Ugly Betty

Episode Report Card
Jessica: B+ | 5 USERS: A+
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Pilot
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We fade up on our heroine's round little face, as she sits and fidgets in the very grand lobby of Meade Publishing. I know we're supposed to think she's ugly -- hence the title -- but America Ferrera is totally cute. She just needs to get rid of the braces. And get a better haircut. And some cuter glasses. And some lipstick. Basically, she needs to be featured on this reality show that my friend Grant and I invented about three years ago, called Subtle Makeover. You know, it's just like Extreme Makeover, except at the end, everyone at the reveal is all like, "Did you get new glasses?" and the Makeover goes, "No! I just got bangs!" Anyway, Betty sits and fidgets, and then looks up and smiles, and moves over to make room, on the bench she's commandeered, for a tall, model-y type. "I like your poncho," Betty tells her. "My dad got me one in Guadalajara." The model sniffs dismissively: "Milan. Dolce and Gabbana. Fall."

Before Betty can respond, a suit calls her name, and she gets up for what I presume is a job interview. Her suit, I have to tell you, is not THAT terrible. It's very '80s, kind of a tweedy pink Chanel-y knockoff, and the skirt needs hemming ["and the jacket was a bit small" -- Wing Chun], but it's kind of retro and could be fun if the skirt were shorter, and if the whole thing were appropriately accessorized. Unfortunately, it clashes terribly with her shirt, and she looks totally fussy and dated. I do like her "B" necklace. Patricia Field, who did Sex and the City, is the costume designer for this show as well, and she apparently loves iconic necklaces. I do wonder if she's been reading Anne Boleyn biographies, or if it's just coincidental that Betty's necklace looks just like the one Anne Boleyn famously wore all the time. (I just read The Other Boleyn Girl, which makes much of the necklace, and I'm sure we'll see it in the movie version of the book. The book is quite good, by the way.) I don't know what Betty has in common with a woman whose powers of seduction induced a man to create an entirely new church so that he could marry her, and who was then accused of witchcraft (which may or may not have been true, but it was certainly convenient that her witchery was discovered when her husband wanted to marry her cousin), and who ended up getting her head lopped off, but not before giving birth to probably the most famous ruler England has ever had. I can't imagine there are going to be a lot of overlaps, but listen: no one loves a soap opera more than I do, so if Betty ends up in the Tower after allegedly nailing her gay brother to produce a male heir, I will be pleasantly surprised.

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Ugly Betty

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