To portray a 40-year-old woman desperate to regain her childhood fame, there are several possible paths forward. One extreme would be totally realistic, and therefore dark, depressing, possibly ending in suicide. Samantha! takes the opposite extreme, and stays so light-hearted that, unfortunately, it becomes silly, over the top, and strains belief. It's juvenile. So of course I enjoyed it: it's like a doughnut, sweet and satisfying in its way, but lacking substance.
All of the cast can act, and well, and most of Samantha!'s humor comes from how the characters are portrayed rather than the lines they speak. But the characterizations are inconsistent; blame the writers, not the cast. The show is non-provocative: the few serious issues are dealt with lightly or even comically, and there's only a smattering of vulgarity throughout the entire season. That Netflix self-rates this as TV-MA in the U.S. or 12 in Norway boggles the mind. There's little in this show that would disturb a 13-year-old here or a 9-year-old Scandinavian.
Everyone needs a doughnut now and then, but if Samantha! had been even slightly more realistic, it would have been more enjoyable. I'm not clamoring for a second season.
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