UGLY BETTY: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON
MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
America Ferrera as BETTY SUAREZ
Eric Mabius as DANIEL MEADE
Alan Dale as BRADFORD MEADE
Tony Plana as IGNACIO SUAREZ
Ana Ortiz as HILDA SUAREZ
Ashley Jensen as CHRISTINA MCKINNEY
Becki Newton as AMANDA TANAN
Mark Indelicato as JUSTIN SUAREZ
Michael Urie as MARC ST. JAMES
Vanessa Williams as WILHELMINA SLATER
BY KEVIN CARR
I’m not going to jump on the “Ugly Betty is the greatest show around” bandwagon, but I’ll admit the show has a lot of charm. It’s a cute, quirky look at the fashion world through hyper-realistic lenses. To say that it’s groundbreaking because it busts body stereotypes is a little silly, though. We’ve had chubby and less-than-attractive woman before on television as heroines. Still, “Ugly Betty” is an adorable show.
Following a frumpy latina as she enters the world of high fashion at Mode Magazine, “Ugly Betty” sets itself up as the Hispanic version of “The Devil Wears Prada.” However, after several episodes, it differentiates itself with the characters’ motivations and the silliness of the series. The show is strongest when it gets lighthearted. While the season ends with a more dramatic turn, hopefully things will move back to the humor soon in the second season.
The strongest elements of “Ugly Betty” come from the supporting cast. Becki Newton and Michael Urie are hilarious as the conniving yes-people of the company. Both have an incredible flair for physical comedy, and they always tend to be the highlight of the show. Ana Ortiz as Betty’s sexy sister Hilda and Mark Indelicato as Hilda’s not-so ambiguously gay son are also gems in this show.
The season one DVD set comes with audio commentaries, deleted scenes and several featurettes covering everything from how they green-screen New York into the show to the fashion behind the fashion.