Sunday, October 22, 2006

Betty La Fea (Ugly Betty) Mas Bella Update XXI

In a way I feel like apologizing to those of you who might have been watching "La Fea Mas Bella," Univision's far inferior remake of the classic "Betty La Fea," because of any recommendations I've made. The last month and a half of silliness (crazy models on horses, drunken Papis, idiotic house hunting, endlessly whining Marcia, male dance clubs) has only diverted from the story line, and every time they run those ADHD children in, I want to change the channel (but mi esposa won't let me).

Again, my memory may be failing me on "Betty," but I don't remember the kids in that one, only ones from Betty's past, which they haven't done much. These certainly haven't added anything but distraction from the plot. Telenovelas frequently have "kid" story lines, and sometimes entire (early evening) shows, as their way of addicting young, future viewers, like pushers giving away dope for free. But they always walk a fine line when they do between precocious and cute or obnoxious and annoying. "La Fea" has crossed, nay, leaped across that line in the wrong direction.

I'm hoping the show gets back on track. Soon. Angelica Vale has clearly lost weight on the series from some intestinal thing I read a story about, and it's had the unfortunate effect of prettying Lety up even with her moustache. (Can't you just picture the face of a first-time reader of these updates as s/he read that?) So they need to move on to the transformation. I'm not giving up on the show because I know the story, even though it's veered off into "Benny Hill" lately. But if you have or want to, I can't blame you. It's been disappointing. When I want what they've been doing, I'll watch Don Francisco, not a new version of a classic they've been badly messing with.

As for "Ugly Betty," not much new to say. Because of its star and her good chemistry with the male lead, they've created a moderate hit that might even get bigger once death-gurgle "Survivor" is done. It's nice to see America Ferrera do so well, although I'm very wary of the third-rate "Desperate Housewives" side-plot they've got going in case folks don't "get" the "ugly" in Betty.

A couple of notes: Salma (!!) is apparently going to show up as a real character during sweeps month in November (!!!). Also, I recommend that you go to
TV Squad on the Fridays after each new episode to read their comment line after the show's summary is up. The best part is seeing these novices to telenovelas talk about the actors on the faux-novela within "Ugly Betty." Salma (!!) has brought in some big hitters from telenovela-land for those cameos, but the responders don't really get it because they don't watch them for real. And they've completely mistaken the beautiful and pregnant maid (whose name I forget but she's one of their frequent heroines) for Salma (!!), which is a compliment to the actress, although she's probably a foot taller and a paler reflection. But maybe that's just me. (!!!)