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Could 'Ugly Betty' save Lindsay Lohan's career?

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Ll_lHow’s this for a juicy casting rumor: An anonymous someone told the New York Observer that Lindsay Lohan’s next big project could be a three-episode guest role on ABC’s Ugly Betty. For some celebwatchers, this is just another opportunity to throw shots at one of their favorite punching bags. (“Tipsy Terror Mulls Part,” cracks the Observer story’s subheadline — yuk, yuk, yuk.) All kidding aside, though, I think this sounds like a pretty smart move for ol’ LL Cool LL (pictured).

For one thing, the part sounds like it’d be right up her alley. The Observer‘s source has her playing “a fallen beauty queen who takes a gig as the assistant manager of the fast food chain where Betty’s dad toils… Betty befriends Ms. Lohan’s character, who has fallen on tough times since high school.” And how! It’s tough to resist linking that description to Lohan’s own career path post-Mean Girls. But the comparison is a useful one for less flippant reasons, too: This part would let Lohan return to the light social comedy that she excels at for the first time in years. Give audiences a chance to laugh with her, not at her, and they just might start respecting her again.

addCredit(“Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage.com”)

And this seems like the right level of work for her right now. Amulti-episode TV arc would let her remind the world of her remainingacting skills without having to commit to a film’s long-term shootingschedule — low-impact, big splash. (PopWatch’s Gary Susman makes theconverse point that a stint on Betty would still require enoughwork to make a real point: “Just for her to have a gig that requiresher to display her professionalism by showing up at regular hours forlong workdays for three straight weeks is probably an importantmilestone for her at this stage.”)

Of course, what this all really comes down to is how forgiving we’refeeling. Is it too late for Lohan to turn her career around? Do youcare anymore? And even if you’re still rooting for her, do you eventhink she’s still up to the challenges of a memorably funny guest run?