14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2008
Ugly Betty was one of the many ABC hits of the 2006/2007 season and charmed audiences with its wit, its new take on the fashion industry, its great design and the simply enjoyable storylines that are admittedly over the top, but TV should entertain and that's exactly what this show does. It doesn't ask you to think a whole lot or focuses on heavy drama, so if you want a serious drama Ugly Betty might not be your cup of tea. Ugly Betty is fun and hilarious, but is not mentally challenging, but this is also part of its charm as it sucks you into its world and you can simply lean back and enjoy.
In the second season the cliffhangers from the phenomenal Season 1 finale were resolved and new storylines introduced that are all truly enjoyable and a pleasure to watch. Everybody goes through changes and especially Betty's love life becomes more and more interesting with a new potential love interest and the "Henry is the father of Charlie's baby" storyline.
New characters are introduced and Wilhelmina and Mark are temporarily not working at MODE, but they do eventually come back with a blast that shocks the Meade family.
Hilda also moves on as does Justin and even Amanda gets mores serious moments although she still is one of the biggest comedy factors.
Character development made this season worth watching.
The main reason however why this show got so good this season however is the stellar writing which is some of the best that is currently on network TV. The dialogues are witty, full of creative ideas and fast. Especially Mark is given some of the best one-liners and references as are Justin and Wilhelmina who is the villain you cannot help but love to hate.
It is a shame that the ratings dropped considerably although the show got consistently better and that due to the writer's strike the season was shortened.
If you already liked the first season, you will definitely love the second and you will enjoy the episodes of one TV's most underrated shows again and again.
21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Warning! Some spoilers contained in the following review!
All in all, Season Two of UGLY BETTY was, like Season One, an utter delight. It certainly was not timid in its story telling, trying to keep true to its roots in telemundo by pushing storylines that beggared credibility, sometimes perhaps crossing the lines of believability, but all in all having a lot of fun.
There were too many plotlines to attempt any summarization, but suffice it to say that if you didn't care for one - and there were some that I definitely didn't care for (primarily Wilhelmina's theft of Bradford Meade's sperm upon his death and then having Christina carry Bradford and Wilhelmina's baby, though secondarily the storyline of having Gene Simmons temporarily feature as Amanda's supposed biological father [like most people I've talked to, I just find anything having to do with Gene Simmons to be more than a little distasteful]) - just wait a week or two and you'd find others you might like instead. That said, the one arc that extended the length of the season was the two men in Betty's life: Henry, who she loves and with whom she continues a romance that is fated to end as soon as his ex-girlfriend Charlie gives birth to their child, and Gio, who is deeply attracted to Betty and tries to engage her interest even while she remains with Henry. Both Christopher Gorham who plays Henry (who I previously loved in JAKE 2.0) and Freddy Rodriguez (who I loved in SIX FEET UNDER) do a great job of making both of their characters really interesting. I found myself wanting Betty to be happy with both of them, though obviously she could only end up with one.
But to be honest, the real appeal of the show lies less in the story arcs, which while good are not particularly outstanding, than in the fine ensemble cast and the great collection of characters. I perpetually found myself less than riveted by what was happening than in whom it was happening to. Ultimately, I think that might be the show's weakness. With its roots in telemundo, the show has an indelible and inescapable frivolity. By its very nature, it lacks any potential to become much more than a nice way to pass time. That being said, it is time that I do enjoy passing.
I am extremely anxious, however, about the show's future. Season Three is going to feature some absolutely massive changes to the show. Shortly after filming concluded on Season Two it was announced that the production was going to relocate to New York City. At the same time it was leaked that Rebecca Romjin, who has been delightful as Daniel's sister/former brother Alexis/Alex, was going to have a greatly lessened involvement in the series in Season Three. To make matters worse, there were rumors that some actors were unwilling to move to New York full time and might have their character's become less central to the story. The most worrying of these is Eric Mabius, who has young children and a home in L.A. After Betty his Daniel Meade is easily one of the most important characters on the show. Having him on less than a full time basis could significantly change the entire texture of the show, and I suspect not for the better. Also, while I believe having the show filmed in the actual city where the action is supposed to take place (though I suspect that the neighborhood in which Betty's house is supposed to be located will continue to be CGI) will be a great boon for the show, I fear that the changes could give it a very different feel from the first two seasons. This could very easily cease to be the show that we've all known and loved.
Fearful or not, I will try to be optimistic. Hopefully the cast will remain more or less intact with the move to New York. I will also hope that the producers reconsider the lessened role for Rebecca Romjin and that Eric Mabius stays with the show fulltime. And I hope that having the possibility of on location shots in New York outweighs any disruption leaving L.A. creates. Season Two ended, as with Season One, with some major cliffhangers, but this year not all of the anticipation was created by the story. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the show remains as much fun as it has been in the past.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The end of Ugly Betty - The Complete First Season left everything hanging in the air as Henry left for Tucson, Daniel and Alexis got into a possibly-fatal car crash after Alexi paid a hitman to take out Bradford, Wilhelmina and Bradford got engaged, Santos was shot, Claire escaped from jail, Ignacio got sent back to Mexico, and Amanda found out who her mother really was.
The first part of season two wrapped up the loose ends of season one, but introduced new plot elements, some of them just as good as those in season two's preceding season. Betty, Hilda, Daniel and Mark all found themselves with new love interests. Wilhelmina maintained her status as comedic villain extraordinaire as she continued her plan(s) to take over Meade Publications. It's a little over-the-top, but it's all in good fun, and one of the great things about this show is that all the actors seem to have such great chemistry with one another. The only story arc that I had problems with was the Amanda paternity thing--it was very "out there," perhaps not in a good way. But I liked it in that it was handled in the way that Amanda would handle such things--completely clueless, as usual. And as usual, the dialogue is wonderfully witty, and Wilhelmina, Mark, and Amanda remain my favorite characters. The wonderful thing about this season was that it didn't seem to be affected much by the writers' strike.
This five-disc set includes all eighteen episodes of season two, plus the following bonus features: "On Set with the Besties" (Michael Urie and Becki Newton take the viewer on a tour of Mode, with "popup" fun facts about the show's production), "The Suarez Tour" (Mark Indelicato and Tony Plana take the viewer on a tour of the Suarez home), "Wilhelmina Slater: Love to Hate Her" (a tribute to the character), three telenovellas (Las Passiones de Telenovelas, Los Pecados del Corazon, and Assesinato por Muerte), "I Heart Betty" (a tribute to the character), Betty Bloops, and Deleted Scenes. The booklet insert includes an NYC subway map with the locations of the Mode office, the Suarez home, and other important Ugly Betty locations pinpointed on it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2011
I really enjoyed this DVD set, it is the first I've seen in the Ugly Betty series. There are lots of laughs and spoofs in this season. If you've watched daytime dramas you'll recognize actress Judith Light. Her character is a regular in this season. Also, a particular highlight is Christian Siriano's cameo appearance---he was in Project Runway Season 4 and appears in this series with an entourage of models. Vera Wang also makes a cameo appearance. If you enjoy glamorous fashion and soap opera spoofs, you'll enjoy this season.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2011
I like this series but once again it was something I tuned into when the show was actually over. I enjoyed the first two seasons. Then because of the cliff hanger I bought the 3rd and was let down. The last season was enjoyable and wrapped everything up in a nice bow.
So season two is a thumbs up but don't let the cliffhanger get you worked up for season 3.
The writing remains lively in the second season of Ugly Betty (2007-08), but what is noticeably different is the growth and maturity of Betty Suarez, as delightfully portrayed by America Ferrera. Having proven herself invaluable, and demonstrated fierce loyalty to her boss Daniel Meade (Eric Mabius), the editor-in-chief of Mode Magazine, Betty has successfully established herself. With the loss of some of Betty's naiveté, the series doesn't quite have the same innocence and charm, but there is still plenty of excitement and fun, in this stylish prime time soap opera, that blends drama, romance, intrigue, and comedy. Some huge spoilers follow.
A major story arc, is the romance between Mode's creative editor Wilhelmina Slater (Vanessa Williams), and Daniel's father Bradford Meade (Alan Dale). Supported by her assistant Marc (Michael Urie), Wilhelmina's scheme to marry Bradford, and gain control the Meade empire almost succeeds, but his unexpected demise, foils her plan.
Ever-resilient, Ms. Slater's next move is also outrageously devious, as she secures some of the deceased Bradford's seed, and convinces Christina (Ashley Jensen) to become the surrogate mother for her child. When Christina becomes pregnant, Wilhelmina worms her way back into Mode.
Focused on work, and on outwitting Wilhelmina, Daniel spends less time womanizing, although his romance with Wilhelmina's sister Renee (Gabrielle Union), proves to be a life changing experience for both he and Betty. Daniel's romantic past does catch up with him, and he eventually loses the support of his sister Alexis Meade (Rebecca Romijn).
The sneaky intrigue, is contrasted with Betty's quirky dual romance, with the stiff and practical Henry (Christopher Gorham) from accounting, and the down to earth sandwich maker Gio (Freddy Rodriguez). It takes some time for things to warm up with Henry, and the appearance of his pregnant girlfriend Charlie (Jayma Mays) further complicates matters. Gio, who seems to specialize in finding odd ways of squeezing into Betty's life, appears to have much in common with her. While Betty was prepared to have her heart broken, she did not expect it to be twisted and torn between two very different kinds of men.
Searching for her father, Amanda (Becki Newton) finds Kiss's Gene Simmons, but separated from her partner in crime Marc, she seems a bit lost. Claire Meade (Judith Light) starts her own magazine, but her role also seems reduced, as is that of her daughter Alexis. After a tumultuous first season, things are relatively calm for Betty's sister Hilda (Ana Ortiz), nephew Justin (Mark Indelicato), and her father Ignacio (Tony Plana), who mostly concentrates on cooking.
Working a number of grand schemes, Wilhelmina Slater is the driving force in Season Two, as Vanessa Williams truly stands out among the talented ensemble cast. While the first season dealt with the investigation of murder and featured contract killers, things are a bit less edgy this time. The program might not be as exciting, or feature as many emotional highs, but Ugly Betty remains fun and enjoyable. Nearly everyone in the cast is wonderful, and shines when given the opportunity, but for most, time in the spotlight is usually limited.
Notable guest stars include Victoria Beckham, and Betty White. Topping the bonus material are the featurettes "Wilhelmina Slater: Love to Hate Her", and "On the Set With the Besties", featuring Becki Newton, and Michael Urie, who are absolutely wonderful together.
It's one of those standard jokes about every hit American comedy series is a restatement of a British one... so the case of Ugly Betty is especially refreshing, drawn as it is from a stupendously popular telenovela originally broadcast - and stupendously popular in that part of the world which speaks Spanish. Think of this particular show as a fresh breeze blowing through the dry-as-dust clichéd and sterile remains of Broadcast TV-land's vast and derivative wasteland, where every third TV series is a knock-off of two other shows on different channels. I have heard legends of an original idea, spotted years ago in TV-land; a shy and elusive creature - but enough of sarcasm. Back to my original point; which is that I am near to the point of crawling over broken glass just to watch a television show in which the protagonists are not doctors, lawyers or law enforcement personnel. Looking at the broadcast TV line up of late, one might be forgiven for thinking that no one does anything else for a living.
Which is why Ugly Betty is at least refreshing, and double-points to the creators of this show, for wit, and for creating and developing completely endearing and consistent characters, caught in the entirely over-the-top and soap-opera world of high-fashion. It starts with the main character of the heroine; Betty, with her tacky wardrobe, her braces, heavy-framed glasses - a basically decent and competent naïf, finding her feet in the cut-throat world of Mode, a high-end world of a NY fashion magazine. Mode is made-up... but doubtless some of the various details are not. Betty has the backing of her oddly-assorted family, and a handful of friends - and being that this is a translated soap opera - most of the resulting incidents and adventures are wildly over the top. Some of them, nonetheless, manage to be quite touching on their own - the episode of Betty's older sister Hilda in the aftermath of the season-ending death of her almost-sort-of-significant other in a corner-shop robbery was unexpectedly moving.
So - here we have Season Two - just as quirky, with the episodic plots just as unexpected and unpredictable as in Season One; as rich a treat as an assorted Godiva chocolates in one of those impossibly lavish boxes. One of the inserts in the "second season" box is an episode guide, disguised as a suitably worn and dog-eared subway map of New York City (and environs) placing the locations of many key episodes and the various residences of key characters.
Of the extra features included, the most entertaining are a guide to the various sets, conducted by two of the bitchiest characters (in an admittedly hard-fought contest) and a complete collection of the Spanish-language telenovelas which have been part of the background, all the way along. These are presented in all their over-the-top glory. Really, the amusement value of the episode in which a character exclaims "Freeze or the snake gets it!" is alone almost worth the price of the entire set.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2010
If you love ugly betty, you'll love owning and watching it on dvd. Especially those of you who are just as sad as I am about the ending of the series and kinda excited, but nervous at how badly they will mess up the possible movie in the works!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2011
I never watched Ugly Betty when it was on TV. A friend loves the show, so I bought season 1 & 2 as a X-mas gift. We watched the first 2 episodes and I was hooked.
I then bought season 3, then 4.
Item arrives new and quick...thanks!!...Brian
on November 4, 2008
A one of a kind series, Ugly Betty, brings to the screen the parallel stories of a group of people working at a New York City women's fashion magazine.
Season 2 adds a lot more depth and character development making it even better (if that could ever be possible) than the first season.
America Ferrera, Eric Mabius, Rebecca Romijn, Vanessa Williams, Michael Urie, Becki Newton, Tony Plana, Ana Ortiz, Mark Indelicato, Ashley Jensen, Christopher Gorham, Judith Light, and the rest of this EXTRAORDINARY cast, have truly outdone themselves with their performances, which are outstanding to say the least. All the actors, without exceptions, give it their 100% and it really shows (the chemistry is AMAZING)! Very well written and very well presented, the series is without a doubt guaranteed to provide more than just a few laughs, not to mention a few tears. The plot has elements of both comedy and drama making it rather difficult to label it as one or the other; it is actually a bit of both. Ugly Betty does a great job of describing people's different personalities, fears, and the problems they face. It is all about human relations, hope, and second chances, but most importantly about trust, love, and inner strength.
The acting, the setting, the plot (and subplots), the dialogues, and the music, which are just wonderful! It is indeed a rarity when an amazing series such as this comes by.
In short, Ugly Betty is a series definitely worth watching and one to seriously consider adding to your movie collection (if you haven't done so already)! KEEP'EM COMING!!!