Ugly Betty - Pilot Review

Ugly Betty - Pilot
*Spoilers Ahead - you've been warned!

Premieres: Wednesday, October 4, 2006
Time Slot: 8pm on ABC
Stars: America Ferrera, Eric Mabius, Vanessa Williams, Mark Indelicato, Alan Dale, Ana Ortiz, Tony Plana, Michael Urie, Becky Newton, Ashley Jensen

Ugly Betty is kinda like Ally McBeal... is that bad to say? I'm not talking post Billy 'look I've got a kid' Ally McBeal, I'm talking best of the best Ally episode Ally McBeal comparisons here. It's a dramedy based in reality with incredibly sweet, heartfelt, and truthful moments mixmashed with some super over the top surrealism for good measure. No there aren't dancing babies but I wouldn't put it past Vanessa L. Williams' character to eat a baby if it meant clawing her way to the top of Meade Publications or remaining a vision of beauty.

Like The Office, Ugly Betty is an import. It's the Americanized version of the telenovela "Betty La Fea" and produced by Salma Hayek (who has a hysterical cameo as a telenovela star herself).

America Ferrera is quite possibly the most likeable new talent in the fall lineup. I've not seen The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants but I have seen Real Women Have Curves and though she is much older now, she was incredible to watch in that film. I never realized that she would not only have the ability to play "ugly" but to have such comedic timing and the power to supress the instict to ham it up for realistic and at times crushing personal moments. She's just a joy to watch and she embodies this "ugly duckling" with such grace that you never mistake her for the fool.

The story goes like this... Betty Suarez from Queens interviews for a position with Meade Publications and doesn't even get an interview based on her "ugly" looks and horrid fashion sense. Betty eventually gets the job as assistant to the editor of their fashion magazine unfortch its because she's "ugly" and he won't try and sleep with her (how's that for a confidence booster). Fish out of water hijinks ensue, eventually Betty's tortured into quitting (I can't imagine mockery doing such a thing), Eric Mabius see's the error in his ways and Betty returns to save the day!

Yes there are cliches.

Yes, there are some ridiculous moments.

Yes, there is a bad actress in the mix *cough* Vanessa L. Williams *cough* but there are so many heartwarming and hysterical moments that the show works on so many levels.

America Ferrera is amazing to watch grow and blossom. Her tween gay nephew is a trip and you know what some of the bitchy and gay stereotypes present in the pilot actually made me chuckle quite a bit. Kudos to any show that has a line like "She's fabulously douche-y" I'm all about it!

I'm very interested to see where the show lands on the reality scale. Will it try to walk the line between absurd and realism or will it eventually pick sides? I'm tuning in until they make a decision!


  • I heart America Ferrera SO MUCH that I cannot WAIT to see this! (How'd you get a copy!? Luckyduck!). She was simply AMAZING in Real Women Have Curves and great in Sisterhood...

    By Blogger vance, at 9/25/2006 06:17:00 PM  

  • Oh I've got my sources people! And I love them so!

    By Blogger duckyxdale, at 9/26/2006 10:09:00 AM  

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