25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: ALVIN AND CHIPMUNKS: THE SQUEAKQUEL

CAST

Jason Lee (Dogma)
David Cross (Scary Movie 2)
Zachary Levi (Chuck)
Justin Long (Jeepers Creepers)
Matthew Gray Gubler (500 Days of Summer)
Jesse McCartney (Chernobyl Diaries)
Anna Faris (Mom)
Christina Applegate (Bad Moms)
Amy Poehler (Inside Out)
Wendie Malick (American Housewife)
Anjelah Johnson (Marmaduke)
Kathryn Joosten (Desperate Housewives)
Kevin Schmidt (The Butterfly Effect)
Chris Warren Jr. (Men of Honor)
Bridgit Mendler (Muppets Most wanted)
Brando Eaton (American Sniper)
Alexandra Shipp (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Gregg Binkley (My Name Is Earl)
Sean Astin (The Goonies)
Brittany Anne Pirtle (Power Rangers Samurai)

Christina Applegate, Anna Faris, and Amy Poehler in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009)During a benefit concert in Paris, France, David Seville is injured from a backstage accident. Having to recuperate there, Dave asks his aunt, Jackie, to look after the Chipmunks, Alvin, Simon, and Theodore. Arrangements are also made for them to go to school at West Eastman High School. After Jackie also has an accident, the Chipmunks are left in the care of Toby, Jackie’s grandson. Meanwhile, Ian Hawke, who is broke and destitute, lives in the basement of JETT Records. Three singing female chipmunks, Brittany, Jeanette, and Eleanor, also known as The Chipettes, emerge from a FedEx packagee. Ian recruits and hires the Chipettes in an effort to resurrect his career.Justin Long, Jesse McCartney, and Matthew Gray Gubler in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009)While at school, the Chipmunks are ridiculed by jocks, who threaten to kill them for drawing their girls’ attention away from them. They chase the Chipmunks around the school and give Simon a swirlie in a toilet. They visit the principal’s office, only to discover that the principal, Dr. Rubin is a huge fan, and enlists their help to raise money for a music program by participating in a contest. Meanwhile, Ian is shocked to find the Chipmunks on the front page of his newspaper. After he reads a story about them, he quickly sends the Chipettes to school.Justin Long, Kevin G. Schmidt, Chris Warren, and Bridgit Mendler in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009)When the Chipmunks meet the Chipettes, a rivalry forms after the former group learns that the latter group are with Ian: with both groups wanting to compete in the Battle of the Bands, Dr. Rubin sets up a concert for them to compete in with the winners representing the school. Meanwhile, Alvin becomes popular with the jocks and joins the football team, not realizing that the next game is during the concert. At the concert, Theodore and Simon tell the fans that Alvin failed to show up, and that they cannot perform, leading to a victory for the Chipettes. When Alvin finally shows up after the concert is over, he finds the auditorium empty, and Brittany calls him out for his lack of responsibility. Alvin then returns home and attempts to apologize to his brothers, but is ignored. Theodore runs away the next day, until Alvin and Simon save him from an eagle, leading to the three making up.Christina Applegate, Anna Faris, and Amy Poehler in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009)Soon, the Chipettes are hired, but learn that the concert at which they are to perform as an opening act for a Britney Spears concert at the Staples Center is on the same night as the school contest. Ian convinces them to call off the battle and perform at the concert, but refuses to give the same credit to Jeanette and Eleanor that he gives Brittany. She demands that they all perform together or not at all, until Ian threatens to send them to a barbecue restaurant unless they perform. Before the Battle of the Bands, Alvin receives a call from the Chipettes, who tell him that Ian has locked them in a cage, so Alvin races off to rescue them while Simon tells Jeanette how to open the cage over the cell phone. Simon and Theodore are on the verge of going out to perform until the others arrive just in time to perform at the contest. The Chipmunks and the Chipettes perform together and receive the money for the music program. Dave, who had left the hospital upon learning that Toby was looking after the Chipmunks, returns during the contest, happy to see the Chipmunks again. Meanwhile, Ian is further exposed at the concert of Staples Center he set up for the girls when he attempts to imitate them, only for him to be taken away by security guards. After the contest, Dave allows the Chipettes to stay with them.maxresdefaultIn the mid-credits scene, Dr. Rubin has the jocks scrape the gum off from under the bleachers in the gymnasium as punishment for making Alvin late for the show. In the post-credits scene, Ian is thrown into a dumpster.Alvin-and-the-Chipmunks-The-Squeakquel-starts-off-strongThe film is very cute, funny, and entertaining all the way through. The female-counterpart “Chipettes” add something new, but don’t take away from the Chipmunks. Zachary Levi and David Cross are charming and amusing in their respective roles. If you liked the first movie, then you will be entertained by the “squeakquel.”

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: THE BOOK OF LIFE

Starring

Diego Luna (Rogue One)
Zoe Saldana (Avatar)
Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street)
Ice Cube (Ride Along)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Kate del Castillo (No Good Deed)
Christina Applegate (Bad Moms)
Héctor Elizondo (The Princess Diaries)
Ana de la Reguera (Goliath)
Danny Trejo (Machete)
Grey Griffin (Danny Phantom)
Carlos Alazraqui (Family Guy)
Cheech Marin (Coco)
Miguel Sandoval (Oculus)

Christina Applegate in The Book of Life (2014)Mary Beth, a museum tour guide, takes a group of school detention students on a secret museum tour, telling them, with wooden figures, the story of a Mexican town called San Angel from the Book of Life, holding every story in the world.Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, and Channing Tatum in The Book of Life (2014)On the Day of the Dead, La Muerte, ruler of the Land of the Remembered, and Xibalba, ruler of the Land of the Forgotten, see Manolo Sánchez and Joaquín Mondragon competing over María Posada. They strike a wager: if María marries Manolo, Xibalba will no longer interfere in mortal affairs, but if she marries Joaquín, La Muerte and Xibalba will swap realms. However, Xibalba cheats by giving Joaquín his Medal of Everlasting Life, which grants the wearer invincibility.Ron Perlman and Kate del Castillo in The Book of Life (2014)Years later, Joaquín has become a hero with the Medal’s aid, but Manolo’s musical aspirations are suppressed by his father Carlos, who trains him to be a bullfighter in their family tradition. At Manolo’s first bullfight he defeats the bull but refuses to kill it, dismaying Carlos and the crowd but impressing María. That night, María is pressured by her father and mayor, General Ramiro Posada, to marry Joaquín for his protection from the Bandit King Chakal. María and Manolo both profess their love before dawn but are interrupted when Xibalba sends his dual-headed snake staff, who bites her and sends her into a coma. Devastated by María’s apparent death, Manolo allows Xibalba to kill him, believing he will be reunited with María in death.Diego Luna and Zoe Saldana in The Book of Life (2014)In the Land of the Remembered, Manolo reunites with his mother and his ancestral family. They travel to La Muerte’s castle, discovering Xibalba, now the ruler of the realm, who explains the bet. Manolo travels to the Cave of Souls to reach La Muerte. Inside, he meets the Candle Maker, the overseer of mortal lives and the Book of Life’s keeper. The Candle Maker sees that Manolo’s story in the Book of Life is blank and can be rewritten by himself, so he takes them to the Land of the Forgotten. They find La Muerte at Xibalba’s castle and expose his cheating. Furious, La Muerte lectures Xibalba before offering a new wager at Manolo’s request: Manolo’s life will be returned if he completes a challenge of Xibalba’s choosing, but if he fails, he will be forgotten and Xibalba will keep both realms. Xibalba sets Manolo against a giant bull skeleton made from the skeletons of every bull slain by the Sanchez family, believing that to be his greatest fear.Zoe Saldana in The Book of Life (2014)Meanwhile, María had been awaken from her coma, learns of Manolo’s death, and accepts Joaquín’s proposal. Their wedding is interrupted by Chakal, who leads his army to San Angel to find the Medal, which was previously his. Chakal kills Carlos, who arrives in the Land of the Remembered in time to see Manolo’s fight. Manolo, realizing his fear is actually of being himself, refuses to fight and instead sings an apology to the bull, appeasing it and touching everyone present. Impressed, the deities resurrect Manolo and send him and his family to San Angel to protect it. Manolo is knocked unconscious when Chakal destructs himself, but he is protected by the Medal, which Joaquín had slipped him earlier. Joaquín returns it to Xibalba and resolves to be a true hero, while Manolo and María are happily married as Xibalba and La Muerte reconcile.Diego Luna in The Book of Life (2014)In the present, Mary Beth finishes the story, and the amazed children leave the museum. Mary Beth and a security guard reveal themselves to be La Muerte and Xibalba in disguise. The Candle Maker appears and encourages the audience to write their own story.Zoe Saldana in The Book of Life (2014)This is a beautiful animated film. Very unique in comparison to other animated films out there. I loved that it had funny parts – for adults as well as kids – but it isn’t a silly comedy. It is a gorgeous, epic folkloric tale of family, tradition and finding your own way.  It felt very genuine and warm throughout but the sweet romantic story was especially touching. You could tell a lot of love went into making this film.

REVIEW: ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES

 

Starring

Will Ferrell (The Lego Movie)
Steve Carell (Little Miss Sunshine)
Paul Rudd (Ant-Man)
David Koechner (Get Smart)
Christina Applegate (Dead To Me)
Dylan Baker (The Good Wife)
Meagan Good (Minority Report TV)
James Marsden (Superman Returns)
Fred Willard (Fifty Shades of Black)
Kristen Wiig (Ghostbusters)
Josh Lawson (Free Birds)
Chris Parnell (Goosebumps 2)
Greg Kinnear (As Good As It Gets)
Wilbur Fitzgerald (Robocpop 3)
Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones)
Sacha Baron Cohen (Grimsby)
Marion Cotillard (The Dark Knight Rises)
Will Smith (Men In Black)
Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man)
Jim Carrey (Kidding)
Tina Fey (30 Rock)
Liam Neeson (Taken)
Amy Poehler (Sisters)
John C. Reilly (Cyrus)
Vince Vaughn (The Internship)
Kanye West (The Cleveland Show)
June Diane Raphael (Year One)

Will Ferrell, David Koechner, and Paul Rudd in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)In 1980, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) are married and are both co-anchors for a prestigious news network in New York City. One day, Mack Tannen (Harrison Ford), the most famous nightly news anchor in New York, reveals that he is retiring. He intends to promote Corningstone, making her the first female nightly news anchor in the history of television, and to fire Burgundy due to his continuously sloppy performance on air. Burgundy grows jealous of Corningstone’s success and storms out of the house, leaving Corningstone and his six-year-old son Walter (Judah Nelson).Christina Applegate and Will Ferrell in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)Six months later, Burgundy is back in San Diego, but barely able to hold a job due to his depression. After being fired from SeaWorld and botching a suicide attempt, Burgundy accepts a job offered to him by Freddie Shapp (Dylan Baker) with GNN (Global News Network), the world’s first 24-hour cable news network, for GNN’s official launch. He reassembles his news team, finding Champ Kind (David Koechner), who owns a fried chicken store (that sells bats secretly to cut down on costs), Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), now a famous cat photographer, and Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), who is presumed dead but appears at his own funeral. They are assigned the unpopular late-night timeslot while obnoxious rival anchorman Jack Lime (James Marsden) is put in a primetime slot. Meanwhile, Burgundy finds that Corningstone has started dating another man, a psychologist named Gary (Greg Kinnear).Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, David Koechner, and Paul Rudd in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)As GNN launches, Burgundy decides to broadcast what the people want to hear, rather than what they need to hear. He and his team devise a sensationalist and attention-grabbing newscast. Their new approach proves to be a hit, beating Lime in ratings by a massive margin, and the other news networks scramble to emulate them. Burgundy and his team are promoted to primetime, where they enjoy fame and fortune. Burgundy’s success excites GNN’s manager, Linda Jackson (Meagan Good), and they begin a romantic relationship. Tamland meets a similarly eccentric GNN office worker named Chani (Kristen Wiig) and immediately falls in love. Burgundy lets his newfound fame get to his head and neglects his parental obligations to Walter, angering Corningstone. He also alienates Fantana, Kind, and Tamland, claiming he is tired of carrying them.Christina Applegate and Will Ferrell in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)During a party celebrating GNN’s success, Lime causes Burgundy to slip and suffer a head injury, resulting in him becoming temporarily blind. Unable to read the news, Burgundy isolates himself in a lighthouse, unable to adjust to his loss of sight. Corningstone arrives with Walter for a visit and Burgundy bonds with his family, gradually overcoming his disability. Burgundy and his son rehabilitate a small shark, naming him Doby before setting him free. Burgundy finds out that Corningstone was hiding messages from his eye doctor about an experimental procedure. He leaves angrily, gets his sight restored, and returns to GNN.Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, David Koechner, and Paul Rudd in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)Back in New York, returning to work, Burgundy is once again approached by Corningstone, who pleads with him to attend Walter’s piano recital. At the same time, an exclusive news story comes in, requiring Burgundy to cover it. On live TV, Burgundy instead goes on a rant criticizing news networks, including GNN, for focusing on ratings rather than the news. He leaves for Walter’s recital but is intercepted by an angered Lime and his team and other angered teams from news networks, including Tannen, all of whom want to kill him due to his fame. Burgundy’s friends arrive to defend him and a massive free-for-all battle ensues. Burgundy’s old arch-rival Wes Mantooth (Vince Vaughn) threatens to blow up Lime’s news crew and is accidentally blown up by Tamland instead before Tannen, Lime, and all the other teams retreat from the fight in defeat. Burgundy manages to reach Walter’s recital in time. Burgundy and his friends later attend Tamland’s and Chani’s wedding on the beach.Will Ferrell and Steve Carell in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)This movie is both funny and a great piece of satire. There are plenty of laughs and very silly situations but there is also a message about how news reporting has changed in the last 30 years thanks to powerful men who own the media. The Australian owner of GNN is obviously Rupert Murdoch .

REVIEW: WAKE UP, RON BURGUNDY: THE LOST MOVIE

Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie (2004)

CAST

Will Ferrell (Elf)
Christina Applegate (The Sweetest Thing)
Paul Rudd (This Is 40)
Steve Carell (Evan Almighty)
David Koechner (American Dad)
Kevin Korrigan (Superbad)
Fred Willard (Lois & Clark)
Chris Parnell (Lost in Austin)
Seth Rogen (Donnie Darko)
Danny Trejo (7 Mummies)
Holmes Osborne (Bring It On)
Amy Poehler (Mean Girls)
Justin Long (Waiting)
M.C. Gainey (Lost)
Luke Wilson (That 70’s Show)
Vince Vaughn (Starsky & Hutch)
Kathryn Hahn (Bad Moms)
Maya Rudolph (Chips)

maxresdefaultThis movie is most certainly not one to watch if you haven’t already seen Anchorman:The legend of Ron Burgundy, but if you have, and you loved it then this is a truly welcome addition.maxresdefault (1)The story comprises of a sub plot intended for Anchorman that was dropped involving a terrorist organisation called “The Alarm Clock” hence the Wake up Ron Burgundy! title. The Alarm Clock are easily the worst terrorist group in the world having no political agenda, and not really knowing what they are doing, end up kidnapping Veronica Corningstone to use her to broadcast their as yet undecided political statement. So it’s up to the rest of the intrepid news team to save her.75b635ce3a8b4c178a875cec850155e6There are some truly hilarious bits in this film, one where Champ Kind is professing his undying love for Ron in the car but everyone pretends they can’t hear him is very funny, and another where we learn that the seemingly stupid Brick Tamlind was in fact the leader of a group of soldiers in the Vietnam war with the other news team members is very funny. All in all, it’s one for the fan boys, not for the people who didn’t like Anchorman.

REVIEW: ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY

CAST

Will Ferrell (The Lego Movie)
Christina Applegate (Samantha Who?)
Paul Rudd (Ant-Man)
Steve Carell (Get Smart)
David Koechner (Final Destination 5)
Fred Willard (Lois & Clark)
Chris Parnell (Lost in Austin)
Seth Rogen (Paul)
Danny Trejo (Machete)
Holmes Osborne (Donnie Darko)
Luke Wilson (That 70’s Show)
Ben Stiller (Zoolander)
Missi Pyle (Dodgeball)
Tim Robbins (Howard The Duck)
Vince Vaughn (Starsky & Hutch)
Kathryn Hahn (Bad Moms)
Jack Black (Goosebumps)
Jimmy Bennett (No Ordinary Family)

Will Ferrell in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)In 1974, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is the famous anchorman for a local San Diego television station, fictional KVWN channel 4. He works alongside his friends on the news team: lead field reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), sportscaster Champion “Champ” Kind (David Koechner), and intellectually disabled chief meteorologist Brick Tamland (Steve Carell). Station director Ed Harken (Fred Willard) informs the team that they have maintained their long-held status as the highest-rated news program in San Diego, leading them to throw a wild party, where Ron unsuccessfully tries to pick up a beautiful, blonde woman (Christina Applegate). Ed later informs the team that they have been forced to hire Veronica Corningstone, the same woman whom Ron tried to pick up. After a series of unsuccessful attempts by the team to seduce her, she finally relents and consents to a “professional tour” of the city with Ron, culminating in a sexual relationship. Despite agreeing to keep the relationship discreet, Ron announces it on air.Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, David Koechner, and Paul Rudd in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)After a dispute with a motorcyclist (Jack Black) involving Ron’s dog, Baxter, being punted off the San Diego–Coronado Bridge, Ron is late to work. Veronica fills in for him on-air, and the couple break up. Veronica is made co-anchor, to the disgust of the team, and the two co-anchors become fierce rivals, both on and off the air. Depressed, the news team decides to buy new suits, but Brick, who was leading the way, gets them lost in a shady part of town. Confronted by main competitor Wes Mantooth (Vince Vaughn) and his news team, Ron challenges them to a fight. However, when several other news teams converge on the site, a full-on melee ensues, only to be broken up by police sirens and causing them to flee. Realizing that having a woman as a co-anchor is straining their reputation, Ron gets in another heated argument with Veronica, and they get in a physical fight after she insults him about his hair, further increasing tensions.Christina Applegate and Will Ferrell in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)One of Veronica’s co-workers tells her that Ron will read anything written on the teleprompter, so she sneaks into the station and changes the text in revenge. The next day, Ron (unaware of what he is saying) concludes the broadcast by saying, “Go fuck yourself, San Diego!”, instead of his usual closing line, “You stay classy, San Diego!”, subsequently provoking an angry mob outside the studio and prompting Ed to fire Ron. Realizing she went too far, Veronica tries apologizing, but Burgundy angrily dismisses her. Burgundy becomes unemployed, friendless, and heavily antagonized by the public while Veronica enjoys fame, although her male co-workers hate her. Ed then informs Champ, Brick, and Brian that if they see Ron, they are not to talk to him or else they will be fired.Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, David Koechner, and Paul Rudd in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)Three months later, when a panda is about to give birth, all the news teams in San Diego head to the zoo to cover the story. In an attempt to sabotage her, a rival news anchor (Tim Robbins) pushes Veronica into a Kodiak bear enclosure. When Ed cannot locate Veronica, he recruits Ron. Once at the zoo, Ron jumps in the bear pen to save Corningstone, as the public watches helplessly. The news team then jumps in to save Ron. Just as a bear is about to attack, Baxter, who miraculously survived, appears and persuades the bear to spare them. As the group climbs out of the pit, Wes appears and holds the ladder over the bear pit, threatening to drop Ron in, and tells him that deep down he has always hated him, but then admits to Ron that he also respects him and pull Ron out to safety.Christina Applegate and Will Ferrell in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)After Ron and Veronica reconcile, it is shown that in years to come, Brian becomes the host of a Fox reality show named Intercourse Island, Brick is married with 11 children and is a top political adviser to George W. Bush, Champ is a commentator for the NFL before getting fired after being accused by Terry Bradshaw of sexual harassment, and Ron and Veronica are co-anchors for the CNN-esque World News Center.Will Ferrell in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
Anchorman is Ferrell at his very best, with bonkers improvised script and surreal, meaningless conversation. Add bad 70’s wigs and moustaches, dog homicide and a gladiatorial street battle with rival news teams and you have one of the funniest film in years.

REVIEW: DEAD TO ME – SEASON 1

Dead to Me (2019)

Starring

Christina Applegate (Bad Moms)
Linda Cardellini (Avengers: Endgame)
James Marsden (Westworld)
Max Jenkins (plus One)
Sam McCarthy (Condor)
Luke Roessler (Deadpool 2)
Edward Asner (Elf)

Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini in Dead to Me (2019)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Diana-Maria Riva (Sabrina: TTW)
Suzy Nakamura (Dr. Ken)
Keong Sim (GLee)
Telma Hopkins (The Love Guru)
Haley Sims (Flaked)
Gloria Calderon Kellett (One Day At a Time)

Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini in Dead to Me (2019)Laughter isn’t included in the five stages of grief of the Kübler-Ross model, but perhaps it should be given its own special role in the process. The argument for this can be found in the dark comedy “Dead to Me,” which mines profound loss for laughs, marrying humor and heartache often in a single moment. Created by Liz Feldman, this 10-episode Netflix series deals with the aftermath of the sudden death of a husband and father. You know, the standard premise for a half-hour comedy.Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini in Dead to Me (2019)We meet Jen (Christina Applegate) following the hit-and-run that killed her husband, Ted, a few months ago. She struggles to sleep, parent her two sons (Sam McCarthy and Luke Roessler), and just get by between crying jags in her car while playing heavy metal. When she goes to a grief support group, she meets Judy (Linda Cardellini), who recently lost her fiancé. Though Jen’s sarcastic, hard shell shouldn’t gel with Judy’s carefree, boho spirit, the two women bond over Entenmann’s chocolate chip cookies, Ani DiFranco, and their similar tragic circumstances. They grow close quickly, and Jen invites Judy to live in the guest house at her Laguna home. But this isn’t just a story about female friendship and connecting after a loss; there’s twist after twist, often revealed through flashbacks to earlier moments in Jen and Judy’s lives.Linda Cardellini in Dead to Me (2019)“Dead to Me” unravels its mysteries slowly, with each episode ending on a new reveal or a cliffhanger that will keep Netflix subscribers glued to their screens. The show takes the opposite approach we might expect; as the season progresses and Jen moves farther from the death of her husband, the series actually gets darker and more serious. There’s still some of the sharp comedy that makes it so addictive in its earlier episodes, but there’s more emphasis on the mystery of who killed Ted. It’s an uneven, uneasy balance, and it makes the viewer long for the funnier first half of the show.Christina Applegate in Dead to Me (2019)But with the more dramatic leanings, we dive deeper into Jen and Judy as characters, and we get valuable insight into how grief, guilt, and secrets can both unite and divide people. These fast friends give viewers a profound picture of how we forgive each other and ourselves, especially after a tragedy. “Dead to Me” is dealing with the big questions of life, even beyond grief. The show and the people we meet on it are consumed with answering what makes someone a good or a bad person, and its clear affection for its flawed characters makes this all the more interesting.ab9ad7c401e2bcc1aad86e4a249fbc9776601d47Both Applegate and Cardellini move between the drama and the comedy with ease. After breaking out in “Freaks and Geeks,” Cardellini has had some dramatic roles, but this feels like a first for Applegate, whose career has been largely focused on comedy since “Married with Children.” These actresses display an impressive range in roles that require them to make us laugh and then minutes later, they’re sobbing. We also buy their closeness; their chemistry makes this friendship feels real, both despite and because of their opposite personalities. The supporting cast is strong as well; TV veteran Ed Asner has a small part as a resident at the retirement home where Judy works, and he’s brimming with enough warmth and empathy to make Lou Grant sneer. James Marsden has a pivotal role that I won’t spoil (and can’t, per Netflix), but it’s more proof that the talented actor should be getting more work and more lead roles and not just playing the runner-up in everything from “X-Men” to “Enchanted.”1The seesawing between grief and humor here won’t work for everyone, but that’s just more fuel for one of the ideas that “Dead to Me” is playing with: we all grieve differently. If you’re that person getting dirty looks for making jokes at a funeral, this show might be just your thing. And if you’re the person doling out those looks, “Dead to Me” may be a way to help better understand the way that other people cope with loss.

REVIEW: SAMANTHA WHO ? – SEASON 1 & 2

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MAIN CAST

Christina Applegate (The Sweetest Thing)
Jennifer Esposito (Summer of Sam)
Kevin Dunn (Transformers)
Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly)
Tim Russ (Star Trek: Voyager)
Barry Watson (Boogeyman)
Jean Smart (Garden State)
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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

William Abadie (The Pink Panther)
Nakia Burrise (Power Rangers Turbo)
Jessica St. Clair (Bridesmaids)
Kiele Sanchez (Lost)
Eddie Cibrian (The Cave)
Tom Lenk (Buffy)
Timothy Olyphant (Hitman)
Jerry O’ Connell (Scream Queens)
Rick Hoffman (Hostel)
Cybil Shepherd (Moonlighting)
Anthony Anderson (Transformers)
Rachel Cannon (Two and a Half Men)
Mary-Kate Olsen (Full House)
James Tupper (Revenge)
Billy Zane (Zoolander)
Greg Cipes (Teen Titans)
Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch)
Nora Dunn (New Girl)
Angie Harmon (Agent Cody Banks)
Teddy Sears (The Flash)

What if you had the chance to start over, to do it all again? For Samantha Newly, this fantasy becomes a reality after a hit and run accident leaves her in an eight day coma. When she awakens in the hospital, she is surrounded by family and friends. The only problem is that she has no idea who they are or who she is. In medical terms, Sam has retrograde amnesia, which allows her to fully function in the world but leaves her with no personal memories. Most people would deem this disorder a curse. But Sam may come to call it a miracle. As she sets out to rediscover herself, Sam is forced to rely on the only people who can help her an eclectic bunch of friends and family. Although now strangers to Sam, it’s not long before she begins to get an idea of who she was before the accident.

Life,as we all know,can be extremely unfair at times.Samantha Who? was cancelled after just 2 seasons.

Samantha Who? is a terrific sitcom.Why was it cancelled then,i hear you cry.As i understand it,the 1st season was well received and got good ratings,all was well,but the 2nd season was for some reason buried in a bad time slot and never recovered.Also,i gather there were cost issues involved due to financial cut backs regarding the making of the programme.A real shame because this is a gem of a show with Christina Applegate outstanding as Samantha,a shallow,obnoxious,yuppie type who awakes from an 8 day coma caused by a car accident and realises that she can’t remember anything due to amnesia.

As she starts trying to put her life back together,she realises,with some horror,just what an awful person she was.Thats where the fun starts,and its to Applegates credit that,although its her characters mission to make amends and change for the better,the programme never gets too treacly or soft,partly due to the naturally mischevious look that Christina Applegate has that suggests Samantha could never be too goody-goody.The support cast is terrific,the lovely Jean Smart is wonderful as Sams amusingly uncaring mother and the fabulous Melissa McCarthy as her old friend Dena.

To sum up,this is a very funny,smartly written,well acted sitcom that should have been up there with the best of them.And,refreshingly,just like the brilliant Gilmore Girls,no laugh track,just provide your own!