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TV Tonight: Samantha Who?

Samantha Who? has the distinction of being the only show on TV this fall with a name change imposed by Dr. Seuss. But I'm actually glad for the change, because the new name does a better job than the original Sam I Am at conveying the show's central idea: What would happen if you woke up and had no idea who you were or how you became that way?

The show's main character, Samantha Newly (Christina Applegate), finds herself in just that situation after a car crash that erased her longterm memory. Thanks to her friends and family, she begins piecing together bits of her history — and she discovers that she's actually been a pretty terrible person. Other than the fact that "Newly" is a bit overly precious a name for someone who's starting life anew, I thought the pilot was pretty OK, mostly thanks to Applegate's appealing personality and strong comic timing. The plot lines and supporting characters will have to be more interesting if it's going to earn a longtime spot on my watch list — and I can't see how the premise can last for longer than a season — but I'll check it out a few more times at least.

To watch a couple of clips from tonight's episode, which airs between Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor, just

Photo copyright 2007 ABC, Inc.

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