Friday, September 28, 2007

"It's no secret you turn to potatoes in times of need.": Ugly Betty

Previously on Ugly Betty . . . everything was in the crapper. Our sophomore season premiere finds us in a steamy telenovela featuring everyone's favorite nerd love triangle - Betty, Henry and preggers Charlie (Jayma Mays). It's hilarious kitschy fun and of course, only a dream. As though her dream life isn't complicated enough, Betty's real life is exponentially worse. Her father is still in Mexico, Hilda won't leave her room, Daniel and Alexis are both still hospitalized after their season finale car accident and Henry hit the road with Charlie, who may or may not be having his baby. Drama. Thankfully though, Ugly Betty always tempers it's drama with heavy doeses of insanity.

On the insane front we have a newly fat Amanda who found out three weeks ago (damn, that's some hard core eating) that Fay Summers is really her mother and is forced to confront her parents about their deception. That storyline gets creepier as her return home implies that she's interrupting a 'swinging' good time, though at the very least she and Mark determine that, well, the identity of her father is indeterminate.

Meanwhile, Claire Meade's hiding out in the Hamptons and pretty honked off at Wilhelmina; Wilhelmina is still trying to figure out a way to take over Mode for REALS; Mark is trying to solve Amanda's daddy issues; Christina is trying to convince Betty to slow down; Betty is trying to convince Daniel to talk to a comatose Alexis; and oh yeah, did I mention that Hilda hasn't left her room?

Let's talk about Hilda's storyline for a bit. All throughout the episode we only see Hilda in her bedroom, a sunny, vibrant place where she and Santos (who ended the finale with bang, getting gunned down in a convenience store) hide away and exchange vows and cuddles and all things sweetness and light. Unfortunately for the Ugly Betty writer's room, I've watched far too much TV to be sucked in by such a turn of events. To me, the inevitable reveal at the end of the episode was pretty obvious and as a whole, not as well done as several shows have done it in recent memory. (See: Everwood's "The Last of Summer" and Scrubs' "My Screw Up")

Of course, this IS Ugly Betty we're talking about, so that wasn't the only ending we had. After a touching scene where Daniel takes Betty to bury her past with Henry, he himself buries his drug-using ways and finally goes to talk to his sister. This goes well for him, as Alexis wakes up a mere two sentences in (man, too bad no one thought about talking to her before!) only to reveal that she's thirsty.

Oh. And she doesn't know why Daniel is calling her Alexis. She's Alex. Ya burnt!

And as if that wasn't enough excitement, the episode ends with a shot of Henry getting off a bus at the green-screeniest Times Square in recent memory. Huzzah!

All in all, it was an action packed start to the new season. While it occasionally felt overstuffed, with as many loose ends as they left last season, I can forgive an extravagant premiere. This show is still easily the most colorful, vibrant show on tv. Honestly, it's one of the few shows that routinely leaves me giddy. So kudos to the Betty gang on a season well started.

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