I’ve always been drawn to shows with comedic and dramatic overtones, and I believe it has a lot to do with an absolute need for escapism. Literary expression and the cinematic experience are artistic vehicles that can transport me to places and situations outside the realm of normalcy and actuality, and while there I am allowed to let my imagination latch onto the vision of someone’s creative parodies that run parallel to those of real life.
Much of what I find entertaining has a core rich with ulterior motives and sometimes heartwarming messages that often times mock situations surrounding human interaction, and I suppose the over the top sappiness does this tugging thing when it lightly strokes the thin layer of my heart. I am reminded that somewhere out there are hopeless romantics who see life and love as I do, a vision where candle lit dinners and long walks on the beach, followed by intense and steamy love making sessions are common.
I’m pretty sure you are wondering what the hell this has to do with Ugly Betty; well, the whole idea of a kind, young, awkward looking, fashion challenged, ambitious Hispanic woman entering into the superficial and glamorous, cut-throat world of high fashion is intriguing and inspiring. Betty Suarez, Ugly Betty, was played by the cute and lovable, America Ferrera.
I didn’t become a fan of this colorfully humorous hour-long sitcom until sometime around the middle of it’s second season, but once I did I was hooked on the story line about how this likable underdog locks horns with a variety of snobby characters who pretty much looked their noses down at her, all because of her homely attire, sheep-dog bangs, horn-rimmed glasses, and teeth strapped with silver wire.
Regardless of her questionable fashion sense, her brilliance and intuitiveness about fashion history, as well as, her keen knowledge of Mode Magazine, the company she manged to land a job at as executive assistance to the co-editor, who is, ironically, the son of the owner, made her an unsuspecting force of nature to be reckoned with episode after episode.
This is what captured me instantly; based on ambition and inner confidence, an unquestionable innocence, and honest loyalty, she won the heart and friendship of her playboy boss, Daniel Meade, played by Eric Mabius; as well as, the respect of the bitchy Wilhelmina Slater, played by the lovely and talented Vanessa L. Williams. Remember her? She was the first African-American crowned Miss America — which is another underdog story in itself.
The entire concept of the show reminds me of Forrest Gump, which was the extraordinary story about a simple man with a heart of gold, who may have been seen as mentally slow in the eyes of others, who may have not had the chiseled features of a GQ model, who may have started out life with braces on his limbs so that he could walk, but that inner unstoppable glow yielded a life filled with insurmountable wealth and accomplishments. That riveting scene where he runs out of those braces, zipping beyond the reach of the bullies who had taunted him since childhood, was extremely spiritual and solid fool for the soul.
Thankfully, I was able to see season one of Ugly Betty and, again, for some it might be a bit fairytale like, how all of this success could happen to someone who doesn’t seem to fit in, but then, that’s exactly what I loved most of all about this series; it doesn’t matter where you come from, it doesn’t matter if the arena you are trying to step into is filled with beautiful ripped & ready bodies and you have a little meat around your waistline, the only thing that matters is that if you believe in yourself, and stay true to yourself, and live ethically and honesty, you can not only achieve what you set out to do, you can also be whomever it is you want to be.
During the final episodes you see this Ugly Betty blossom from an awkwardly dressed fashion disaster into this lovely, vibrant successful editor, poised to embark on a fabulous journey abroad, minus the railroad tracks on her teeth, with a savvy flair for fashion. I know, it reads just like something unbelievable, but that’s what made me love it so — because of the possibilities.
If you want to be inspired, laugh a little and, perhaps even, cry a little, catch a couple of episodes — they are now in syndication on AT&T U-verse Channel 44 KBCW.
You can also catch episodes at HULU
HULU link: http://www.hulu.com/ugly-betty
Author G. D. Grace
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