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Ugly Betty: The Complete Fourth and Final Season - television series DVD / comedy DVD review
UGLY BETTY: THE COMPLETE FOURTH AND FINAL SEASON Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 4 1/2 stars
Actors: America Ferrera, Eric Mabius, Vanessa Williams, Ana Ortiz, Judith Light, Michael Urie
  Studio: ABC Studios
DVD release: 17 August 2010   Runtime: 860 minutes
(4 discs)
Format: AC-3, Box set, Color, Dolby, DVD, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Features: Aspect ratio 1.78:1, Audio tracks (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - English; Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo - English), Subtitles (English, Spanish), Audio commentary, All 20 fourth season episodes, Betty Bloops, Deleted scenes, Betty Goes Bahamas, Mode After Hours, Webisodes

America Ferrera in *UGLY BETTY: THE COMPLETE FOURTH AND FINAL SEASON*The fourth and final season of Ugly Betty has arrived amid muted fanfare. I think you can only run a show like Ugly Betty for so long, the caterpillar metamorphosing into a beautiful butterfly.

In the first season (nay, the first episode) we knew that Ugly Betty (America Ferrera) was more beautiful than most of the fake people she worked with at fashion magazine Mode. She came from a warm, loving and supportive family in Queens and fell into a job as Daniel Meade's assistant because she was not, on the surface, beautiful and would not likely inspire Daniel (Eric Mabius) to try to sleep with her.

By the fourth season, we've seen her grow from the sheepish ugly ducking to a more able and beautiful swan. She's been competent and inventive at her job as Daniel's assistant at Mode, and she seems to be blossoming into something more. She's recovering from a failed relationship with Matt (Daniel Eric Gold) and hopes to find some traction in her new job as assistant editor. In this it seems as if she's started over from square one, but Betty is able to turn things to her advantage, as we've seen over the years.

Betty's family is tumultuous. Hilda (Ana Ortiz) is dating politician Archie (Ralph Macchio) but flirting with Bobby (Adam Rodriguez). There is a wedding toward the end of the season, but I won't say to whom. Foremost in the drama of Betty's family is Hilda's son, Justin (Mark Indelicato), who is blossoming himself into a self-assured young man and (as if we couldn't see this coming) coming out (as gay) in high school. He is guided on this difficult adventure by Betty's co-worker Marc (Michael Urie), who has forded these rough waters on his own. He is gentle in his guidance, expecting where it will come out but not pushing Justin before he is ready to accept his nature. This is the most important story in the whole series, in my opinion. I can't imagine the support and comfort this thread has given to young viewers in the same uncomfortable shoes. This bit is handled thoughtfully, gracefully and hearteningly well. Kudos to Silvio Horta and the other writers in this.

Toward the end of the fourth season, Betty is ready to spread her wings, whether at Mode or elsewhere; both paths are fraught with pitfalls and peril. We suspect that Betty will handle this journey with her usual awkward abilities.

Most of the unanswered questions from the course of four seasons seem to get tied off neatly. This isn't Lost, but there remain threads unraveled in the last four years that need addressing. Who is Amanda's father? Got it. Can Wilhelmina stop being such an evil beyotch? Let's see. What of Christina? Henry? Gio? All tied up - but thankfully not tied up awkwardly. They are handled with glee and joy, and somehow it all seems to come together in a believable way, all except the bit with Daniel. That bit needed to have been staged a earlier in the series, but as these things go, they did the best they could with the time they had left. They might have done better had they known before halfway through the season that this would be their last.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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