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


Ugly Betty, Channel 4, E4 and ABC (US)
America Ferrera as Ugly Betty

America Ferrera as Ugly Betty

With television or movie icons, you can usually find something to relate back to yourself. Perhaps you have the promiscuity of Samantha from SATC or the obsessive compulsions of Monica from Friends. Whatever your idiosyncrasies, there is a certain comfort in finding out that you’re not the only one with certain quirks.

So when I saw the first trailer for Ugly Betty, I was immediately curious and quite excited about watching a series with an unattractive lead lady. I mean we all have our ugly days, no matter how stunning we are. Did you feel the same?  I also was geared up for the animation of the characters – like a cartoon brought to life.

If you’re unfamiliar with the show, here is a brief synopsis: A Latino girl from the Bronx works at Mode magazine (fictional equivalent of Vogue or Vanity Fair) where she is ridiculed for her fashion sense and general looks. However, she becomes indispensable to her boss, Daniel and an integral part of a farcical team of fashionistas and an evil, superficial villain, Wilhemina (Vanessa Williams). With two Golden Globes, 34 other wins and 52 nominations for awards, UB has proved to be very popular and come back in the US for a third series.

Did you know that there are several Ugly Betty’s? Our New York sassy slapstick comedy is an adaptation of a columbian show called, Yo Soy Betty, La Fea (I am Betty, the ugly one). There is also over a dozen variations such as Mexico’s La Fea Mas Bella and other adaptations including Tudo Por Amor (Portugal), Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin (India), Sensiz Olmuyor (Turkey) and Lotte (Netherlands). There are others but I won’t bore you.

I was going to give you a little clip from the original but you are reading this, so you are more likely to speak English: here is the bloopers from the first series of the American one.

TRIVIA: The original Columbian version was dubbed and broadcast in India, Lithuania, Indonesia, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Malaysia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Italy, Switzerland, Japan, Turkey, Phillipines and China.