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

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Desperate Housewives, E4 (UK) and ABC
October 7, 2008, 12:55 pm
Filed under: Comedy, Drama | Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Move over Eve and watch out Adam

Move over Eve and watch out Adam

Merge together SATC’s Samantha, Charlotte, Carrie and Miranda and you get the typical modern city girl. The same thing happens with the Desperate Housewives but this time representing the archetype of a middle aged, middle class woman of suburbia. Bree the perfectionist;Susan the quirky crazy one; Lynette the business woman and; Gabi the sassy sexy ex-model. If you’ve been to Cobham, Surrey, you’ll know what I mean.

Set in Wisteria Lane, it’s always highlights what every community understands: no one knows what goes on behind closed doors. Every series a strange new neighbour moves onto the cul-de-sac with some dark secret that unravels itself over the season. The end of series four is just finishing in the UK at the moment. Bree’s most threatening rival (and close friend) Cathy is having a hard time from her violent ex-husband who is vehement to reconnect with his daughter. This is actually not as exciting as you’d think. And after watching a few series of these kind of cliffhangers, it is hard to muster up enthusiasm.

These days television is fast moving and although suspense is still important, most writers are focusing on detailed woven stories with optimal character development more than patronising their audience with silly plot questions over characters you don’t really know or care about.

No, no Marcia - putrid orange and ginger hair will never go.

No, no Marcia - putrid orange and ginger hair will never go.

But Season 5’s (started in US on 28 September) Desperate Housewives sees our four fave girls in five years time. New challenges, new politics and a new mysterious villain has moved in: Edie’s husband.

Spoilt, shallow Gabi is now the mother of two overweight, hyperactive girls and still married to blind masseur, Carlos Solis. Bree is now Wisteria Lane’s answer to Martha Stewart and is estranged from both her daughter and granddaughter. Lynette now has three strapping teenage boys all with bad boy tendencies to get in trouble with the law. And Susan….I will let you see for yourself.