Saturday, September 20, 2008

Premeditating Ugly Betty: Season 3

I have to start this post with a shout out to Erin, who told me I was a fool for not watching Ugly Betty. Erin is my prophet, my rabbi, my teacher. Since discovering this show, and through it, the mystical ways of Betty, I am a better person. And about 50 times more gay. I say thank you. And Amen.

Season 3 starts on Thursday (9/25), and *reminder* the show will be filming in New York. I don’t know if filming on location will change anything, but it did provide an excuse for this epically awesome promo…

Now I’m 51 times more gay.

Season 2 came out last week, and I showed up at my neighborhood Target to buy it the day it came out. My adoration of this show is so profound, I didn’t even mind paying a few extra dollars if it means watching IMMEDIATELY instead of waiting 2-3 business days for Amazon to do its thang. Seriously… best few extra dollars I’ve ever spent.

A lot of people thought Season 2 was weak. I take umbrage with that, and not just because I love the word umbrage and don’t get to use it as often as I’d like. I think the writers’ strike and the resulting chaos unfairly tainted people’s opinions of this season, which is a real shame, because after watching it straight through, practically in one sitting, I am of the opinion that it is top-notch. Granted, some of the plot lines seem chopped and under developed, but I much prefer a quick resolution to a story-arc than no resolution at all.

Let’s discuss character by character, shall we? Proceed to the jump…

Oh, Saurez… or as the Besties like to call her… Grandma – she left on a jet plane, we don’t know when she’ll be back again. Did she fly with Henry to Tucson, where she’ll write for a local rag and endure awkward picnics in the desert with his kid and his Baby Mama? Or did she jet off to Roma with Gio to explore the hidden sandwich secrets of the Italian countryside (one word: salami)?

The above picture of America picking her nose is completely irrelevant. But also, funny.

Seeing Betty walk outside her door with the implication that she did indeed board a plane to somewhere is such an incredible cliffhanger, isn’t it? It made me think: if I were Betty, whom would I choose? That, friends, is a bitch of a choice to make.

I’ve loved Henry since he correctly identified the genus and species of Betty’s discount-drugstore-bought Halloween costume in Season 1. That’s just something I know. I wanted to jump him when he stood up to Pepper on the jousting pitch at Medieval Times. I still loved him when he left Betty for Charlie, who may or may not have been carrying his child. Even when it all started getting ridiculous – like when he allowed Charlie to sabotage Betty’s birthday – I still loved him. His love for Betty is as strong as his sense of responsibility to Charlie, and GOD doesn’t that suck for him? Betty and Henry’s deep commitment to making their relationship work is romantic and optimistic, but I must admit that I had trouble believing that two people as smart as they would keep trying to keep the affair alive.

And obviously, I love Gio. I have to hand it to the writers; they’ve created two terrific suitors for Betty. They are completely different, and yet both equally loveable. I’m not completely convinced Gio is right for Betty. Sure, he brings out some interesting facets of her personality, and she does relax around him, but I don’t sense the same connection that she has with Henry. Maybe I feel that way because the relationship was still kind of one-sided, even in the finale. We know Gio is madly in love with Betty, but I can’t guess how Betty feels. Maybe she doesn't even know quite yet. For that reason, I’m pulling for Betty to go to Rome with Gio. I think she owes it to herself to see if Gio has what it takes. A life with Henry in Tucson could be great, but Charlie will always be there, and Betty will always play second fiddle to a child that isn’t hers. Gio is a fresh start, without all the baggage and obstacles. Obviously, there has to be something wrong with him. I’m sure Season 3 will illuminate.

Hilda is one lucky bitch. I’m totally onboard with Eddie Cibrian, if only because it means he will keep appearing on my television in tight gym shorts.

Wilhelmina’s takeover of Mode was one of the plot points that kind of frustrated me. Her reinstatement to Creative Director and her promotion to Editor-in-chief by Alexis seemed to happen really, really fast. I get the feeling the writers always intended that to be the result at the end of Season 2, but the strike forced them to squeeze all the plotting and scheming into two episodes… to the point where there wasn’t any plotting and scheming at all. I found it odd that after everything, Alexis would just hand it all over, especially since she knows Wilhelmina (and her ambitions) better than anyone. I look forward to seeing how Claire and Alexis get along now, because it’s obvious Claire doesn’t approve. Yeah, this whole story-arc could have used more time.

So Daniel has a son. He’ll have to work out those Daddy issues sooner rather than later. And learn French. I was completely thrown by this plot twist, because I just don’t see where it’s going. Is Daniel, Jr. going to be a permanent fixture on the show now? Will he be the new heir to the Meade empire, at least until Wilhelmina’s spawn comes of age? Other than forcing Daniel to settle down and become an adult, I don’t see what function this kid will serve. Oh, well.

Speaking of Wilhelmina’s spawn… did you notice that neither Christina nor the baby she’s carrying were mentioned in the finale? And what of Christina’s husband? Is he going to get his surgery? I bet that was another storyline that got squeezed out by the strike.

Also left unresolved… Gene Simmons isn’t Amanda’s dad, so she’s back at square one. And Mark’s relationship with Cliff went nowhere. I’m not sure how I feel about Cliff. I get what the show is trying to do with Mark – you know, humanizing him and everything – but I think I like Amanda and Mark as they are: shallow, unapologetic, and bitchy. Would Mark date a guy like Cliff? Maybe, but maybe I don’t want him to.

1 comment:

Erin G said...

OMG I love this post almost as much as love Betty, and I have LOTS of comments.

First - I didn't know they were filming on location this year! I think that's super. Especially since I was just there, I think I will appreciate it even more. The city is almost like a character itself, so I think it will work well, much like Sex and the City. However, it does make me sad for those geniuses behind all the green screen work in season 1 and 2 (have you watched that special? It's somewhere on the special features section of the season 1 dvds, can't remember exactly where)... I mean, will they have jobs now? anyway I am anxious to see nyc.

1.) betty. I love henry, too, and sometimes I force myself to remember him as I am falling asleep, in the hopes of a henry sex dream. Yep, I said it. (I know it's wrong, but there it is. I've had some wine tonight and I'm being honest.) anyway. there's no way she will choose henry, since the show would kind of be over. I say she chooses gio or she chooses neither. in the dream sequence in the last episode, she sort of ran away from BOTH of them before "coming to" and saying she knew what to choose. which makes me think she's headed off to some fabulous vacation all by her bettyness. we shall see.

2.) hilda and coach. I hope she's not with the married dude, hot as he is. I LOVED her for hauling ass out of his car and leaving him all blueballed and panting. Not sure how I feel about her relapse.

3.) claire-alexis... ditto. I like where it went, it just happened too fast. I think alexis is feeling conflicted, too. I her character now that she's been more developed though... better than omg-she-used-to-be-a-man, which isn't half as interesting as the way her relationship is playing out with her family, including (I think) STILL trying to make herself worthy to someone like bradford.

4.) I like little orphan danny. I think his purpose will serve in allowing daniel to grow up, which is eventually where the story arc needs to go, don't you think? I mean, eventually he'll end up with betty, and he has to be worthy at that point. insert fatherhood. I'm all in.

5.) I LOVED cliff and marc, and I'm kind of bummed it's over. But mostly I just love marc (including his dynamic with amanda), and I admit that he'll probably be happier with someone witty AND hot. although that sort of defeats the premise of ugly betty. still, I'm pulling for marc to find true love, and still be the supportive friend to amanda that he's always been.

did I already say I LOVE this post???