! On the front cover we have a nice white background with a hint of teal and black. We have six different fun head shots of Samantha like last time, but this time in a nice black dress. The show logo is in the middle. The back cover has information on the series & set and has two screen shots from episodes and a nice full body shot Samantha in a nice black dress (she wears the same dress on the cover in those fun head shots). There is also a section detailing the special features with technical specifications also. When we open the case, we get two inserts. BUT we DON’T get an episode booklet this time, which is a shame. The other inserts are for ABC Studios DVDs and one for Blu-ray DVDs. Then on the right panel we have disc one. Discs two and three are on the right panel, overlapping each other, though. I hate that. . Disc one has episodes 1-7 with a nice grey background and artwork of Sam in that black dress. Disc two has episodes 8-13 plus the bonus features with a nice blue background and has artwork of Dena. And finally disc three has episodes 14-17 plus three more Sam episodes and has a nice red background with artwork of Andrea. Last time we had no images on the panels itself, but this time we do! I guess since we don’t get an episode booklet this time, they list the episode titles per disc on the left panel. There is also nice artwork of Sam (in that black dress!) and two screenshots. The right panel lists the Bonus Features and also has five screenshots.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menu screen is very good. The theme is playing in the background with nice rotating images and clips (no voice since the theme is playing). Before that though on disc one, we get auto trailers for DVDs of ABC TV on DVD, Brothers & Sisters, Desperate Housewives, The Proposal, and Blu-ray DVD. The options are: Play All, Episode Selection, Bonus Features (Disc 2 only), Set Up, Sneak Peeks (Disc 2 only). Sneak peaks is on disc two only and has sneak peeks of stuff like Grey’s Anatomy, Scrubs, Ugly Betty, and Private Practice. 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 on disc two. And Episode Selection gives us a screenshot from each episode in a rectangle with episode # and title. On disc one, there is sort of an Easter egg in the episode selection section with a logo for ABC Starter Kit underneath the nice image of Sam. More on that in the bonus features section below. 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. There are chapter stops for each episode, about 4 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. One gripe I have is how the episodes are presented. I know those last three episodes under “More Sam” on disc three were supposed to be pushed back for a season three so these weren’t supposed to be on this DVD...but couldn’t they have rearranged the episodes to have those episodes in correct sequential order?
1. So I Think I Can Dance (21:33)
2. Out of Africa (21:23)
3. The Pill (21:33)
4. The Building (21:13)
5. Help! (21:34)
6. The-Ex (21:33)
7. The Farm (21:33)
8. The Park (21:33)
9. The Family Vacation (21:33)
10. My Best Friend’s Boyfriend (21:18)
11. The Dog (21:34)
12. The Amazing Racist (21:33)
13. The Debt (21:33)
14. The Dream Job (21:31)
15. The First Date (21:33)
16. The Other Woman (21:33)
17. With This Ring (21:33) - Finale
18. The Rock Star (21:33)
19. Todd’s Job (21:33)
20. The Sister (21:33)
The special features are a bit more than the first season. But we don’t get any audio commentaries here. Last time we got one for the Pilot. Anyway, for this set...we have an Easter egg! On disc one, as I hinted in the menu section above, on the episode selection section thee is a logo for ABC Start Kit. What is that? It is a 4:30 clip package catching viewers up on what has happened this season. The remaining extras are on disc two...the actual extras. We have six deleted scenes, but that is not all! We have intros to each of these from creator Donald Todd once again as last time. There is a 0:40 intro for these deleted scenes then we get to the deleted scenes itself, with Todd doing an intro for each. The first three deleted scenes (2:24, 1:42, and 1:59) are from the episode “Out of Africa,” which was supposed to be the season premiere, but ABC changed it. So they re-did the episode a bit and had to remove and alter a few things. The episode ended up airing as the second episode instead. The next deleted scene is from “The Family Vacation” episode running 1:32. We have a fun deleted scene from the episode “The First Date,” (runs 1:23) where Andrea is shadowed by a camera crew for a new reality show on celebrity weddings, and Dena gets her here. Finally, the last deleted scene is about Tony Dane and Andrea dieting that runs 1:23. Then we have “Bloopers” running just 0:54. They should have shown full bloopers, what is 54 seconds? This is a waste of a special feature.
Next we have a “Set Tour with Christine Applegate.” This runs 4:40 and Christina shows us the Newly Family house (filled with chickens!), while Melissa McCarthy shows us more. They should have had Melissa’s name on this feature as well since she gave us a tour, too. Then we get some insight from “Christina Dance Moment,” that runs 3:09. Donald Todd gives us details on how Christina wanted to do a dance episode and how great of a dance she is. We also see the full dance with Christina and Jean Smart in its entirety after Donald’s insight! Finally, it’s time for some “Girl Chat,” with Christina, Jennifer and Melissa! This runs 2:24 and it is a very quick question and answer feature, as the girls gives viewers tips about dating and relationships.
Christina Applegate is wonderful on this show. She has been nominated for an Emmy once again! I am sad that the show will not continue for another season. I think ABC made a mistake in not bringing it back. It could have worked very well in midseason at least with Alyssa Milano’s upcoming comedy Romantically Challenged.
As for the set itself, the special features are a tad better than season one’s set. The bloopers were too short and the omission of an episode booklet bothered me. But the most important thing...we get all 20 episodes, and that is what counts the most. I just wish they were in better order. If you have the first season DVD, then for sure get this set to complete the series in your collection. If you don’t have the first season on DVD, get it. And then get this as well. Samantha might have forgotten her past, but the present and future is bright for her. So don’t you forget that and don’t forget to buy this DVD! Samantha Who? is not a question you should be saying. Samantha Yes!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 2.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
-- Reviewed by pavanbadal
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