Sunday, October 07, 2007

"Ten bucks says there's a coat in there made of dalmatian puppies.": Ugly Betty

This season's second episode of Ugly Betty was a return to form. "Family/Affair" featured lots of my favorite pairings and lots of soapy goodness, so let's start with all the good and see if we can't scrounge up something to complain about at the end.

Like I said, I loved the couplings in this episode, what with Betty and Christina breaking into Wilhelmina's; Amanda caring for an ugly, elderly canine; and (my favorite!) Marc bossing around his new intern, Justin.

Marc and Justin, obviously kindred spirits in the show's universe, have even better chemistry than that between Marc and Amanda (and that's saying something). Marc is exactly the kind of individual that Justin needs in his life, especially about now, seeing as his deceased father and absentee grandfather have left a pretty big hole in his support system.

Betty and Christina are also a joy to watch together. Christina always serves Betty with a strong reality check that she almost always desperately needs. This episode turned it on it's ear a bit with Betty being that badass and spearheading a breaking and entering (all in good fun, though, and it WAS for Daniel's sake, after all). Christina also had a stellar scene later on in the episode, finally taking it upon herself to tell a newly returned Henry the truth about Charlie and her fetus. This, in turn, spurred a heartbroken, wine cooler drunken Henry to show up on Betty's doorstep at episode's end. Oh the drama!

Amanda and her late mother's dog was also one for the ages. Such a nasty, foul little creature, heightened perhaps by the fact the animal so accurately reflected what Amanda's soul must look like. But redemption was available for both shrew and shrew's best friend this episode allowing Amanda to clutch to what remained of her mother's estate while still waiting on those good old paternity test results. And really, aren't we all rooting for the incestuous plotlines that a Daddy Meade storyline would bring? I thought so.

As for the "Ignacio Does Deportation" storyline, I'm pretty torn. On one hand, I feel like it's a good catalyst for us to see Betty make questionable moral choices, as this episode showed us, on the other hand it's been dragging on FOREVER. Ugh. Then this episode's final twist got me to the point where the entire thing is trying my patience. "Hey, remember how Ignacio killed a guy? We're finally going to address that now." Sheesh. Ultimately, I think the show is weakened when the cast isn't completely centralized.

One last complaint: I can't figure out what they're trying to say about the Alex/Alexis persona, but it doesn't seem very accurate or fair the the trans-sexed community. While Alex seems okay waking up a chick (Oh hey! Boobs! Neat!) it kind of comes off like he originally made the choice to switch mainly as revenge, less as a yearning to right a biological wrong. Now, I realize this is a fun, soapy show, not one to make a fuss or address the larger issues, but I found this juxtaposition extremely distracting.

All in all, a super episode and an improvement over the season premiere. Next week looks to be addressing Amanda's parentage, Ignacio's continuing existence, and Henry's renewed presence in Betty's life. Huttah!

1 comment:

Carrie said...

When Henry raised that wine cooler to take a drink I laughed so hard I almost sprained something. A perfect moment.

I, too, am having problems with the Alex/Alexis story. There should be an emotional beat to mine here, but it seems like the show is completely ignoring it. For a program that has always been gay/bi/transgender friendly, this seems like a bad route to take. I hope they get more into Alexis' frame of mind soon.

Marc and Justin are perfect. Marc and anyone is perfect, really.