”Ugly Betty”: Editorial decisions
Who’s the Wicked Witch of Ugly Betty? If someone had asked you faithful TV Watchers that question a couple months ago, how would you have responded? I’m guessing that names like Wilhelmina, Fey Sommers, Amanda, Bradford, Gina Gambarro, and even Marc would have come to mind. But, my fellow UB fans, for this week at least, that distinction goes to none other than Sofia, the once-pleasant MYW editor who duped not only Daniel into proposing (and all for a silly cover story!) but also Betty into leaving her cozy, albeit sometimes hostile, home at Mode. After last week’s somewhat static flashback episode, this week’s romp was like a shot of Red Bull.
(Before we go any further, you’ve no doubt realized I’m not Michael Slezak. Your usual Ugly Betty watcher is moving on to covering that teensy-weensy little show on Fox — what’s it called again? Oh yeah, American Idol. But much like Betty, we’ll soldier on in the face of adversity.)
Up until now, Betty’s big move to MYW seemed like a good idea for her — even though it was inevitable that she’d end up back at Mode, just for the sake of the premise. (Remember, the series is about an ”ugly” girl at a pretty-person place.) Although still assisting an editor in chief, at MYW she’d be working at a magazine where she’d fit in better. Her reception there was much friendlier than when she’d arrived at Mode wearing the notorious poncho. Even as she exited the elevators on the new floor, Betty was accosted by a starstruck but even uglier staffer, Ruthie, who rambled on about the cuteness of Betty’s sweater vest, which Marc and Amanda would have trashed immediately. (And by the way, wasn’t Ruthie the spitting image of the original Betty from the Colombian Yo Soy Betty, La Fea?)
Before Sofia pulled her Wicked Witch stunt, Betty’s move seemed golden. From the outset, however, it was clear that Sofia was up to something. When she and Daniel were in bed eating breakfast, she was fixated on an engagement ring. Her crying act to Betty about losing him was obviously fishy, too. And she was all too quick to send Betty back to Mode, under the pretext of writing a story about her experience there, to get her to tell Daniel how distraught she was.
The plot lent itself to some signature hilarious Betty scenes. My favorite was when Sofia hopped on the elevator with Amanda after everything went down on Rise and Shine America. With a photo of a high heel appropriately placed in the background, Amanda gave it to Sofia with her designer handbag, beating her to what we can only imagine was some sort of bloody pulp. If nothing else, that’s sweet, sweet Mode justice — using a stylish accessory as your weapon.
And the second best scene this week? When Betty snatched the cover story from the ”handi-capable” staffer, threw a beanbag chair at Ruthie, and ran for her life to tell Daniel about Sofia’s plot.
And what about when Betty and Christina went to Boylesque to ”investigate” Sofia’s purported ex-boyfriend, Hunter? Simply classic. Ashley Jensen had another bevy of one-liners, with my favorites being ”I’m assuming everything is à la carte,” as she stared at a scantily dressed Hunter in front of her, and how she described the bridge-and-tunnel bachelorette party across the club: ”That woman is about to marry some fat, bald, pasty-looking dentist. This is her last supper. She is cashing out!” Okay — I can’t resist — one more, after Christina found out what Hunter did for a living: ”Sofia was dating a stripper? Oh my God, I love her!”
The usually show-stealing Wilhelmina was tamer than her well-coiffed ‘do this week, subdued first by her Texas man’s love and then by his subsequent move back to his wife. I died of laughter when Wilhelmina, waltzing into the office in a extremely pleasant mood and a pair of jeans, told Marc that Ted had taken her to an outlet mall (can you just imagine her there?) where she ”shopped next to fat people.”
And, in the tradition Mike Slezak started, what was the Puffs-worthy moment of the week? That’d have to be when Betty was stuck in the production room at Rise and Shine America, as she watched Sofia rip Daniel’s heart out on national television. Always the one to save the day, Betty didn’t quite make it this time. (Those security guards were no help.) Betty’s furrowed brows and pained grimace made me want to tear Sofia’s eyes out. But my gut tells me that even if Betty had been able to tell Daniel the truth, he wouldn’t have believed her. The dopey guy was so love-struck by the luscious Sofia that he couldn’t see straight. Hell, he was even reading Sofia’s book about love, which she claimed she wrote while drunk.
So, in the fallout from Sofia’s cover story and revelation to Daniel, Betty quit MYW, which was also heartbreaking to watch. She gave up a job at a dream magazine because of her allegiance to Daniel and her morals. I couldn’t help recalling the movie version of The Devil Wears Prada when Sofia said she saw lots of herself in Betty, to which our heroine quickly recoiled. Paging Andrea Sachs and Miranda Priestly in a Paris town car! Even as much as we all want to see Betty back at Mode, a few things stand in the way: Amanda and Fey Sommers, who — judging from the previews for next week — seems poised to make her comeback, allowing Wilhelmina to run the show at the magazine. (Actually, I kind of can’t wait for something like this to happen!)
But, TV Watchers, what do you think? Will Bradford go through with firing Sofia for what she did to Daniel? What will happen if Wilhelmina takes over at Mode? Did Ignacio’s immigration problems get resolved too easily? And, most important, where the heck was the now Burberry-belted Justin?