The fourth series of hit US comedy drama Ugly Betty finally comes to British TV but sadly it is the final chance you have to see the bespectacled, braces-wearing Betty battle it out against ‘the plastics’ that rule the roost at Mode magazine.
Ugly Betty was cancelled in the States at the beginning of the year and it is probably just as well. As clever as this show was, it has probably run its course.
When the show began, it revealed the superficial and hilarious world of a top fashion magazine from the point of view of unfashionable would-be writer Betty Suarez. Betty is given the job as the personal assistant to the womanising editor-in-chief Daniel Meade to try and stop him sleeping with his assistants and in the end not only changes the perceptions of those working around her but also her own.
The first three series were known for their clever storylines, sharp dialogue and comic pairing of Marc St James and Amanda Tanen but unfortunately all that seems to have disappeared in the final series. Whether the original writers have moved on to new projects or just lost interest, it is no wonder that this series is the last.
The storylines aren’t much better than daytime American soaps with inconsistencies and lack of commitment but at least knowing it was the last series, they were able to tie things up neatly an show how the characters had moved on. The poor quality of this series is also reflected in Channel 4’s scheduling of the show, moving it from a primetime evening slot to a Sunday afternoon dead spot but die-hard fans will still make sure that they set their Sky+ to make sure that brilliant or not, they see what happens to the girl from Queens with the get-up-and-go that challenged fashionable Mode Manhattenites.
And it a bittersweet ending for the actors too. Although they loved being in the show and working with each other, they appreciated that it was time to move on too.
America Ferrera, who shot to fame by playing the fashion-challenged Betty, said when she found out it was going to be the final series: “It’s hard to say goodbye to something that’s always been such a big part of your life and to people who have become like family to you. You won’t be working with them on a daily basis in that capacity anymore and that’s tough. But, at the same time, it was just a really magical experience and we were all so grateful for it. You had to smile through the tears because we were just so lucky to have had that experience.”
The first episode of this series opens with Betty having a disastrous first day as associate features editor of Mode. All the other section editors snub her, Marc is constantly undermining her because he felt he was more deserving of the promotion and ex-boyfriend Matt, who is now her boss, is making life very difficult. Meanwhile, Wilhemina lines up a surprise for the Mode office, and Justin gets bullied on his first day at secondary school.
The final series of Ugly Betty starts this Sunday 15th August, 3.45pm on Channel 4
[picture credits: Channel 4]