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STUDIO: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
MSRP: $34.99RATED: PG-13RUNNING TIME: 95 minutesSPECIAL FEATURES:
• Deleted Scenes
• Short Featurettes
The love triangle season.
Season Two’s best kill!
Cast: America Ferrera, Eric Mabius, Becki Newton, Judith Light, Vanessa Williams, Michael Urie, Freddy Rodriguez, Christopher Gorham
Betty Suarez and the staff of Mode Magazine return in Ugly Betty Season Two, featuring appearances by Marlo Thomas, Victoria Beckham, Vera Wang, Mo’nique, Eliza Dushku, Betty White, Annie Potts, Bow Wow, Gene Simmons, and Lindsay Lohan. Betty gets entangled in a love triangle between dorky beau Henry (Christopher Gorham) and the sandwich slinging renegade Gio (Freddy Rodriguez), Amanda searches for her biological father, and Wilhemina guyjacks sperm from Lost‘s Charles Widmore in the coolest ABC crossover event since the guy from Roots snuck aboard the Enterprise for seven seasons.
“Diabetty Teddy requires insulin now. It hurts being dead.”
Ugly Betty is not a CHUD thing. We don’t even have a message board thread for it, and we have threads for everything back there – school shootings, chimp maulings, and even the unrelentingly phony Hell’s Kitchen make a home on the boards, but nobody says peep about Betty Suarez. It’s not terribly surprising, since Ugly Betty’s high melodrama and predictable plots don’t make for great analysis. It has its own arsenal of charms, though, beginning and ending with its likable characters and featherlight tone. As a tongue in cheek comic diversion, it’s pretty easy to fall for the lure of the Suarez family.
As a result of the 2008 writer’s strike, season two feels like a breeze at only 18 episodes, putting the set a full disc shorter than season one. Since it’s as much of a narrative-driven show as something like Lost, the abbreviated season isn’t a problem. Missing out on yet another sabotage plotline doesn’t feel punishing. Nice try, writers!
Early drafts of Alexander Payne’s terrific film Sideways told the comitragic story
of an alcoholic dwarf with a sideways head.
Betty shares the main stage a little more this time around, with Amanda, Daniel, and Wilhelmina all getting first tier plotlines, like Amanda’s search for her father and Daniel’s discovery that he has a son. Betty’s love triangle plot still gets the most screen time, as season two sees her shift between Henry and Gio across several episodes. It’s a shame that neither of the lead guys are all that compelling or funny, and it’s a little offputting to see Federico from Six Feet Under play love interest to the almost childlike Suarez. Luckily, there’s much more going on at Mode Magazine than Betty’s relationship, like a hilariously operatic plot where Wilhelmina inseminates herself with the sperm of Mode’s dead founder to claim ownership of the company. There’s a scene where Wilhelmina reaches into her fridge and pulls out a glowing supermax sperm cooler (that emits fog for some reason) and stares at it menacingly. Vanessa Williams plays it straight, too.
Williams is a perfect match for Wilhelmina, and the rest of the cast is just as good here as they were in season one. Michael Urie’s Marc gets the best one liners, and might be my favorite character on the show. Tony Plana’s also fun to watch as the Suarez patriarch. Fun Fact: Tony Plana is the voice of Grim Fandango’s Manny Calavera. They reference this in the show every time Ignacio pulls out a Robert Frost balloon from his jacket.
If you liked the first season, you’ll enjoy the second. It’s such a light show that it’s hard to imagine hating it, but if you hated the way Ugly Betty wraps up melodramedy inside a spoof of telenovellas, you’ll hate this, too.
STOP INTERRUPTIN’ MY FLESH FEAST
It’s a leaner package than Season One, but there are a few good extras, including a group of surprisingly well produced behind the scenes featurettes, an almost endless group of deleted scenes, and a gag reel. The box includes a foldout map of NYC showing Ugly Betty points of interest, which gives the show a neat sense of place.
The audio sounds like a direct copy of the show’s 3/2.1 signal, and the video looks good when upscaled to 1080p. The box art is unremarkable.
7 out of 10