Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ugly Betty: The Problem with Henry
This week marked the return of Ugly Betty. I've thought in many ways that this season was superior to the first, with better storylines and a lot more laughs (most of them, as usual, care of Marc). But this week's episode was just too much for me to handle... Henry Grubstick, the guy who seemed so perfect in the beginning, has become a serious problem for me.

Let me preface all of this by saying I know this show is a telenovella, that it's meant to be soapy and crazy, etc. etc. and that generally I see it all as good fun and nothing more. But this point is still irking me, so here goes.

Last season, Henry's girlfriend Charlie showed up, and of course we all just wanted her to go away so Henry and Betty could be together. At the end of the season, Charlie announced she was pregnant, and the baby was Henry's. There's a lot of evidence to suggest that the baby is most definitely not Henry's, but he doesn't know that, and as far as he's concerned, it's his. He's decided he's going to be there for his baby... as soon as it's born, and not a moment sooner.

But here's the problem: she goes away during the pregnancy, leaving Henry with Betty, where they plan to have a whirlwind affair until the baby comes, at which time they must say good-bye to each other and he'll go become a daddy. Sounds romantic, except: Charlie knows this. Henry isn't hiding it from her.

In this week's episode, Charlie shows up again, pregnant out to here, and everyone goes nuts. Her presence means Henry and Betty can't go out for her birthday date, and Hilda shows up to threaten Charlie that she'll basically gouge out her eyes with her fingernails if she ruins the last month or so that Betty has with Henry. HUH?! Hasn't anyone even once considered what this ridiculous arrangement will do to his future child? Yes, we all know that it's not his, but HENRY DOES NOT KNOW THIS. He's "doing the right thing" by his kid by staying in the picture. Why? So he can denigrate the baby's mother every day? Perhaps start drinking and go on drunken shouting matches telling Charlie she ruined his life by having the kid, and he wanted to be with Betty? Perhaps continuing the affair and being nothing but rude to Charlie? The baby will be taking this in every day.

Charlie's a manipulative little so-and-so, but this baby is innocent in all of this. If Henry wants to "do right by him," he will help him out financially, but not be in the baby's life, and therefore not remind him every day that he despises the baby's mother. I was disgusted in the scene where he's leaving the message on Betty's cell and saying, "I think Charlie was exaggerating her condition. I LOVE YOU, Betty," while Charlie is lying on the couch next to him. The woman is pregnant, and Henry, assuming she's carrying his child, is leaving her to deal with it herself, not showing any interest whatsoever in his child, but saying he's "doing the right thing" by staying in the child's life.

I think the only way he could do the right thing at this point is to get OUT of the child's life, and offer Charlie some financial assistance.

And while he's at it, get out of Betty's life so she can be with Gio. :)

11 comments:

Jazzygirl said...

Nikki, you're too funny. I also had an issue with this week's episode. But let me just say in the spirit of friendship that you're awful gooshy about this baby...recent mom syndrome? :-p
Anyway...I had a problem with how gullible Henry is. And I really thought that he DID know that it might not be his? I'm trying to remember last season....the dentist right? Didn't someone tell him? Or does just Betty know?
Yeah I am wondering how this is all going to pan out too. I mean, it seemed all romantic when she said threw caution to the wind and said I don't care if I get my heart broken, I want to be with you. Well, I guess now we're at the end of that road.
And yes, Gio is so cute how he's smitten with her. And, btw, I love that actor...I'm a BIG Six Feet Under fan! :)
I guess we'll have to see how Henry handles this. Yes, he should just send Charlie on her way. But I don't think she's going to go that easy.

Nikki Stafford said...

LOL! Nah, it might seem like it comes from the mom in me, but it has nothing to do with that... I have always looked at situations that way, since long before I had kids. We've got Henry and Charlie, once lovers, now no longer, and Henry and Betty, current lovers, and Charlie comes back into the picture claiming to be pregnant with his baby (you know, season 1's a little foggy for me, too, but I'm pretty sure Henry thinks it's his baby; he even says as much in this week's ep). So he decides he will be with Charlie and help raise the baby, but at the time I thought the only way to do that properly would be to leave Betty and try another go with Charlie, or else not go with Charlie at all and be more of an absentee father. He could still be in the child's life, but just not as part of a sham that he's with her and can't be with anyone else. That just seems ridiculous.

So I'm not trying to be gooshy about the baby, I'm just looking at this from the only angle I can possibly see it. I'm surprised the writers don't see it this way, too! :)

Oh, and I totally agree with you... I LOVE Six Feet Under. Love it. :) Gio's adorable, even with his cueball-head haircut. Heehee...

fb said...

i'm indifferent about the betty/henry stuff ... i liked them much better when they were sort of dork-flirting and not really together yet, but the idea of betty/gio ... ugh! ugh! and yet, i know (not spoilt, just guessing) henry's going to leave when the baby comes and i know betty's going to have her heart broken and i know they're setting it up so that gio picks up the pieces, and yet ... ugh! he REALLY annoys me. i love the idea of him with hilda, but with betty? not so much. i'm still hanging on by a thread that the american series will follow the plot of the original telenovena and betty will wind up with daniel when all is said and done. i don't see it happening on this version of the show -- daniel's far too shallow and betty would have a long way to go for him to be physically attracted to her, but hey! a girl can dream! :)

and i guess it's the non-mom in me, but when henry was saying to betty's mobile phone that he loved her and that he didn't love charlie, and charlie was lying on the couch in the background, i cackled with glee. evil cow deserves whatever is coming to her, baby or no baby!

Stamford Talk said...

I would LOVE to see Betty and Daniel together... we all know it's supposed to happen in every movie. It's such a cliche, but I'd love to see how the writers would make it believable. Betty would (sorry) have to get a little less dorkariffic. I think she's already a little more worldly.

MC said...

At the beginning of this season, Henry found out about Charlie's dalliances, and it was only after genetic testing that Henry accepted his role in this whole mess.

Roland said...

Nikki, didn't Charlie have a DNA test in the first season that proved that Charlie wasn't lying? I thought this was after she was caught with that dentist (remember the Kristen Chenoweth episode?). That being said I agree this Henry/Betty/Charlie triangle needs to be sorted out fast. It seems like the writers can't decide who they want Betty with. I've noticed that the storylines have not been as interesting this season as the first season, and seems like based on the ratings, many agree.

Kristin said...

I thought Henry knew the baby possibly wasn't his...I can't remember now. But I thought as the 'good guy' he is supposed to be, he decided to stick with Charlie through the pregnancy. Am I remembering wrong?

And, yes, Nik, it is supposed to be soap opera-y, but I get the mom coming out in you!

Henry was cute at the beginning, but he has started to grate on me, and maybe that was on purpose. His fake 'stiff' walking drives me batty. No man walks like that. No matter how nerdy he is.

Anyway, it is obvious Betty should go for Gio. I like how they have grown their relationship from something combative to something really quite sweet. Even if Betty is blind to it all...haven't we all been there? Dating the wrong guy and not noticing Mr. Right?

Still an adorable show. I get a kick out of it every week. I missed Amanda, though. She didn't have as much to do as usual. She and Marc are hilarious!

Nikki Stafford said...

Kristin: I agree: Amanda and Marc are the highlights of the show. Her wishing Betty a happy 50th and Marc getting drunk on chocolatinis were both awesome moments. :)

I also agree about Henry's fake nerdliness. When they were doing that scene a few episodes ago of him and Gio trying to out-dance each other at the club, Henry being totally ripped was just too much. It would have been far more charming if he'd had a less attractive physique. I just don't accept Henry as a nerd. He's a cool guy pretending to be one, and therefore it comes off as a caricature. He was cute in the beginning, I agree, but he's lost it for me. :)

Jazzygirl said...

Tonight's should be GOOD! Christian Siriano will be on it! When I first starting watching this past season of Project Runway, I hated him. I thought he was arrogant and over the top catty. But, each week I saw his talent...he works so fast! And I saw the humor in him. :)
I wouldn't take much to "clean" Betty up. America Ferrera is beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Henry knows 100% that he is the dad, he had a paternity test done, and the kid is his. I do agree that the whole quadrangle has been really awkward and not that fun to watch. It is funny that Henry started out so likable and now it seems like most people are rooting for her to end up with Gio. Hopefully Henry will get on a plane with Charlie and the kid and will never be seen again.

Anyone else think it's odd that Jama Mays's character on Heroes was also named Charlie? And she was a guest star on Pushing Daisies, which features a girl named Chuck?

Anonymous said...

Henry knows 100% that he is the dad, he had a paternity test done, and the kid is his. I do agree that the whole quadrangle has been really awkward and not that fun to watch. It is funny that Henry started out so likable and now it seems like most people are rooting for her to end up with Gio. Hopefully Henry will get on a plane with Charlie and the kid and will never be seen again.

Anyone else think it's odd that Jama Mays's character on Heroes was also named Charlie? And she was a guest star on Pushing Daisies, which features a girl named Chuck?