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Ugly Betty: The Complete Second Season

Other // Unrated // September 9, 2008
List Price: $59.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted October 14, 2008 | E-mail the Author
The Second Season

Ugly Betty is a television comedy/drama that airs on ABC. It was produced by Salma Hayek, Silvio Horta, Ben Silverman, Jose Tamez, James Hayman, and Marco Pennette. The show was adapted from the Colombian mini-series "Yo Soy Betty La Fea". The series is about a plain-old girl who is thrust into the glamorous fashion world and the drama that trails her life and co-workers. For more details about the series, please refer to DVD Talk's review of season one.

In season two, the characters of Ugly Betty go through a whirlwind of drama and comedy. The whirlwind comes from a variety of new developments that include Betty's complex romance with Henry and a new character Gio, Alexis losing her memory and rekindling friendship with the family, Daniel struggling to keep control of Mode, Mrs. Meade on the run, Hilda dealing with the loss of Santos, and more. It is a very dramatic season with several tidbits of comedy throughout. Overall, it is enjoyable like the season one. However, the content offers very little new material.

"How Betty Got Her Grieve Back" is the season two premiere episode. In it, a lot of things happen. The biggest development involves Betty's love life, or rather lack of. She comes to terms with Henry leaving for Tucsan to take care of the mother of his unborn baby. Later in the season, Harry returns to Mode to finish working. Betty and Henry have a complicated romance, as they try to figure out how they can be together with the unborn baby baggage.

Also in the premiere, Amanda finds out her mother is Fey Sommers! Throughout the season, she tries to find answers about her parents. And Marc helps her. Wilhelmina also uses the events from the season one finale to her advantage. With Claire behind bars, she moves on Bradford. Daniel struggles with his personal demons about Alexis' condition.

In the Saurez household, there are two key subplots introduced. The first is about Hilda, Justin, and Santos. Both Hilda and Justin come to terms with Santos leaving. Hilda goes through a couple phases, which include being boarded in her room and hanging out with aged widows. Justin goes through a rebellious phase, where he tries to take on qualities of his dad (sports and woman). The other development is about Ignacio still stuck in Mexico. Betty goes against her principles to help him acquire US citizenship.

As the season continues, there are a lot of new developments -- many of which grow from the seeds planted in the season opener. Betty's love life with Henry gets more complex in "Betty's Wait Problem". A new character and love interest named Gio is introduced. Alexis comes out of the coma without memory of the last two years. Daniel, Bradford, and Wilhelmina take advantage of the situation. Daniel and Alexis also struggle with Wilhelmina, who is still trying to take over Mode. Claire resurfaces after escaping from prison, which complicates Wilhelmina's diabolical plans. The season developments continue with even more wild escapades.

Overall, Ugly Betty's second season is fun and entertaining. It has a similar light-hearted humorous tone with over the top, soap opera plotlines to season one. The major difference is that Betty is no longer trying to prove herself. There is a subplot about Betty moving up in the company, but the season focus is the over-the-top drama with all of the characters. This angle offers some entertaining plotlines, but at the same time does not seem to offer anything new. In the end, Ugly Betty's second season is a good purchase for anyone who enjoyed season one.

Episode Guide

1. How Betty Got Her Grieve Back: Betty's life is in chaos after a series of very unfortunate events, but despite all that's happened, she's still in denial about one thing -- how much Henry's departure has affected her. Meanwhile, Amanda turns to junk food and to Marc in dealing with the revelation that Fey Sommers was her real mother, and Wilhelmina schemes to turn the tragic Meade family events to her advantage.
2. Family Affair: Betty doesn't know what to do when she finds out Wilhelmina's hunky new bodyguard (guest star Rick Fox as Dwayne) is taking the job to a whole new level. And then there's her own love life - now that Henry's back, can they just be friends? Meanwhile, Bradford uses Alexis' amnesia to re-write family history, Hilda comes to terms with recent events, and Amanda gets a surprising inheritance from Fey Sommers.
3. Betty's Wait Problem: With Henry back in her life (sort of), Betty finds herself distracted by yet another guy - Gio (Freddy Rodriguez), Mode's new sandwich guy, who both annoys and intrigues her. Meanwhile, the Mode-ites prepare for the social event of the season - the Meades' Black and White Ball, as Wilhelmina plots to get her wedding back on track, Amanda preps to make her first official appearance as Fey Sommer's illegitimate daughter, and fugitive-from-the law Claire invites herself to the party.
4. Grin and Bear It: Betty takes steps toward becoming a writer and invests in a class that proves to be so challenging, she tosses her own writing assignment and instead submits a Mode story written by a woman who survived a bear attack -- with disastrous results. Meanwhile Alexis, still suffering from amnesia, starts back at work with no memory of how to act like a girl; Daniel gets an ultimatum from their top advertiser (guest star James Van Der Beek) -- fire his tranny sister -- and Amanda, on the hunt to find her dad's identity, learns a deep dark secret about Wilhelmina's past.
5. A League of Their Own: Much to Henry's distress, Betty tries internet dating and gets asked out on a bowling date. Meanwhile Marc finds himself attracted to someone who isn't his type, chubby but charming photographer Cliff (David Blue). On the home front, Daniel and Alexis steel themselves for a "family" dinner with step-mom-to-be Wilhelmina, and Hilda, lost in her own world, doesn't notice that Justin is ditching school and running with the wrong crowd.
6. Something Wicked This Way Comes: Betty and Henry continue their illicit romance and plan a secret date to "Wicked," but things don't go as planned when Daniel, thinking she's dating Gio (Freddy Rodriguez), gifts her with tickets for the two of them instead - tickets which Gio refuses to give up. Meanwhile, Daniel woos an important advertiser (guest star Marlo Thomas), a lady with a penchant for younger men.
7. A Nice Day For a Posh Wedding: As Wilhelmina prepares for her big day, all is not quiet on the Mode front when she realizes her fabulous maid of honor, Victoria Beckham (guest starring as herself), is stealing her thunder. Meanwhile, Betty is wracked with guilt about her secret pact with Wilhelmina and about not telling Daniel that his future step-mom is dallying with her bodyguard (guest star Rick Fox). At the Suarez house, Ignacio prepares for his big day - becoming a U.S. citizen - but when Betty moves in with new love Henry, it puts a major strain on father/daughter relations.
8. I See Me, ICU: In the wake of the disastrous Meade/Slater nuptials, Wilhelmina plots her next moves and Betty tries to make things right with Daniel. Meanwhile, Henry uses his charms to get the Mode weekend receptionist (Mo'Nique, guest starring as L'Amanda) to let him in after hours so he can help Betty get something of vital importance.
9. Giving Up the Ghost: A Wilhelmina-induced crisis at Mode finds everyone scrambling to re-create an issue on deadline. Desperate times call for desperate measures, as Daniel and Betty try to break wild child cover girl (Eliza Dushku as Cameron Ashlock) out of rehab for a re-shoot, and Alexis tries to charm the printer (guest star David J. Steinberg) into extending their time. Meanwhile, Betty struggles with an unwelcome (and persistent) visitor who hopes to goad her into making good on a promise.
10. Bananas for Betty: Henry reluctantly agrees to go on a double date with Betty and an unlikely couple -- Hilda and Gio. Meanwhile, Wilhelmina's attempt to change her image as the queen of mean fails miserably after she tangles with America's most beloved golden girl.
11. Zero Worship: Amanda visits a psychic (guest star Annie Potts) for insight into her dad's identity. Meanwhile, disturbed about the message Mode is sending to Justin and his classmates after they visit the magazine, Betty pushes Daniel to use "real" models during fashion week; and Wilhelmina gets some unexpected news about her latest plans for the Meade dynasty.
12. Odor in the Court: Betty's new perfume is driving Henry wild and Betty crazy, literally, after she unwittingly begins using a deadly scent concocted by the late Fey Sommers and starts acting very strangely. Meanwhile, Meade matriarch Claire goes on the stand for Fey's murder, a vindictive Amanda withholds important information, and Wilhelmina takes steps to become a member of the Meade clan -- one way or the other.
13. A Thousand Words by Friday: Betty gets an assignment from Daniel to interview "Phil Roth," thinking it's a sit down with the great novelist, but later learning this Phil Roth is a writer who has penned a series of books about picking up women. Meanwhile Daniel hooks up with a sexy new lady, Renee, only to learn they have a shocking connection to each other, and Amanda and Marc hatch a plan to reach out to the man they believe is Amanda's biological dad.
14. Twenty-Four Candles: Betty's plans to spend a romantic 24th birthday with Henry are sidelined when his Baby Mama Charlie drops in unexpectedly. Will Gio be able to salvage Betty's big day? Meanwhile, Wilhelmina does her devious best to spoil Renee's blossoming relationship with Daniel by hinting there's some dark secrets in her sister's past
15. Burning Questions: An increasingly delusional Renee (guest star Gabrielle Union) becomes convinced that Betty is in love with Daniel and therefore is her rival for his affections. Meanwhile, Hilda's new client at the beauty shop turns out to be ex-neighbor and lifetime nemesis Gina Gambarro (guest star Ava Gaudet), who returns to Queens to rub her fabulous life and wealthy doctor husband in Hilda's face.
16. Betty's Baby Bump: Betty switches gears with rival Charlie (guest star Jayma Mays) and tries to befriend her by throwing a baby shower, a party that no one will ever forget. Meanwhile, Hilda confronts Justin's PE teacher (guest star Eddie Cibrian as Coach Diaz) when she learns Justin is flunking gym; Daniel unravels after his break-up with Renee, and Christina finally learns who fathered the baby she's carrying for Wilhelmina.
17. The Kids Are Alright: Betty, still missing Henry, fights her attraction to Gio, but later finds herself stuck with him when both volunteer to chaperone Justin's middle school dance. Meanwhile, Hilda tries to get Coach Diaz (guest star Eddie Cibrian) to notice her; Amanda agrees to do a reality show with her dad, KISS rock legend Gene Simmons; and Daniel feels the heat when Wilhelmina makes her triumphant return to Mode amid a media frenzy.
18. Jump: Just as Gio makes Betty an incredibly romantic offer, Henry pops back into her life with a proposal of his own. Meanwhile, Betty finds herself centerfield at the charity softball game of the year: Mode vs. ELLE Magazine. Can Wilhelmina strike out ELLE's star player, supermodel Naomi Campbell? In other developments, an orphaned boy from France turns up at Mode with an amazing claim, and Hilda learns some shocking news about Coach Diaz.

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, and Spanish. There is also support for closed captioning.

Extras:

  • On Set With The Besties (6:41): Michael Urie and Becki Newton give a wacky tour of the set. There is also caption included to describe the behind the scenes details.
  • The Suarez Tour (3:36): Tony Plana gives a tour of the Suarez household set. Mark Indelicato joins him midway into the tour.
  • Wilhelmina Slater: Love To Hate Her (6:53): Vanessa Williams, Michael Urie, Becki Newton, Eric Mabius, and others discuss the character Wilhelmina Slater. There are also behind the scenes look at the character.
  • Las Pasiones De Telenovelas: are clips from two telenovelas Los Pecados Del Corazon (Sins of the Heart) and Asesinato Por Muerte (Murder by Death). They can be watched in English or Spanish audio with optional English, Spanish, and French subtitles.
  • I Heart Betty (6:06): America Ferrera, Christopher Gorham, Freddy Rodrigeuz, and others talk about Betty. More specifically, they talk about her love interests and the season two drama.
  • Betty Bloops (4:45): A standard gag and outtakes reel.
  • Deleted Scenes: Sixteen deleted scenes from various season two episodes.

Final Thoughts:
Ugly Betty is a fun comedy/drama about a not-so-fashionable-looking, normal twenty-something who gets a break in the high-paced world of fashion. The first season focused on Betty getting accepted in her new job. In season two, she has a foothold at Mode and the general focus is on all of the drama surrounding Betty and gang. In general, season two is fun. It continues to have a good mix of comedy and drama. Fans will enjoy it, but if you never cared for season one, then season two will not offer you anything. Personally, I felt season two was fun, but not as good as season one.

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