Writer Face-Off: Samantha Who?
Writer Face-Off: Samantha Who?
In BuddyTV's 2007 Fall TV Guide, our team disagreed vehemently on the prospects of several new shows. Please read as they cheer, bash and degrade each other and the shows. Then you can decide what you think about Gossip Girl, Samantha Who?, Viva Laughlin, and Aliens in America.

BuddyTV writer Gina Scarpa loves the new ABC comedy Samantha Who?, starring Christina Applegate as an amnesiac who must figure out a way to restart her life without any knowledge of the woman she once was. On the other hand, fellow staffer Debbie Chang did not care for it, ranking it in the bottom half of all the new TV shows.

The two met up to discuss the reasons they loved or hated this show. You can find a transcript of their conversation below. Do you agree with Gina that the show is as charming and cute as Christian Applegate? Or do you think, like Debbie, that the new comedy Cavemen has more potential? Read on to find their thoughts, then decide for yourself who is the winner.

Debbie ChangDebbie Chang: Hey Gina!

Gina Scarpa: Hey Debbie! What do you think of Samantha Who??? (That gets a double question mark, lol.)

I adore Jean smart and Melissa McCarthy. But! I can't stand Barry Watson! Can he *be* any blander? :P

Gina Scarpa Gina: See, now I like Barry Watson. I wasn't the biggest fan of him on 7th Heaven but there was part of me that hoped What About Brian would work out.

 Debbie: OMG! What about Brian was so bad!

But I like that because old Samantha just walked all over him. If he had strong character, he wouldn't have put up with it. He's gotta be a little bit of a wet blanket for the dynamics of their old relationship to have worked (or not).

 Debbie: Right, because wet blankets always make for compelling television. :) Everyone is so one-dimensional on the show. The crazy parents, the lush best friend, the dorky fat friend, the nice-guy boyfriend whom Samantha should be nice to.

Gina: OK, I'll give you that, but I feel that that can change as the season goes on. Everyone needed to be established in the 1st episode and I think the audience really got a feel for everyone.

And take the name of the main character. Samantha Newly. Geddit? Geddit? Because she has a new lease on life. It's too precious. It's like they are trying too hard to make wacky hijinx happen.

OK, I'll go with you on the last name thing. I actually thought the show was funny. Very few sitcoms amuse me (The Office is a rare one that comes to mind). I like those awkward moments like Samantha trying to kiss her boyfriend. I thought the show was charming and cute, not Emmy-worthy, but something I want to stick with. I'm a big fan of Melissa McCarthy and I think she's going to be a highlight of the show. I hate the obnoxious friend but Jennifer Esposito plays her part well. I like Christina. I liked Jesse, I loved her in Anchorman, I liked her in Sweet Charity on Broadway. She's really proven to have longevity & comedic chops. I don't think it's the funniest show out there but let's name all the sitcoms that are just god-awful. I think Samantha Who? has a chance of sticking around.

 Debbie: I actually thought Cavemen was funnier, if you can believe it.

 Gina: I wouldn't watch Cavemen if every other show was blocked from my TiVo. I refuse to watch shows based on commercial characters. Should the Verizon guy get his own show? It can be called "Can you hear me now?"

 Debbie: Yeah, but the cavemen are funny because they really are less than human! Aaaanyway, I know Samantha Who? is supposed to be a comedy, but I'm getting tired of wishy-washy and neurotic female leads who don't know what they are doing. The Office is funny (and excruciatingly awkward) because the situations are relatable. Everybody's had to deal with awkward office parties. Samantha finds herself in preciously wacky situations that wouldn't really happen. Not to say that shows that are about unrealistic situations can't be good. but, it's just too over-the-top and tries too hard. That's what I got from What About Brian. They tried too hard to make all the characters so delightfully quirky, that the result was just bland.

 Gina: I didn't think anything was really over the top. Far-fetched, yes. but I thought she played her scenes sincerely. I think the show has a great cast. They did a great job bringing in all these talented people. like i said, given your other options (i.e. Back To You) why not give Samantha Who? a chance? Some people complain TV is all reality but they're the same people who don't tune in to the new scripted shows, which is why so many get canceled. (Not you, just in general! lol)

Ehh, I'll try it out for two episodes. You win. :)

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Read the other hilarious Writer Face-Offs: Gossip Girl Viva Laughlin and Aliens in America.

(Image courtesy of ABC)