Surprise Hits and Misses: Samantha Who?
Surprise Hits and Misses: Samantha Who?
In BuddyTV's 2007 Fall TV Guide, we scoured the new shows for this year's biggest potential hits and misses. We found the ones that you should be following and which ones will probably get canceled early. The hits include Journeyman, Kid Nation and Dirty Sexy Money while the misses are Samantha Who?, Viva Laughlin, and Nashville.

It's true, Samantha Who? has the sweetest lead-in, lead-out combo on television.  It's a well known fact that the ratings needle barely nudges between Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor, and there is only one alternative to Samantha Who?? that starts in the awkward 9:30pm slot, Rules of Engagement.  Given such a sweet setup, it's quite unlikely that Samantha Who? Will be canceled anytime soon, but it sure should be.

Yes, I realize Samantha Who?? is being treated as one of those critical water walkers, and I agree that it has the formula down pat:  much loved sitcom personality returning to television, interesting hook with the whole amnesiac thing, and whatever.  What it suffers from is the following bad recipe:  a largely unproven base of writers and producers, and a former huge star who has more experience than the whole lot of them. 

Samantha Who? may wind up being one of Applegate's biggest regrets.  The writing team will likely cower under Applegate's considerable star weight, and the show has a hook that will become circular in a hurry.

Samantha is a first class beeyotch who loses her memory and finds herself becoming a new person.  A very different person from the person she used to be.  So she sets about correcting the wrongs of her previous life.  Ho hum.  My Name is Earl meets some sitcom starring Christina Applegate.

The amnesia, quite frankly, is just going to get annoying.  Any show that invests itself in a hook with a shelf-life, as in another of this years stinkers Carpoolers, is just begging to get thrown on the slag heap.  Without Samantha recovering her memories and giving up on her good girl routine, the writers have already created a duo of best friends, one representing the good aspects of Samantha, and one the bad, with which to taunt her.

In the end though, watching a character who doesn't know who she is try to undo damage that she doesn't relate to is TV movie material for sure, mini-series no way, and long running series, not in a lifetime. Well, maybe ON lifetime, but never on ABC.

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Read about why we think Viva Laughlin and Nashville will also miss the mark this year and why Journeyman, Kid Nation and Dirty Sexy Money will be this year’s surprise hits. Comment and tell us what you think.

- Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV
(Image courtesy of ABC)