When E! Online reported earlier this week that Ugly Betty might be limping toward cancellation, I had that feeling people sometimes get when they see their craptastic ex-girlfriend with a new woman, and realize that she’s suddenly turned into a superhero.
Oh, Ugly Betty, I gave us so many chances and you kept breaking my trust! Now you’ve taken up with the Friday night death slot, and you are more awesome than ever. Why, Ugly Betty? Why?!
There’s no doubting that Ugly Betty‘s third season was a debacle in almost every way — but the first six episodes of this season have been the best Betty ever. I think it still has life, and apparently ABC does too. There’s been lots of talk lately that the network is going to move the show to Wednesday nights and partner it with the breakout hits Modern Family and Cougar Town.
Here are six reasons I think Ugly Betty deserves a save:
1) Ugly Betty is still the gayest show on TV — Somewhere between the 78th and 79th time I heard “Don’t Stop Believin’” on Fox this summer, I thought Glee was going to snatch away the Gayest TV crown, but as the fall season has progressed, I’ve decided that Glee is kind of a poor-man’s Betty.
All the things Glee does well — the camp, the nuanced gay-teen pathos, the pratfalls — Ugly Betty does better. And with Betty, we get the gay with authentic story-telling and characters we’ve grown to adore.
2) Singing and dancing? — Oh, Betty‘s got that too.
(I can’t decide whether Glee or Betty has a better villain until I see Wilhelmina and Sue go head-to-head in a fisticuffs cage match.)
3) Ugly Betty is the one of the most ethnically and racially-diverse shows on TV — America Ferrera and Vanessa Williams keep bringing home the Emmy nods, and Anna Ortiz continues to be one of the most underrated actresses in Hollywood.
4) Betty‘s writers are queens of mean one-liners — Here are some of the season’s most awesomely caustic quips so far:
“Oh, I’m sorry; I couldn’t hear you over your loud shirt.” – Betty to Marc
“Now, ‘Hot Flash’ is just an insert, so you might have some staples in your face. Oh, but you’ve had that before.” – Claire to Willy
“Thanks. I feel better. And at least I’ll always have that cold sore.” – Amanda to Daniel
“So what?! You’re a chewer! I’m a yeller! We all got something!” – Hilda to Betty
“Don’t be sorry. Being sorry takes time. Just spit it out.” – Willy to Betty
“I’m not double-booking haircuts to make money to get you into private school just so you can get rejected ’cause you’re too stupid ’cause you skipped public school.” – Hilda to Justin
“That psychedelic misfit toy is living my dream!” – Marc to Willy
5) Betty is finally learning to dance with herself — One of the show’s problems has always been finding the balance between Betty’s love life and her career. This season, Betty is making her own way, with or without a plus one.
6) There’s no denying the power of America — Much has been made of Betty’s fourth season makeover, but it has been a seamless transition. It’s authentic to the character, and America Ferrera still brings a clumsy affability to role. Besides, the moral of this story has always been that beauty is a state of mind.
What do you think of this season of Ugly Betty? Has the show run its course, or us there life left at Mode?