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Ugly Betty - The Complete Third 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: ABC Studios
DVD release: 22 September 2009 Runtime: 765 minutes
(5 discs)
Format: Box set, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
Features:Aspect ratio 1.78:1, Audio tracks (English - Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround), Subtitles (English, French, Spanish, Chinese), Coming Home to New York City, Mode After Hours, Look Who Keeps Popping Up, Betty Bloops/alternate takes, Deleted scenes

Season two of Ugly Betty left Betty Suarez (America Ferrera) having to choose between sandwich artisan Gio (Freddy Rodriguez) and number-cruncher par excellence Henry (Christopher Gorham). Betty opens the season with the fallout after her decision to remain alone and find herself. Betty went on a tour of the US and came back to Queens revitalized and with a three-part plan:
  1. Take on more responsibility at work
  2. Not let romantic entanglements get in the way
  3. Get her own apartment in New York City.
Part one runs into a stumbling block when she returns to find Wilhelmina (Vanessa Williams) in complete control of Mode Magazine and Daniel (Eric Mabius) downstairs running Player Magazine (targeted toward adult males who haven't quite grown up yet). Betty switches gears, as she must, to try and make part one of her plan work.

Part three of her plan stumbles when she signs a lease on an apartment sight-unseen and is disappointed to see the state it's in.

Part two also runs into trouble when she meets Matt (Daniel Eric Gold) and they begin getting entangled romantically.

Betty's sister Hilda (Ana Ortiz) is in a relationship with Justin's (Mark Indelicato) gym teacher, who is married. Naturally this is a problem for Betty and her family. Ignacio (Tony Plana) encounters employment and health problems as well as getting into a new relationship.

Ugly Betty is a prime-time soap opera that doesn't take itself too seriously. If you describe most of the plot arcs in broad strokes, you might well turn your nose up at it, but the magic is all in the presentation. Things are kept light and bouncy to keep the viewer interested. Season three has the characters acting more evenly throughout. The first couple of seasons, the supporting characters vacillated between good and not so good. It seems Betty has helped them to find their ways.

Supporting characters are a big part of Ugly Betty, especially Marc (Michael Urie) and Amanda (Becki Newton), who are a hoot to watch. Justin isn't given enough to do this season, but he still brightens every scene he's in. Christina (Ashley Jensen) is wonderful as Betty's main friend at Mode, and Suzuki St. Pierre (Alec Mapa), while usually just a talking head on a TV, in season three reveals a surprising side of himself that is a treat.

The main thing to take away from Ugly Betty is the way in which family and friends are so important to Betty. Everything goes to hell here and there, but it's made better with the help and loyalty of loved ones. Fashion is a brutal business, but at Mode it's as much about family as in the Suarez household.

Extras include an excellent blooper reel, "Mode After Hours" (web shorts featuring Marc and Amanda), deleted scenes, commentary, and a great feature on how production of the show was moved from L.A. to New York, a move which has made a noticeable difference in the finished product.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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