As you all are aware, Ugly Betty ends its four-season run on ABC and Citytv tonight at 10pm. When I found out about the series back in the summer of 2006, I didn’t really have any desire to watch it or check it out. But for some reason, I had some extra time on a random Thursday night later that September and watched the premiere episode. I loved it and never missed an episode.
Two factors drew me into the series: it was set in the media industry and that Betty, although an outsider who had big dreams of making it in the industry. I could relate to that. While Betty was immersed in the world of publishing and fashion, I was working towards a career in the online content.
When the show began, I was in the third year of an intense five year communications program (while some may call the fifth year a victory lap, I’d like to refer to it as the time that allowed me to stack up on internships and actual resume building experience). During Betty’s run, I found similar parallels between Betty’s career path and my own. Just as Betty began working for Mode, I got my first major part time web design gig that kept me kept me out of trouble in between my classes. Granted my in-office experiences probably couldn’t compare to the hilarious predicaments Betty found herself from week to week at the Mode offices, I was able to relate to Betty’s feelings of insecurity and constant worry of failure.
Betty Suarez is probably one of television’s strongest characters. While she didn’t have to slay any vampires or save the world from impending apocalypses on a weekly basis, she did face the constant struggle to stay true to herself and her path. Betty never sold out.
Sure, the show had a lot of camp. But it was good camp. Storylines were outlandish, but it was based on a South American telenovela, so we all know it could have been much more exaggerated.
Ugly Betty was a heartwarming show. The family was always connected as a real should be (TV and real world). The characters were actual characters…meaning they were always set a part from each other as true characters should be. The actors weren’t just reading lines. Ignacio, Hilda, Justin and even Bobby towards the end were characters you wanted to share a meal with. Marc and Amanda were co-workers you wanted to gossip with. Whilemena and Claire were women you would be afraid to work under but be in awe of them at the same time. Meanwhile, Alexis is simply a character we’d all like to forget.
My main problem with the show had to be with the way Betty dealt with her suitors. No one liked Walter. A lot of people liked Henry…I wasn’t really one of them. Sure, nerd love is cute but in no way could that have lasted. Henry came with an infant. Having her very own instant family would have never led Betty to achieve her goal. Then there was Gio. Gio was probably the best (not to mention, the funniest). He challenged her. I’m glad he came back a couple of weeks ago to do that again. Matt was a disaster and should just be forgotten.
Now, we’ve got this hinted pairing of Betty and Daniel. Random as hell as it just started in the penultimate episode. All the other incarnations of Ugly Betty ended with Betty and the boss character getting together, but this seems a little forced. Considering the timing of the cancellation, I’ll allow Daniel to quickly realize that Betty is the one he wants, but I hope Betty decides to choose her new job in London over Daniel.
I know it’s upsetting, but Ugly Betty fans should consider themselves lucky as the show is actually ending on a creative high note. Let’s also keep in mind that we’re getting an actual ending. Too many shows have ended with nonsensical cliffhangers where viewers have been mad at networks for years (big shout out to Las Vegas fans). I’m in no way saying I want this show to end. I’d totally be down with the fifth season / spin-off, Betty in London (as long as she takes Marc and Amanda with her…the Suarez’s could visit during sweeps).
Tonight’s finale, “Hello Goodbye” finds Justin and Bobby apartment hunting in Manhattan while Hilda is unable to leave the home in Queens. Amanda deals with the death of her dog, Halston, as Marc wonders if he’ll ever have a successful relationship. Meanwhile, Betty finds it difficult to tell Daniel important news about her future.