Amnesia is one of the most overused plot devices in television, but actress Christina Applegate saw no problem with it when she signed up for Samantha Who?, a new comedy series about an amnesiac woman who is trying her best to make up for her past wrongdoings.

“I wasn’t afraid of it,” Applegate told Contra Costa Times, after explaining that at the time they were preparing to film the pilot, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and Desperate Housewives were also dabbling with storylines that featured amnesia.  “The way we’ve approached it is with sensitivity to the condition itself, while acknowledging that there is a slew of funny and interesting things you can pull out of it.”

Funny is the right word to describe Samantha Who?, which follows Applegate’s Samantha Newly as she uses her second chance at life to become a better person.  The show’s concept is similar to that of NBC’s My Name is Earl, which features a character who is trying to make amends with the people he wronged in the past.

“We’re both, in a way, trying to show that you can start over, that it’s never too late, Applegate said.  “Today is a new day.  I think we all wish we could take back some of the things we’ve done in our lives.  That dynamic is very relatable.”

However, even if the show is mainly about “starting over,” Applegate still gets the chance to take on a more evil persona, as the series often features flashbacks to when Samantha was still her old self.

“It’s a blast,” Applegate said of playing old Samantha.  “I’ve never gotten to play a character with no self-editing system whatsoever – a woman who is so incredibly self-involved.  I noticed recently on the set that, when I slipped into her wig and took on her personality, I was extremely relaxed.  She’s not a tense person.  She isn’t dealing with any inner struggle.”

While Old Samantha may be the most “self-involved” character Applegate has played, the 36-year-old actress has taken other not-so-ideal personas in the past, most famously Kelly Bundy on the FOX comedy series, Married… with Children.

When asked if she thinks Kelly and Old Sam would get along, Christina Applegate said not a chance.

“The old Sam would chew Kelly up and spit her out,” she said.  “She’s a very smart and very cunning woman.  She doesn’t want to be around anyone who can compete with her or share the spotlight.  So I think she’d outsmart Kelly and outdo her and ultimately squash her.”

Samantha Who?
airs Monday nights at 9/8c on ABC.

-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: Contra Costa Times
(Image Courtesy of ABC)


Staff Columnist, BuddyTV