By now, you’ve probably read so much about Ugly Betty that if one more person mentions its freespirited charms or winning leading lady, you’ll be at risk of smothering them with a Guadalajara poncho. But please, I implore you, suppress the hype-fueled rage and quit tryin to resist Betty’s full-figured charms. For one thing, I’m writing the Ugly Betty TV Watch this season, and I get depressed when my mom is the only one to chime in on the message boards. (You’ll know her work because she tends to sign everything ”Polly Slezak.” Oh, Mom!)
Anyhow, in honor of tonight’s Ugly Betty premiere, let’s flash back on the musical highlights of its lovely and amazing cast member, Vanessa L. Williams (pictured, with costar Michael Urie), whose hellion character pulls off the impossible task of making a Botox injection look simultaneously glamorous and hilarious. ”The Comfort Zone” video clip — with its swimming pool/piano, electrified doors to nowhere, and jazz flute (!) — may cause dangerous early ’90s flashbacks, but if you minimize the screen and just listen, you may understand why the song remains a staple in the Slezak iPod. ”Running Back to You,” meanwhile, makes that old-school mistake of splattering random song lyrics on the screen, but how many one-time Miss Americas can break it on down like V-A-N-E-double S-A? As for the ridonk ”The Right Stuff” video, well, I’m gonna withhold comment. Miss Williams gave us A Diva’s Christmas Carol, after all. Let’s show some respect.