TV Time: Betty’s Back

All right, so the Glee finale has come and gone–and sweet mother of mercy, what a finale it was!  I could take up acres of bandwidth critiquing the episode and looking back on the remarkable fall season as a whole, but I thought it would be more pragmatic to address the tremendous hole in everyone’s television viewing lives created by Glee‘s absence.  You’ll be happy to hear that I know just how you can fill it.

If you’re aching for some fast-paced, continually surprising, occasionally over-the-top stories that will make you cry tears of laughter and joy, performed by a terrific, diverse, divinely assembled ensemble with a smart, funny, and energetic creative team behind them, then turn in to Ugly Betty, currently airing on ABC at 9:00 on Fridays.

Now, I understand (or at least hope) that you might have better things to do on Friday night, but it’s totally worth the space on your DVR for your hung-over Saturday mornings.  This season, Betty has been enjoying a delightful return to form: it’s got laughs, it’s got heart, and it makes sense.  The move of Betty‘s everyday production to New York understandably shook the show up last season; certain cast

Shy of Jane Lynch, there's no better bitch on TV

members didn’t want to make the move and had to be awkwardly written out (Alexis, Christina).  Yet the ship never appeared to right itself even after those first few episodes.  One of the biggest plot threads of the season (Wilhelmina’s baby) fizzled out with little satisfaction.  Daniel and Molly’s relationship was a snooze once they made it official, and her terminal diagnosis backfired in getting viewers to care about her.  Lastly, the writers tried to drag Betty back to square one by having her move back home, struggle for recognition at Mode, and by having Henry needlessly return.

If one of the main reasons why I stopped watching last season was because the writers refused to

One of TV's best characters--and shows--is back on track

advance their titular heroine, I can happily say that someone heard my complaints in the interim.  The premiere episode of the season was aptly titled “The Butterfly Effect”, and that’s just what’s happening this season: characters are coming out of their shells, spreading their wings, showing off their new colors, and taking chances.  Betty, Marc, Wilhelmina, Claire, Amanda, Justin…they’re all growing in pretty remarkable ways.  It’s definitely worth your time.

You can find episodes at ABC.com or Hulu.  I think tomorrow’s episode is the last before the holidays.  Come 2010, Ugly Betty is moving to Wednesdays at 10:00.  Not the most ideal time slot, but inching closer back to where it belongs.

~ T

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