Monday, April 19, 2010

What I’m Watching: Ugly Betty (Series Finale)

Ugly Betty: Season 4, Episode 20 “Hello Goodbye” (B+)

This is a fitting finale that helps seal up a great series without any truly crazy plot twists or anything like that. It’s fun to see Suzuki St. Pierre covering everything in his very dramatic fashion, since he’s been there since the beginning and he was always such a great peripheral character. Starting with the fake-out funeral was enjoyable, and the bizarre emphasis on Amanda’s dog was a bit strange but didn’t detract at all. Having Amanda find her real father and have an inane discussion with him about the things fathers and daughters are supposed to say to each other was great, and Bryan Batt was a great choice to play her father, who thought that her mother was actually Andy Warhol. Ignacio trying to keep Betty from going to London by cooking her portions of the disgusting-sounding food and researching facts about the city on the Internet was entertaining, and it’s nice that he ultimately accepted the decision of both of his daughters to move on with their lives. I like how the bonds between Marc and Wilhelmina and Betty and Daniel, respectively, were emphasized in this last installment. Seeing Wilhelmina look nervously over to a disappointed Marc when she was about to turn Tyler is was a powerful moment, and Marc’s subsequent smile was equally rewarding. It turns out that selflessness often ends up working out pretty well, as Wilhelmina doesn’t have to fight one bit for her job, and she just gets it handed to her. Daniel’s attempt to go for a dramatic effect by burning Betty’s release letter was a great last stupid act by him: “in my defense, it looked a lot cooler in my head.” Him ultimately following her to London and asking her out on a date is a lot better than a make-out scene would have been, and I’m very pleased with the show’s ending. I especially liked how the “Ugly” disappeared from the show’s title in the last frame. Betty has had quite a journey over the past four years, and this is one show that’s going out on a good note, since it never really reached any low point and has remained solidly good throughout its whole run. Betty and crew, we’ll miss you.

Season grade: B+
Season MVP: Michael Urie
Best season: Season 1
Series grade: B+
Series MVP: Becki Newton & Michael Urie


Richter Scale said...

I'm going to miss this show, and yes, the ending was perfect. I'm happy the show ended before they had a chance to give her a makeover other than taking her braces off (since they ended every version of Betty La Fea like that, or so I'm told). And, yes, Marc and Amanda, as much as they annoyed me at first, ended up being two of the best characters on TV and I will miss them. I'm glad you warmed up to this show, Abe. There's a few others that I think you could give another chance (like The Middle, which has gotten so much better since the Pilot, and Community, which has also gotten much funnier since those first two lackluster episodes). Also, seein Bryan Batt was one of the highlights for me, since I'm going to miss him if he doesn't come back to Mad Men.

Abe Fried-Tanzer said...

Glad you liked it! I kept up for a few episodes with both "The Middle" and "Community" but wasn't interested in either and dropped them both after three or four installments. I've heard that both have gotten better, but I'm just not terribly interested. I can at least stand "The Middle," but there's no way I could tolerate any more of "Community." If a dull week of new programming leaves me yearning for something more, I'll give them a shot. I'm more excited, however, about the return of "Party Down" on Friday!