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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Ugly Betty: Season 3
Ugly Betty: Season 3
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment // PG // September 22, 2009
List Price: $59.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted October 1, 2009 | E-mail the Author
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The Third Season

Ugly Betty's third season follows a similar model to its first two seasons. The show incorporates a lot of soap opera like melodrama with tidbits of comedy. For the most part, the characters are the same with little development from past seasons. While they may have changed at the surface, they still plot and scheme against each other. In general, Ugly Betty is the same old Ugly Betty. For some, that is a good thing. However, I feel that the show needs to grow a little more to keep my attention. While I did enjoy parts of season three, it was not enough. Overall, season three make for a fun watch, but has limited replay value.

In season three, the most noticeable change is the shift of power at Mode. Wilhelmina and Daniel become co-editors while Alexis takes a leave of absence. There are also several relationship issues afoot with lots of drama for everyone. Betty also makes a big step towards the future and moves out of the household. Overall, the season will be entertaining for those who have been following and enjoying the series. At the same time, the show is starting to get redundant with the same types of drama.

In season two, Betty's love life and future was moving in different directions. She had Henry and Gio chasing after her. However, Betty made the decision to focus on herself and went on a trip. As season three begins, she returns from her life-altering trip and has a list of things she intends to do with her life. They include getting an apartment in the city, no more romance, and doing more at the magazine. Unfortunately, there was a massive power struggle while she was away. Alexis removed Daniel as editor-in-chief of Mode and gave the position to Wilhelmina. Daniel went on to work with Player, which is a men's magazine and not exactly in line with Betty's dream.

Betty also moves out of the house and gets an apartment in the city. Unfortunately, she is duped by the landlord and gets a dump, which she invested all of her savings. Fortunately, the family is there to help her make it into a real home. As the season progresses, Daniel regains control of Mode when the sales of Wilhelmina's new version of Mode fails to meet expectations. However, the situation changes when she blackmails the Meades. Alexis is forced to do time in jail or give up her stake in the company. Daniel and Wilhelmina end up as co-editors of the magazine.

As the season progresses, the drama at Mode continues to develop. Wilhelmina plots and schemes to takeover the company. She is closer than ever with half of the company in her control. In an effort to balance out the power, they hire a chief financial officer to manage the company's funds and growth. Daniel tricks Wilhelmina into hiring Connor Owens (Grant Bowler), who turns out to have an agenda of his own and refuses to take sides. The introduction of Connor produces new hurdles, as Wilhelmina develops an interest that goes beyond professional in him. In addition, Connor's finance Molly (Sarah Lafleur) sparks Daniel's interest.

Another notable development this season is the introduction of Betty's high school arch-nemesis Kimmie Keagan (Lindsay Lohan). Kimmie shows up as Ignacio's boss at the local fast food restaurant. She treats Betty's dad poorly, which leads to a food fight amongst Kimmie, Betty, and Hilda. Afterwards, Betty patches things up with Kimmie. She even helps her get a job at Mode. However, Kimmie quickly backstabs Betty to advance her career. This character brings back a lot of similar problems that Betty had during season one.

Other developments include Daniel's relationship with his son DJ, Hilda's marital affair with Coach Tony Diaz (Eddie Cibrian) and a new love interest with city councilman Archie Rodriguez (Ralph Macchio), Betty having a couple new love interests and the return of an old one, Wilhelmina's baby Meade being born and the resulting drama with Christina, Marc's relationship with Cliff moving up and down, Amanda's becoming Betty's roommate, Betty and Marc compete with each other in the Young Editors Training Program, and more. The season has lots of things going on for its cast, which take twists and turns as new drama and developments unfold.

Overall, Ugly Betty's third season had some fun moments, but at the same time it needed something else. I think the show is losing its appeal. Despite introducing new reoccurring characters and storylines, the third season feels a lot like season two. For some series, this approach works. However, I think Ugly Betty has a reached a point where it needs change. For the most part, the drama unfolds in similar manners with different situations. The characters have grown very little in substance. In the end, Ugly Betty's third season had its moments, but the show needs some serious retuning to get me back on board.

Episode Guide

1. The Manhattan Project: Betty returns for the premiere of her fabulous third season with special guest stars Regis Philbin, Kelly Ripa and Lindsay Lohan!
2. Filing For The Enemy: Wilhelmina, prepping her first issue of the magazine as editor, tries to lure Betty over to the dark side by offering her a job at Mode as her assistant.
3. Crimes of Fashion: An accident leaves the Modies stunned, and Betty tries to piece together what really happened when a police detective (guest star Mark Consuelos) comes looking for answers.
4. Betty Suarez Land: Gio returns and Betty tries to make amends, but he's not having it. Meanwhile, Daniel struggles with some shocking family news.
5. Granny Pants: Kimmie Keegan (guest star Lindsay Lohan) asks for Betty's help in finding a job and Daniel tries a matchmaking service with surprising results in his "perfect" match.
6. Ugly Berry: Betty finds herself competing with Kimmie (guest star Lindsay Lohan) who finally shows her true colors, and new citizen Ignacio prepares to vote for the first time.
7. Crush'd: Betty works overtime to get the attention of her cute neighbor, struggling musician Jesse (guest star Val Emmich).
8. Tornado Girl: Betty needs Daniel's help to prevent an issue of Mode from shipping that could result in a PR nightmare for the magazine.
9. When Betty Met YETI: Competition gets fierce when Betty and Marc both apply to YETI, the Young Editors Training Program that could be their ticket out of assistant-land.
10. Bad Amanda: Betty tells freeloading Amanda she needs to chip in her share of the rent but, typically, she's just spent all her money on clothes.
11. Dress For Success: Betty juggles work and family without much success as she struggles to impress her idol, Jodie Papadakis (guest star Bernadette Peters), the editor running YETI.
12. Sisters On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown: Betty is torn between work and home in the wake of a family crisis that finds her at odds with Hilda.
13. Kissed Off: Betty contemplates making a personal decision to help her family and finances.
14. The Courtship Of Betty's Father: Betty tapes a video tribute for Claire Meade's 60th birthday that's very revealing, just not in the way she planned.
15. There's No Place Like Mode: Fashion Week brings chaos to the Modies, as Betty copes with simultaneously putting on a show for a bizarre new designer named Heinrich and with an assignment from YETI.
16. Things Fall Apart: Betty makes a surprising discovery when an assignment from YETI finds her and Marc analyzing Mode's budget for the past year.
17. Sugar Daddy: The Suarez family try to come up with the cash to buy their rental home after their landlord decides to sell, with Ignacio even entering a TV cook-off.
18. A Mother of a Problem: Betty meets Matt's mother but things don't go as she expects. Meanwhile, Wilhelmina gets creative to solve a cash flow problem.
19. The Sex Issue: Daniel and Wilhelmina hope that an issue of Mode devoted to sex will turn their fortunes around.
20. Rabbit Test: The Suarez family meets Matt's billionaire dad, and Wilhelmina wonders -- is baby William really hers?
21. Born Identity: Baby William is kidnapped - and Betty is dragged into the ensuing drama. Meanwhile Archie (guest star Ralph Macchio) asks Hilda to be part of his latest political campaign.
22. In The Stars: Betty teams with Matt and Marc for their all-important final YETI project, a photo shoot with Grammy winner Adele, but Matt's slacking jeopardizes everything.
23. Curveball/The Fall Issue: Just as Betty agrees to move in with Matt, Henry (guest star Christopher Gorham) pays a visit to NYC, forcing Betty to admit she still has feelings for her former fiance.

The DVD

Video:
The video in this release is given in anamorphic 1.78:1 ratio widescreen color format. The picture quality is quite good. It suffers from a slight grain, but detail remains to be sharp and clear. However, there are some occasional moments when the picture suffers compression artifacts. This is a rare occurrence, but it does happen. Needless to say, the show should look good on bigger television sets.

Audio:
The audio in this release is given in English 5.1 Dolby digital surround sound. Overall, the sound quality is very good, providing an audible and clean audio track. The majority of activity is in the forward channels, but there is decent use of the surround sound capability. Music and sound effects sound very rich and vibrant. There are subtitles in English, French, Chinese, and Spanish..

Extras:

  • An Audio Commentary: is included for the episode "Crush'd" with Tracy Poust, Jon Kinnally, and Victor Nelli Jr.
  • Deleted Scenes: from season three are included. The scenes included are: "What Are You Doing Here?", "Don't Let That Foam Fizzle", "Lettuce", "A Bitch Never Changes Her Stripes", "You Are My Hog", "The Roof", "Go Get'Em", "You Must Be Molly", "No Shoes!", "Either Way I'm Cool", "Good Amanda", "You Can Wow Anyone You Set Your Mind To", "Padded Walls", "I Feel Like I'm Dating Daniel", "To Be Terminated", "It's Just A Nice Buff", "Your New Trophy Wife", "The Wedding Dance", "Marc's Priorities", "Bangs Work For Betty", and "Catching Up With Henry".
  • Mode After Hours (20:15): is a collection of six webisodes, which are entitled "Gwadalaharahh", "Friend-iversary Vlog", "Bowling For Cliff", "Slumber Party Secrets", "Sommer's Seance", and "Trapped in the Elevator".
  • Ugly Betty Starter Kit (3:35): is a recap of past season events that you can watch and get caught up.
  • Look Who Keeps Popping Up (44:42): is a video commentary of the episode "The Sex Issue" with Michael Urie, Becki Netwon, and guest stars.
  • Betty Bloops (8:39): is a collection of goof-ups caught on tape during filming.
  • Coming Home To New York City (12:43): is a featurette with cast and crew. They focus on moving the set of the show from Los Angeles to New York City.
  • Mode After Hours (7:10): is located on another DVD, which contains two more webisodes: "I Spy" and "Prank Calls".

Final Thoughts:
Ugly Betty's third season has the same appeal as its earlier seasons. While there have been significant changes in character dynamics, plotlines, and such, the show still feels like the same show. There has not been a huge amount of growth from season to season. For this reason, I enjoyed season three, but I think the show needs some refinement to keep my interest. In short, Ugly Betty's third season is a good rental for fans.

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