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    TV Nation

    Ugly Betty. The name itself is suggestive of the clich’eacute;d plot about an ordinary girl trying to find herself in an image driven world. This television comedy-drama series, produced by Salma Hayek,’ runs every Thursday at 8:00pm on ABC. Based on the popular Colombian telenovela Yo Soy Betty la Fea, the show follows the daily life of a frumpy young woman working as an executive assistant in a fashion magazine called MODE.

    Betty Suarez, a woman from a struggling Latino family, is unattractive with huge braces and is made fun of by her co-workers. The series looks at how Betty copes with the demands of the superficial fashion world and her family back home.

    The episode titled ‘After Hours’ starts out with Betty Suarez, who is played by America Ferrera, having to write a review on a posh hotel. Without having a clue of how to act in such an environment, she makes a complete fool of herself. The setting of the hotel is very futuristic. When she wears a blue Cinderella-like dress for dinner with her boyfriend, the viewer can only pity her. It is clearly seen that Betty doesn’t fit into this presumptuous world. At the end of the day, she finds herself alone and realizes that she is just an average’ girl from Queens.

    While watching this show, the viewer may get confused when it jumps from one scene to another. For example, at one point we see Betty falling off the chair at the hotel, and then the scene shifts to a serious tone with Betty’s sister asking her gambling ex-boyfriend for money. At some points, the scenes become a little inappropriate to watch with individuals making out or scenes inside a strip bar. It is not fit for everyone to watch.

    However, this series presents some aspects of life that are true. We do live in a society that is very much governed by image. Betty represents the average girl who wants to be the perfect model on’ a high rise billboard. It points out how sometimes we get lost in the process of following and pursuing our dreams that we forget who we are. This is apparent when Betty’s boyfriend tells her that she is ‘pretending to be something she is not.’ When Betty looks into the mirror, she realizes who she is and that she doesn’t need to be a thin, gorgeous model to achieve her goals.

    Compared to other television shows such as Gilmore Girls or Heroes, it presents a different subject matter. This show is not about a select group of individuals having superhuman powers to save the world or the mother daughter relationship. It is about the simple life of a girl trying to mark her presence in a competitive fashion environment.

    The plot of Ugly Betty may’ not’ novel. However, it is one of the few shows on television that focuses on the subject matter of image. This is an issue that we encounter everyday of our lives and so we are able to relate to the show. At the end of the episode, Betty’s review is rejected by MODE, but then the author, Sofyia Reyes, played by Salma Hayek decides to publish the article. The happy ending gives the viewer something to look forward to and see what happens in the next episode.

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