The Ugly Truth

 
 

Not-quite-so-Ugly-any-more Betty has been cancelled. Catriona Laverty bids her farewells

Sad news from ABC last week as the current season of Ugly Betty is to be the last ever made. The show, now in its fourth year, burst on to our screens in 2006 in a flurry of bitches, braces, frilly blouses and mismatched tights.

Somewhat unfairly labelled i.e. ugly, America Ferrera was lauded as being the antidote to the waif actresses that had been adorning our screens for so many years. Betty was the frumpy, normal, down to earth, everyday girl, trying to make it in the real world. Except she clearly wasn’t.

Her clothes, although horrendously assembled, were only the finest of couture. Her job in the fantasy world’s equivalent of Vogue was one that thousands would have killed for. And her predicaments were as farfetched as anything over on Wisteria Lane.

But we loved her. She was the underdog, the girl next door who refused to conform to the accepted norms of Mode and didn’t care how she looked, only how she felt. At least, she was, until season four.

The current series, which started a few weeks ago on RTÉ has seen her waist shrink a few more inches, her hair fall that little more beautifully into place and her look get (marginally) better put together. Even her signature braces are coming off.

It’s as though the Hollywood peer pressure has finally started to get to Betty, and she’s started to crack. The producers messed with the format, separating Betty and Daniel and giving less time to the cracking supporting cast, especially the wonderful Becki Newton as Amanda.

The news last week that the show will not return for a fifth run then, maybe isn’t quite the shock it should have been. While the current series has had plenty of laugh out loud moments and dramatic cliffhangers, it hasn’t quite matched the frenzy of the Betty/Henry, Wilhelmina/Bradford, Murderous Claire, Alexis-is-Daniel’s-brother, Daniel’s-son-is-really-Alexis’s-son, Dead man’s sperm storylines of the previous seasons.

We’ve had to make do with the slightly less engaging pairing of Betty and Matt, and not even the addition of the Karate Kid could make up for losing Ashley Jensen and the diluting of Amanda’s role in proceedings.

And so after four tumultuous years, Betty will leave our screens for good this May, taking her frilly white cotton socks with her. We’ll miss her, but we’ll always have the dvds.

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