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Archive for the ‘Ugly Betty’ Category

Ugly Betty Gets Uglier

Posted by Travis R Grant on March 30, 2007

If I had posted these comments about Ugly Betty last November when last nights rerun originally aired, I would have been a lot more complimentary about the show. That’s right I have been watching Ugly Betty.

At first I was watching the show to prove myself right that this show didn’t deserve to be on the air. I was convinced that it would be a complete and total mockery of everything good. And I was pleasantly surprised.

During the first half of this season this show actually proved to be a great show about how traditional family values will always prevail no matter what part of the world you lived in. Betty (America Ferrera) managed to always save her boss, her company, or her own family by relying on the values and morals her parent taught her while growing up. These values were either never taught or were easily forgotten by her coworkers in the fashion industry.

I was also further caught up in the mystery surrounding the death of Bradford Meade’s (Alan Dale) mistress. Who killed her? Who was this mystery woman that was going to take over Mode Magazine by revealing Bradford’s involvement in his mistress’s death? It was captivating.

It was really looking up to being a great show. However, after the winter break in new episodes, Betty got Uglier. Betty Suarez didn’t get uglier, just the show.

We find out that the mystery woman was supposedly Bradford Meade’s deceased son, Alex(is) Meade (Rebecca Romijn). He faked his own death in order to go into hiding so that he could have a sex change.

What little I know about sex changes, I know that there is no way you can take the offspring of Bradford Meade and Claire Meade (Judith Light), have a boy, and then convert it into something as beautiful as Romijn. It’s just not possible with today’s technology.

The revelation of Alexis Meade is where I realized the hidden agenda of this show. It is an advocacy program for the sexually confused. Two of the supporting characters are gay. Two of the supporting characters are sex addicts. And one of them is transgendered. That adds up to five of a regular cast of eleven.  Seems like a high percentage to me.

This is all couched in the message of fighting for the underdog. We cheer for the success of Betty in her poncho while saving a fashion magazine. We hope for her father Ignacio (Tony Plana) and his plight for legal status in the United States. We have heart for the differences in personality of Betty’s nephew Justin (Mark Indelicato). We pine for Christina’s (Ashely Jensen) success as a fashion designer.

However, you really lose my interest when I have to accept the transformation of a man into a woman. This is agendized television and I just am not going to accept it.

It is a blatant attempt at trying to change the hearts and minds of American’s to greater acceptance or at least tolerance towards the sexually confused, I was willing to bear it for a while, but I think I have had enough.

Posted in Drama, Television, TV, Ugly Betty | 2 Comments »

Fall Preview: Ugly Betty

Posted by Travis R Grant on August 16, 2006

It seems like a great plot line, and Ugly Betty has some slight potential. But despite its Thursday schedule, this one will be a flop.

Based on the popular Latino television Betty La Fea, Ugly Betty is about a “square peg” trying to fit herself into the fashion world. While Betty Suarez (America Ferrera) turns out to be quite successful at her job, she is mocked, belittled, and dumped on, by the elite of the high fashion industry. The whole industry seems to be against Betty, who happens to be the assistant to the director of a fashion magazine.

Betty’s boss, Daniel Meade (Eric Mabius), sees the true talent that Betty has, and realizes that she can succeed in the industry. Betty also develops a crush for Daniel, which will provide the every tedious denied love sub-plot so famous in television.

At first you might think that this is a show about the little guy taking on the big man. Perhaps that is the initial premise. However, based on the previews, this show will miss the mark. While at first some of the “nerd” humor will be funny, eventually, it will get tiring. There will also be so much emphasis on the elites and their denigrating world, that it will almost seem that Betty and Daniel are the sub-plot.

Sure Betty will always come out on top. Sure we will all see a little bit of ourselves in Betty. Sure many shows will have a “feel good” appeal to it. But after a while, this show will lose its image as a show about the small man rising, and it will become another attempt at media mockery of the average Jane.

The message that Betty is a strong woman will come across; she would have to be to put up with all the ridicule thrown at her. However, that is where this show will fail. No person is strong enough to withstand what she will have to. As people realize this disconnect and realize that it is just way too much punishment, and not enough rewards for anyone to keep up with the abuse, they will start turning off this show.

While this may have been popular on Latino TV, it will miss the mark in the U.S. It is unfortunate that ABC put as much stock in it as to actually place on Thursday night. I hope they have a good back up mid-season show.

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