Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Is Nothing Sacred?!

Michael Ausiello at EW is reporting that Ugly Betty is suddenly and surprisingly on the bubble for cancellation.


Now, I don't blog about Ugly Betty nearly enough, but I really love this show. It's fun, I THOUGHT it had good ratings, and some of the dialogue is sharp as a tack (mostly Mark's hysterically funny lines). This season has been the year of the assistant, where both Mark and Betty seem to prove themselves again and again to be the true backbones of the company. Mark has saved Wilhelmina's ass repeatedly, just as Betty's always done with Daniel. This past week's episode was possibly a season high -- in the wake of her father's heart attack the previous week, Betty is away from the office for two weeks, and when she returns realizes she cannot juggle a job and deal with what's happening at home. Meanwhile Wilhelmina has begun a relationship with Connor that finds them doing the nasty at quite inopportune times, and when Wilhelmina once again blames Mark for her screwup and hands him an expensive bauble for his humiliation, he fights back, and it was a great scene (even if he ends up giving in and slinking away).

But the real standout scene was the one between Hilda and Betty. Hilda finally confronts Betty for being at a party and turning off her cellphone when Hilda was frantically trying to reach her to tell her that Papi was in the ambulance. Betty tells her she wasn't around when their mother got really sick. Hilda says she's lived with the guilt of that for many years, and is trying to make a go of it, taking care of Papi, working out of the home, etc. For several weeks I've been thinking Hilda is being unnecessarily mean to Betty over Betty's demanding job and the way it's pulled her away from the family, but in this episode you finally see the sacrifices BOTH women have made, and it was a showdown between two incredible actresses. As much as I've appreciated how much time Betty's had to give to her job, I was very happy that family won out over career. It was a beautiful moment.

Of course, the show's also had its share of long-dead brothers suddenly coming back to life as transsexual sisters, but hey, it's what keeps us guessing!

According to Ausiello (thanks to fb for the link), Betty is being benched as of March 26 and they're putting another show in its time slot to see how it plays instead. Then they'll run the remainder of Betty's season in the summer. This always spells disaster.

What happened? I thought Betty was doing OK in the ratings. I realize it's not exactly the same successful show it was in season 1, but it still has a very devoted following, and after an amazing article I just read in EW about the massive, massive success of the telenovellas in Mexico, I thought Ugly Betty might have an even bigger audience. Maybe not.

Here's hoping Mark's barbs live to pierce another day.


A.G.Wooding said...

Ugly Betty is one of those great programmes were people who haven't seen it tend to turn their noses up at it wheras people who have love it. I personally love it and Bradford Meade's death was one of the biggest emotional moments on Television this decade.
I always liked Ugly Betty for the fact that it was different. Like Lost and Pushing Daisies, the show was not similar to anything that had been out and it's a shame that it might not be going on for much longer.

Ian said...

I have not been a regular viewer of this series, but for a span of time it was what I would sit down to watch on Thursdays after I got done with work. I always liked it and the seasons that exist on DVD are in my queue.

It's really unfortunate-or fortunate depending on how you look at it-that we live in a time of television that the methods of presentation DVD/Tivo/Internet/Cable/Broadcast are breaking down. I do see good things coming out of it, though. It's just hard to experience sacrifices in the interim.

Jazzygirl said...

I was shocked when I heard this on the radio this morning. What is ABC thinking? I also thought the ratings were high? It seemed like it was one of ABC's stable anchors. And yes, I think this season is one of the best in terms of emotion and I, too, loved the scene between Betty and Hilda. I think it gave Hilda's character much more depth. When Her fiance died last season (2 seasons ago?) it tore my heart out and last week's reminded me of that type of acting. I just don't know what to say. I think everyone on the show is great and I think this role was MADE for Vanessa Williams!
You know what kills me? That they cancelled good shows like Pushing Daisys and Dirty Sexy Money and just showed a commercial for a STUPID cop show with male/female partners that don't get along but are so predictable that they'll probably wind up in bed, blah blah blah. And it's premiering soon. What is going on??

MC said...

From TV.Zap2it.com about last Thursday ratings:

The first of two "Bones" episodes won the 8 p.m. hour for FOX with a 6.1/10. An "NCIS" rerun drew a 5.6/9 for CBS, beating the 5.1/8 for "Ugly Betty" on ABC. "My Name Is Earl" and "Kath & Kim" put NBC in fourth. "Smallville" delivered a 2.3/4 for The CW.

Roland said...

I do watch this show Nikki and enjoy it, although my friend Mark is constantly berating me for watching it and he doesn't "get it", although he doesn't "get Lost" either...so much for taste LOL Although he'll be quite happy about this development. Why do people have to be so nasty? Why can't we all just get along? LOL I have a feeling this show polarizes people, either you love it or you hate it.

I thought that last season was quite the disappointment with the whole Henry getting that chick pregnant. I love how this season they are fleshing out the characters. The episode with Papi having a heart attack was very well done, if you get the chance, the song at the end is called La Ritournelle by Sebastien Tellier. It was wonderful and touching how they integrated this song into the show. It was a great episode about how much of yourself do you give up for your career and sacrifice your loved ones...

The show gets only average ratings now, about 7 to 8 million. Perhaps many find the show campy, but I still like it for its silly humour, especially now they are delving into Marc and Amanda's psyche and that they are not as one dimensional as initially thought, even Wilhemina has a soul! Who knew??? LOL

I hope that they have Betty progress and yes, the braces need to come off after so many years, it is hard to believe that some of Mode wouldn't have rubbed off on her by now!