Monday, January 01, 2007


The problem with "Ugly Betty" is that Betty is not ugly. And I would know, having watched five consecutive episodes on ABC Family mid-day on New Year's Eve.

The Uglies Betty on international versions of this show are GASFACE! SO STANK! They know what it takes to truly ugly up a bitch. In the States, the best they can do is cast a cute, curvy chick and figure that NORMAL WEIGHT is halfway to making her incredulously hideous-looking. That's not the only flaw of the show: There's the cute boss (Eric Mabius) who doesn't seem to be good at anything... or DO anything at all, for that matter; the mincing queen office-guy who minces up a mince-pie storm each episode as he over-the-top-gays-up the show, repellently so in the most gay-Uncle-Tom-ic fashion imaginable (Message from Hollywood: It's still safe to laugh at queers! Signed, Bob Iger. P.S. -- Send more gays.) Also, the distance between Betty's house in Rego Park, Queens, and her office on midtown is portrayed as being, like, 15 minutes away from each other. It's at least 20.

I don't want to make it sound like I'm a grouchy dousche who can't plug in to a popcult phenomenon ("Heroes" is mirthless, by the way). America Ferrara is great, a very capable comedic lead who long-deserved a shot like this. Salma Hayek's English is still "charming," and her cleavage has been described by no less than the late George Plimpton as, "being awed by it -- the uniqueness and nicety of style -- and I suspect I was a bit jealous because we were more or less of the same generation." I just don't think there's enough to make me add this to my appointment TV docket. Not when the first 15 minutes of the episode is spent pratfalling, only to have the final 15 spent mawkishly resolving the emotional hurt of said pratfalls to tinkling piano chords.

I gotta scram... a double-header of "Shark" and "8 Lbs" is coming on.