Sunday, April 08, 2007

Betty La Fea (Ugly Betty) Mas Bella Update XXXV

We hear a lot about series that "jump the shark" by doing something so bizarre in a quest to renew slumping ratings. In some silly ways, those efforts are frequently entertaining, like watching an older woman still wearing short skirts or a guy with a comb-over. What I'd like to have is a phrase for when a series insists on going on past its natural life, the natural course of the story it's telling. You've heard me lament enough about "La Fea Mas Bella" to know that's what I'm talking about here with it. I won't repeat everything, just note that I'm not saying the series has jumped a marine creature (although Tomas' hair might qualify). But they've lost the economy and symetry of the much better told "Betty La Fea." "La Fea" still has its moments, but its characters have worn their acts about as far as they can, with weeks more to go, and some have even disappeared (where's Marcia's idiot sister lately?). If you didn't see "Betty" and don't mind the never-ending never-ending, then please feel free to write me off completely. I'm sure you don't see what I'm talking about, and you shouldn't let a purist like me spoil it for you. But I'm betting that you won't remember it as fondly when it's over as fans of "Betty" like me clearly do. It should have been over by now. When's somebody going to come up with a phrase for that? There's a dollar in it for you.

Some "Ugly Betty" news you may or may not have heard. The series won a George Foster Peabody Award not long ago for being "unmistakeably graced with wry intelligence and heart." Say amen. . . . A cute interview with America Ferrera that includes this quote about having been in her first movie (some Disney thing): "You know the way you think when you're a teenager: Disney Channel today, Oscars tomorrow. I had achieved my dream and it wasn't totally fulfilling. I still had school problems. I still had boy problems. My life was still my life. I guess I had been waiting to be turned into a swan." Uh, sound like some series she's in? Here are a couple of other good ones: "For a time I though I could be a lawyer. Once I saw what it really meant to be a lawyer, I realized that it wasn't for me." Smart, smart girl. And, "But I think I've developed a really good sense of when I'm doing something for myself as opposed to when I'm doing something because of other people's expectations of me. And honestly, even if I wanted to be anorexic, I just don't have what it takes. After four hours of being anorexic, I'd be like, 'It's been four whole hours! Feed me!'" . . . Weird proof that New Zealand's tv suits are as loony as ours. Despite good ratings, the station running "Ugly Betty" there is pulling it to run "Dancing with the Stars" which used to replace something called "Sunday Theatre." They're just strange there. Look at how they spell theater. . . . And finally, another article on the care and feeding of the sets on the series, especially "Mode" offices and the Suarez household. What I liked the most was finding out that some of the family pictures scattered around the latter actually came from America's own family. Nice.