Q: How do you make Nikki Blonsky look even more like a diabetic video blogger getting airlifted out of her ailurophilic trailer home than she already did?
A: Big old pink stripe in her big stupid racist vagina-kicking hair. I'm sorry, but she looks like those apples they used to sell at roadside stands that have slowly dried until they look like bloated grandmother caricatures of, in this case, Kathy Najimy.
Q:Who's that wizened weirdo wandering the set of Ugly Betty this week?
A: That's what used to be Bernadette Peters. She was a Broadway legend who was eventually turned into a robot as a joke by Andy Kaufman and now that he's dead (or is he?) she just sort of cameos around. Here she is playing, loosely and through a briny boozy pickle of nonchalance, the role of Betty's YETI advisor and hopefully future mentor.
Q:What is Christina talking about?
A: What is Christina ever talking about? She's beautiful and she's been pregnant longer than Ashlee Simpson was with little Mohican Mohinder Mekalekahimekahineyho, and that's all that matters until somebody summons the nuts to shove her down the stairs again.
Q:You know how sometimes with this show, you realize early on that you're really just going to have to sit there and wait the full forty-five for the episode-ending montage? And you wish that you had figured that shit out later than the first act, because knowing it that early just makes it seem that much longer and stupider?
A: If I didn't, I sure do now! But yeah, I do.
Q:So what actually happened this week?
A: Oh, you know the plotline in Prada where hottentottie Adrian Grenier whines and whines with his thumb up his ass and then makes, like, a grilled cheese or a cupcake or like a waffle or something and is like, "If you choose your actual career over my pants-shitting tantrum, you don't get this waffle?" It's like that, pretty much the entire episode: either you do your job like a grownup individual, or you throw your phone in a Parisian fountain and go home to Adrian Grenier's waffles. A choice we each must make for ourselves at some point.
See, Betty is so busy having a life and doing her job that she forgets to... Not really sure. Something about Hilda's stupid beauty salon in their living room and how Betty has to be standing there while this happens. Not doing anything, mind you, just standing there and ignoring her own shit. Or else she gets no waffle. But then, we all get the waffle in a way, with like strawberries provided by a unicorn delivery service, when Ignacio's horrible ass keels over with a heart attack. Probably in the middle of giving some goddamned speech about how fucking worthless Betty is, and that's what "family" means. I know he's not actually going to die, but it still smells like delicious waffle in here.
Q:What about the clothes?
A: Well, Marc is adorable as usual. Even though he and Daniel have sort of floofy hair all night, and he's wearing a green velvet suit not unlike that one worn by the guy that won't let Dorothy into the Emerald City until she rings the bell or whatever, he looks good. Christina is, as usual, gorgeous; Betty's clothes are edging up on hipster awesome but it won't last. Molly still looks outdoorsy no matter how much lipstick you slap on her, Hilda's ass is on fire but her face is sort of haggard, and Wili's wearing something you might see on Serena van der Woodsen or the Visionaries line of holographic man-toys from the '80s where each character had a hologram of their spirit animal right on the front of their shit. Also Connor, she is wearing Connor attached to her face, because Molly broke up with him, because Daniel got all up on her jock, because Wili told him to. So everybody wins, except for Zac Posen, who is denied some of that thunder from Down Under but is, as usual, adorable. Even with a fake tan, and even if he still always manages to talk like he's got ten dicks in him.
Q:And the actual plot?
A: Ugh. Bernadette Peters notes correctly that Betty Suarez has no social skills, yells at her to get some, is brutally rebuffed, and threatens to kick Betty out of YETI. (Which is all eerily similar to this old Gilmore Girls episode I watched today, where they give Rory the same business.) Betty enlists Marc to teach her networking, runs into Nikki Blonsky and manages to avoid getting kicked in the vagina by Nikki Blonsky, then gets kicked in the metaphorical vagina when Nikki Blonsky steals this Halston dress for an Elle cover shoot, and then they get the dress back and go to a party at Wili's house, where Bernadette Peters babbles about shrimp and then wanders away in the middle of a line, because she is nuts.
Instead of being rude and answering screeching Hilda's nineteen thousandth guilt-tripping phone call, Betty behaves in a mature and professional manner. Of course, this means she must be destroyed, so when she finally shows up in Queens everybody's missing, because Ignacio had a heart attack, because Betty wasn't there, because somebody up there loves me.
See the soapiest moments on the show, and come back on Monday for the full weecap of the episode.
Betty is very excited about Jodie Papadakis, who's the editor running YETI, and her family is being their usual amount of eye-rollingly, numb-faced supportive. Given that Betty in all likelihood has been yapping repetitively about Jodie Papadakis since the advent of the Tamagotchi, I can barely blame them. The rest of the Suarezes are busy uglifying their home in celebration of Hilda's home boutique with streamers and those shiny letters with grommets all over the place. Justin is wearing purple pants and a shirt in a print Dorothy Szbornak would find a little grim, Ignacio is standing around shooting judgment eyebrows at anything that will stand still, and Hilda could not give less of a fuck about Betty's life than ever. She's very off-the-shoulder right now, while Betty is wearing a collision of knits and a Minnie Mouse polka-dot bow at her neck.
Apparently Jodie is Betty's number one freakout famous hero, which caused her to scream in her building's hallway so loudly that an old woman slapped her. However, she's not so terribly excited about meeting Jodie that she would do anything as logical as attend the pre-YETI mixer, choosing instead to stand around talking about Jodie while Hilda decorates the house and thinks about hiring a magician for her opening. Justin whines that he's trying really hard to get the "Bridge & Tunnel" out of their family -- which is a war he lost long ago, and keeps losing -- and Betty's like, "This is too depressing to contemplate, so I'm going to keep talking about Jodie." Ignacio literally goes, "Betty, your sister asked you a question," as though that's not ten times ruder than ignoring the question in the first place, especially considering the question was "Should I hire a magician for the opening of my trashy living room boutique salon and candle shoppe?"
Betty's like, "Whatever, how about gift bags?" Hilda yells at her that she can't afford gift bags, because she spent all her money on "merch," and Betty's like, "Except for how I get free shit from my job, which is mostly about free shit." The fact that Hilda feels driven to explain what "merch" is short for should clue you into the fact that this is one of those episodes where the jokes -- and the impossibly anvil-icious and poorly constructed moral of the tale -- don't come fast and hard, but instead float lazily toward you from a million miles away, in the early '90s.
Which sucks, because I really like the woman that wrote this episode as a writer, and it feels a little messed-with, to be honest. A little tainted by someone or several someones from the ranks of the clueless not-so-hip. A little Bridge & Tunnel, a little Off-Off-Off. Bernadette Peters? Nikki Blonsky? A Tom Wolfe reference? A complete dearth of the sparkling, wisecracking dialogue that once characterized this show, in favor of hoary old Catskills routines and a bludgeoning ancient message about the hazards of having women in the workplace, neglecting their family and all-important fathers' decrees in order to walk around in pants and operate in a business setting? Seriously. This script was obviously stolen and marked up by aging, uncool drag queens. Who apparently can operate a time machine even with those long fake nails.