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Ugly Betty - The Complete Second Season - television series DVD / comedy DVD / sitcom DVD review
Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 4 stars
Actors: America Ferrera, Eric Mabius, Vanessa Williams, Michael Urie, Ana Ortiz
Producer: Salma Hayek Studio: Buena Vista
Home Entertainment
DVD release: 09 September 2008 Runtime: 765 minutes
(5 discs)
Format: Box set, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
Features: Audio tracks (English - Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround), Subtitles (English), On Set with the Besties, The Suarez Tour, Wilhelmina Slater: Love to Hate Her, Las Pasiones de Telenovelas, I Heart Betty, Betty Bloops, Deleted scenes

If you've not heard, Ugly Betty is the story of Betty Suarez (America Ferrera), an awkward, fashion-challenged, twenty-something who manages to get hired as the assistant to Daniel Meade (Eric Mabius), the editor-in-chief of top fashion magazine Mode. As is formula for this kind of thing, Betty is found to be worth more than first thought and kept on as a valuable member of the staff, rather than laughed out as she might be in reality. At first look, it seems similar to The Devil Wears Prada, but it soon spreads its wings and flies its own course.

Last season left several loose ends; Hilda's (Ana Ortiz) fiance, Santos, is shot in a convenience store holdup; Betty's father, Ignacio (Tony Plana), is stuck in Mexico without a visa after living in the U.S. for decades illegally; Betty's boyfriend, Henry (Christopher Gorham), got his recently exed girlfriend pregnant and must go to Tuscon; Daniel and recently transgendered sister Alexis (Rebecca Romijn) get into an auto accident; Bradford Meade (Alan Dale) asked Wilhelmina (Vanessa Williams) to be his wife, and ex-wife Claire Meade (Judith Light) escapes from prison.

Ugly Betty's roots are showing. The show began as a Columbian telenovela, Yo soy Betty, la fea ("I am Betty, the ugly"), and was adapted for U.S. television by its producers (including Salma Hayek). There's intrigue, limited retrograde amnesia, sex changes, a receptionist looking for a famous long-lost father, plots, subplots, fires, insanity, heartbreak, a pregnancy involving a dead man's seed, and so much more. That it is all tied together so well is amazing. Some bits of it are just outrageous and unbelievable, other bits are sweet enought to yank on the heartstrings. All throughout, Betty is the base. She stumbles repeatedly as we all do, but for the most part she is upbeat and optimistic about her life.

My only complaint is the way certain characters vacillate between the id and superego of their personalities. Daniel Meade will be a womanizing booze-hound one episode, he'll be the upstanding rock he needs to be in the next. It's most obvious when watching from the DVDs, because like candy it's just so delicious that it's hard to stop at a single episode. These changes over the course of a season would likely go unnoticed.

If you liked the first season of Ugly Betty, it's time to move on to the second. If you've not seen the first. It's time to start. Me, I'm gearing up to watch the third season to see which suitor Betty will choose.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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