Let’s talk televisuals..


Ugly Betty, Final Season (Series 4), ABC Wed 10pm
February 11, 2010, 10:40 pm
Filed under: Clip, Comedy, GENRE, SPECIAL FEATURES | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Ugly Betty

Beautiful on the inside...

Last month, the somewhat inevitable demise of ‘Ugly Betty’ was announced to American audiences amid falling audience numbers and network indifference.

The news was met with some surprise, but general opinion was that the residents of Mode magazine should hang up their Manolos and close final issue. The decision to axe the show will be met with great upset by its hardcore elite following. This could get ugly…

The sad fact is that over four seasons, it has found itself a loyal following and has let its core characters develop and mature into fully three-dimensional beings – especially Betty.

She has loved and lost (Henry and spoiler alert, Matt) and has moved from her home she shared with Ignacio, Hilda and Justin to her own apartment over the hall from the brilliant double act of Marc and Amanda. She has more power in her new position at Mode as part of the editorial and boss Daniel helps her out whenever she needs that all important American (cheese alert) sitcom pep talk.

Of course the usual mishaps, mini-dramas and boardroom farces swirl around Betty and most of them are solved by the end of the episode. The tying up of loose plot strings has made the show so comfortable to watch but at a fairly swift pace, kind of the anti ‘Lost’.

Back when ‘Ugly Betty’ began some four years ago, it was seen as something of a breath of fresh air from the years of photogenic teens and botoxed women that had filled up the airwaves previously. Here was an ordinary character who wasn’t size zero, lived in Queens and, shock horror, was Latina. America Ferrera, who plays Betty, is, of course, far from ugly and possesses comic timing that could give the Anistons and Braffs of this world a serious run for their money. And that goes for style too..

Betty’s outfits have benefited from the direction of the legendary Patricia Field (she of Sex and the City fame), who has made sure her lead character always looks like an explosion in an accessories factory, but well put together none-the-less.

This season we have had: cults, long lost sons, prison breaks, extortion attempts and, best of all, drag acts taking off Wilhelmina and it’s only episode 12! Just what the remaining ten or so episodes have to offer is any one’s guess, but make sure you tune in wearing your finest poncho.

By Andrew Collier



Being Human, BBC Three, 11.30 pm
February 8, 2010, 4:06 pm
Filed under: Clip, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, GENRE, Horror, SPECIAL FEATURES | Tags: , , , , ,

Being Human

Ain't nothing human about this crew

It’s all going on in the West Country…

You see, there’s this flat-share with a ghost, werewolf and a vampire…and it’s all set in suburban Bristol. That must have been an interesting pitch meeting at BBC Three headquarters, nevertheless, ‘Being Human’, the channel’s pitch-black drama punctuated with laugh out loud humour has made it to its second series, with a third recently commissioned.

The set-up of the show is brilliant – mixing the supernatural with the relatively mundane nature of day-to-day flat-sharing such as a minor obsession with ‘The Real Hustle’ and the drinking of endless cups of tea.

But this really wouldn’t make for an exciting hour of television, and so Being Human is packed with drama – everything from death trying to track down the resident ghost, Annie, to the attempted ethnic cleansing of so-called evil werewolves and vampires by a group of religious nut-jobs.

And so to the most important part of what makes ‘Being Human’ such  abusive boyfriend in the first series and subsequently he rents out the house they shared to George and Mitchell, the hairy and toothy ones and so the ‘Terry and June’ set-up with added blood lust ensues.

Annie is bubbly, slightly dizzy and spends the first series trying to work out why she hasn’t passed over to the other side and is stuck in her Bristol-shaped purgatory. George the werewolf is sensible, neurotic and fond of list-making, making him the Monica of the group if this were Paranormal Friends.

The third part of the picture is made up of the louch and troubled vampire Mitchell, a man trying to conquer his insatiable lust for blood whilst exhibiting a natty line in jackets.

The way that the three characters bounce off each other is fantastic viewing, and the humour peppered in the script is a welcome relief from the frequent blood-letting and dark plot.

The second series is currently half way through its eight episode run and offers up new twists every week, meaning that there is definitely life in the old werewolf/vampire/ghost (delete as applicable) yet.

By Andrew Collier