Ugly Betty

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Jacob Clifton: B+ | Grade It Now!
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'Til We Have Prada

Daniel has a short meeting with his teenage attorney, who says suddenly DJ's French grandparents are claiming custody. Daniel's all, "But he IS home!" and things of this nature, and she cautions him that custody battles often turn ugly. (Here's a tip: only when the kid's not the point to begin with.) She points out that DJ's thirteen (I thought he was like five, I can never tell) and capable of forming an opinion about these things. Daniel is sad and wanders into a conference room to have some lonely feelings, all of which land squarely on a coffee mug of Betty's which was just sitting around with her face on it so he could find it and have feelings.

Mark coaches Betty about basic shit she already knows, going into a meeting with a crazy makeup lady. He applies some makeup to her face but of course it has no effect on her extreme ugliness. Crazy takes Wilhelmina's coffee out of Betty's hands immediately, causing attitude toward Betty from Wili and more sad faces from Betty. The woman checks out Betty's hideous face and asks if she uses her crazy makeup, and Betty -- because, again, she has become retarded -- says no. Mark jumps in all about how he sure does, and would rather plotz than go a night without her wonderful creams and unguents. Betty says she can't afford the crazy makeup, and the lady mentions they're debuting a budget line. Betty says they should advertise this in Mode, and the lady laughs, so then ...

Betty has to sit in a fashion magazine's conference room full of adults and explain the basics of aspiration. In a fashion magazine. To a makeup executive. At the most basic level. Because nobody has ever thought about the fact that poor people buy magazines about rich people stuff they will never afford. So maybe Betty's okay, I guess, because in the country of the blind, the brace-faced woman is king, but like: how did luxury magazines every spring into existence without your knowledge? Wili's like, "Isn't that fucking interesting because we just found a way to sell your new line." That "new way of selling" is called ADVERTISING. So of the people in the magazine industry that have ever read a magazine, you've got Betty at Player wondering why all the boobs, and Wilhelmina shocked that poor people read Mode, and crazy makeup lady being shocked by the genius idea of selling makeup in a fashion magazine. Which is why she was there in the first place. No wonder they're all always in trouble.

My favorite thing about this show has always been Betty's awesomeness, which this scene would have you believe it is about. Except, you know, usually it involves Betty actually being awesome instead of Betty saying basic shit everybody knows and then the people are somehow stupid for today only and find it brilliant. Coming out of the meeting, Betty can't believe her luck! Thank God everybody got stupid for five seconds so her obvious idea, which by the way would never actually play because it betrays the entire idea of aspirational branding to begin with, was met with amazed approval. Upside, she slaps Mark on the shoulder with excitement, which shocks him. He tells her Wili was not fucking smiling at her brilliant ass, but in fact just "showing her teeth." Wili summons her to the office, showing an admittedly fucked-up amount of teeth; Betty clutches terrified at Mark's arm and he slaps her away.

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Ugly Betty

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