Must-see: Ugly Betty

Written by Tashi from the blog Tashi's TV on 14 Jan 2010
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Ugly Betty premieres on SABC3 next Monday (18 January 2010) at 21h00 and runs Mondays to Wednesdays at the same time - for a 23-episode season.

Here's an article published about the show before it premiered on M-Net in July 2007 explaining why you have to get Bettyfied.
I caught the premiere episode of Ugly Betty at the weekend and it's left me a changed person.

With all the awards and acclaim its won since it release in the US I was stressed that it wouldn't live up to all the hype or that I wouldn't understand why it's so popular.

It was nothing like I imagined it would be yet also exactly as it should be, except even better. I think I was expecting something along the lines of  My Name Is Earl - but it turned out to be Desperate Houseswives mixed with something unique and it moved me in a huge way.

The show centres around ugly Betty - brilliantly played by America Ferrera, who deserves every award she's won for it - and the story's about her struggles to fit into a world where outward appearances are judged as being the most important thing.

Her iffy looks don't seem to matter to her but everyone else (except her family) is obsessed with them - they all judge her and shun her as a result.

The thing that moved me so much about it is that I could relate to it totally. That feeling of being judged for something that doesn't seem so important to you and yet seems to be so crucial to other people.

Whether it be what you look like or the things you're interested in or what you say or even just the way you are or how you speak - it's that feeling that you're not part of the group and that if only they could see that you had other things to offer besides the thing you lack, they'd see you don't actually suck.

This is something I don't like to admit but when I was at high school I really wanted to be in the in-crowd. I pretended I didn't and that I was happy with not being In with any particular group but I wasn't. You have no idea how much I wanted to be a surfers chick.

I was on speaking terms with the surfers type thing - saying hello's, laughing hahaha's etc - but I was furthest thing from being one with them - they would never have invited me to the beach with them.

My most vivid memory of it all is that there was someone I liked in the group who ended up snogging someone else in the group at a party - right in front of me. Looking back now it was a blessing - he was short, stubby with rubbery lips - but at the time I was very hurt.

The interesting thing is that after watching Ugly Betty I realised that I wasn't hurt only because I didn't get him but rather because I'd been given absolutely no chance to at least try.

It was all beyond my control - to this day I don't know exactly what they were wanting.  I think it was long blond hair and someone with a rich family.

The show really made me look at myself and my need to fit in - the situations it's happened in and how's it's okay whether you do or don't.

I reckon it's so successful because loads of people feel the same way and want the feeling that you can be free to be who you really are without being judged for it.

The other interesting thing is that I thought it was gonna be a half an hour but its a full regular hour show which makes it a dramedy through and through. It's got a perfect mix of comedy and drama - which is why I ended up bawling because of how the two can be a moment away from each other.

Set your phone or whatever your reminder is so you don't miss it.

Shows in this post: Ugly Betty

Channels in this post: SABC3


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