April 14, 2008 12:00 PM

ABC, April 7, 9:32 p.m. ET |

Even during the long strike I never forgot you, Samantha Who? I would recall, usually during quiet moments on American Gladiators, the show’s skipping happy lightness, and its perfect female ensemble, headed by Christina Applegate as a nasty New Yorker morally reformed after waking up from a coma. The first new episode is reassuringly good: Sam hopes to reunite with her ex (Barry Watson) but comes up against his fake-nice girlfriend (Kiele Sanchez). Meanwhile, her mother (Jean Smart) gets tipsy and delivers the speech she’d have given if she’d won the Miss Walnut Valley beauty title as a girl. It’s a fine moment of comic pathos.

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