Third-episode verdict: Samantha Who?

The Carusometer for Samantha Who?2-Partial-Caruso

So, on the one hand, I like Christina Applegate, I like chick-lit (within reason) and I like tales of redemptive amnesia. On the other, I’m not especially wowed by Samantha Who?, a Christina Applegate vehicle that mixes romance, shoe addiction, bitchy friends, a man to be re-won, female failings, female strengths and comedy.

I can’t seem to work out why that is. Despite losing some of its ‘sitcom-ness’ since the first episode, making it a better watch altogether, it’s still not grabbing me. The characters are only okay, since they’re not especially well drawn. Most of the cast are hamming it up, too. But the scripts have some good lines and the plots are pretty good, although occasionally veer towards cringe comedy when they shouldn’t.

Maybe my oestrogen level isn’t high enough, but as much as like Samantha Who? in theory, in practice, it’s just not coming together for me. It is, to quote the great Joey, ‘gentle comedy’. Nothing belly-shaking, just smile-raising.

On the other hand, it would be quite good if it considered itself a romance with comedic moments, rather than an American Bridget Jones. If it ups its game and gets funnier or more romantic, that would just be peachy, too.

At the moment though, The Medium is Not Enough declares Samantha Who? a two or ‘Partial Caruso’ on The Carusometer quality scale. A Partial Caruso corresponds to “a show with two walk-on cameos by David Caruso as the boyfriend of an amnesiac. However, the producers fire him after he claims he would never have gone out with his on-screen girlfriend because he ‘can see from her face that she’s a thinker’.”


  • I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.