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Afternoon Delight: Catching up with Family Affairs on "Ugly Betty"

Still catching up on several episodes of new and returning series that aired last week (though I do have to count my blessings that I was able to get several of them ahead of time), but I realized that I haven't even mentioned last week's installment of Ugly Betty, a huge step-up in quality from the season opener.

Last week's episode ("Family Affair") was everything that I wanted out of Ugly Betty, which I find lately has a tendency to drift into the mawkish rather than remaining blissfully over-the-top. (After all, pairing gunshot victims with West Side Story death throes does not make for laugh-out-loud moments.) But last week's installment still gave us characterization and plot advances without sacrificing the humor.

What worked? The Amanda storyline for one, in which she learns that her inheritance from mother Fey Sommers is little more than a rash-prone pooch and a $1000 a week stipend but has to grow to love the pooch as it's all that remains of dear departed mummy. (Give me anything with Amanda and/or Marc and I'm pleased as punch.) Also loving the juxtaposition of insane assistant Marc with sensitive Justin, a pairing that allowed Marc a rare moment of humanity. Plus, the twosome--here dealing with the list of demands Shakira has left for a photo shoot--are simply hysterical together. It almost makes me forget that no fashion magazine--or reputable business--would really hire a 13-year-old as an intern.

Also great: that moment when Wilhelmina invites Betty to the roof and the thunder and rain she hears is Marc using a sheet of metal. Tee hee. Classic. And the back-and-forth texting between Betty and Christina under Wilhelmina's bed during her "afternoon delight" session. (Loved the repetition of that joke, BTW, though it will never be topped by Michael and Maeby singing it as a duet on Arrested Development.)

Personally, I'm hoping that Alexis is faking her retrograde amnesia and knows full well what Bradford and Daniel have done to her these past few months. (That would be a great twist.) And I also love that once again Wilhelmina has used her wiles to get out of another sticky situation, this time using intelligence gathered by Marc (from an unsuspecting Justin) to offer Betty the choice between exposing her infidelity to Daniel or getting her father back from Mexico.

Which brings me once again to the storyline that just will not die: the Ignacio immigration storyline. I thought for sure that we'd finally seen the last of this undead plotline when Wilhelmina pulled some strings to get him his visa last week, but lo and behold, some armed man bursts into Ignacio's family's house and pins him to the wall. Retribution for the man he killed all those years ago? Attempted theft of the legit visa? Who knows and who cares. I've had enough with this painfully drawn-out storyline and just want it to stop already. Anyone else with me?

Best line of the episode: " "I am black, you're Mexican, let's not talk around it like a couple of dull white people." Ah, Wilhelmina, you truly are fabulously blunt.

On this week's episode of Ugly Betty ("Betty's Wait Problem"): Betty is distracted by Gio (Freddy Rodriguez), a new sandwich vendor at the office, and is still clearly not over Henry; Wilhelmina tries to get her wedding back on track at the annual Black and White Ball but Claire shows up; Amanda makes her first social appearance as Fey's illegitimate daughter.


Anonymous said…
I am with you on everything here, especially the immigration story. Ugh - I knew it wasn't over, since we still had that lingering cliffhanger from last year. It just stops everything cold.

Also loved the inside joke of having Rick Fox as Wili's Afternoon Delight.
The immigration plot is HORRIBLE. As was the Santos storyline. (Like we didn't know she was just imagining him being there.) But the rest of the episode was much more on track, thank goodness. I had almost given up on the show.
Asta said…
I agree with everything you said right down to the best line of the episode. Having Santos murdered is still the worst idea the series has had, in my humble opinion, but the immigration plot line, which I did find interesting at the start, has gone on for too long. I'm really hoping they wrap it up this week and get everyone back together in New York.
Anonymous said…
I'm sick of the immigration plot as well, but I'm also sick of Ignacio. He doesn't really seem necessary to the show anymore.

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